11 April 2016
Whistleblowers Win Claims Against West Yorkshire Police
Two undercover police officers who exposed their bosses for failure to remove guns from the street, being drunk on duty and sexism have won a claim for victimisation.
The two PCs who worked in the undercover unit for West Yorkshire Police, were supposed to be supported and protected by their line managers whilst they risked their lives infiltrating organised criminal gangs.
After one of them was injured on the job they couldn’t contact their line manager; on another occasion the same line manger appeared to be “under the influence” of alcohol whilst on duty, the Employment Tribunal heard. The officers also revealed that senior officers had ignored their warnings of firearms on the streets just weeks before two female police officers were shot dead.
The senior officers also referred to women as only good to use “on the arm” of male officers.
On complaining about the unsafe practices the whistleblowers were subsequently moved off the undercover unit and sidelined into back office policing roles.
The damning ruling found that both police officers were subjected to a “series of detrimental” treatment after making their claims.
Both officers made the successful claims “to maintain and protect the integrity of the police service”.
The officers have subsequently made complaints to the Chief Constable, who has yet to refer the matter to the IPCC.
The officers’ case was supported by the Police Federation of England and Wales. Nick Smart the Chairman of the West Yorkshire Branch said: “We are pleased to see the Judgment recognises that the two undercover officers have been vindicated for doing the right thing in highlighting such improper and unprofessional practices by more senior officers. This has been a particularly stressful experience for both officers who have suffered greatly throughout the investigations, and we in WYPF continue to support the officers moving forward. We now hope that the Force heeds the Judgment and refers this matter to the IPCC.”
The Solicitor who represented the officers and employment lawyer from Slater and Gordon Jennifer Ainscough, said: “It was with great courage that my clients blew the whistle, whilst deployed undercover, on the very managers who they entrusted with their safety. The Tribunal has determined that they were punished for doing so and their undercover careers are over. My clients have now complained to the Chief Constable about their treatment but the matter has yet to be referred to the IPCC despite this damning ruling.”
To read the judgment in full see: Mr C and Mr B v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police.
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