Former police officer wins £457,000 racial discrimination payout in tribunal ruling

Cleveland Police. Pic: PA.
Cleveland Police. Pic: PA.
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A firearms officer who guarded Tony Blair and members of the Royal Family has won a £457,000 payout after he was subjected to racist abuse and discrimination.

Former VIP protection officer, Pc Nadeem Saddique, 45, has been unable to return to work after a long-running battle with his employers, Cleveland Police.

An employment tribunal was told last year that senior officers wanted him, the only Asian in the unit, thrown out and that he was subject to racial abuse by superiors on a night out.

One colleague had an English Defence League sticker, which made reference to Muslims and a crusade, on their holster, but this was not properly investigated.

A remedy hearing in Middlesbrough ruled he should receive more than £457,000 for his ordeal, which meant he could no longer be a police officer.

Mr Saddique said: "This has been a lengthy and extremely difficult process, which has taken a serious toll on my health and my family.

"I never wanted it to go as far as a tribunal, but after experiencing problems with discrimination for a number of years within the force and exhausting all avenues internally without success, I had to do something.

"I hope the hearing this week will finally enable me to put the whole episode behind me."

His lawyer, Clare Armstrong, said: "This outcome reflects the seriousness of the offences and the impact it has had on Pc Saddique and his career.

"Pc Saddique was a dedicated police officer in the force but he was subjected to terrible treatment for years and his career derailed simply because of the colour of his skin.

"It is very clear that the force needs to take steps in order to give the public confidence this will not happen again."

Mr Saddique, from Ingleby Barwick, began an employment tribunal against the force in 2011, claiming race discrimination, harassment and bullying.

He settled with his employer without receiving any money, on the understanding that he would be given access to training and would regain his VIP protection status, which he felt he had lost unfairly, when he returned to work.

But since then a personal development plan had not been properly implemented, and his career stalled.

Cleveland Police said it has apologised and changes have been made.

A spokeswoman said: "We have reviewed many of our policies as a result of this case and as part of our Everyone Matters project have delivered training sessions on equality, diversity and human rights and cultural awareness to the wider organisation.

"We are saddened that Mr Saddique is unable to progress his career as a police officer and wish him well for the future.

"The IPCC (Independent Police Complaints Commission) investigation into the case is continuing, therefore it would be inappropriate to comment on this aspect of the case at this stage."