Pay-outs for undercover West Yorkshire Police officers who blew whistle on force

Two West Yorkshire Police officers have received pay-outs from the force.
Two West Yorkshire Police officers have received pay-outs from the force.

Two undercover West Yorkshire Police officers who were moved into back-office roles after raising concerns about sexism and unsafe practices in their unit have received pay-outs totalling nearly £100,000 from the force.

The two police constables were successful in their claim at an employment tribunal in 2015 that they were sidelined by Yorkshire’s biggest police force after exposing wrongdoing.

West Yorkshire Police appealed the original employment tribunal’s findings of victimisation, but the decision was upheld and a hearing has calculated the damages each should receive.

The settlements, which include payments for over 2,400 hours of overtime, come to more than £96,000.

In a joint statement, both officers said they were relieved their ordeal was over, but were still waiting for an apology.

While one of the officers has now been redeployed as a uniformed policeman, the other says he was left with no choice but to quit.

They said: “The force was like a family to us. We were immensely proud of it and wanted to protect it, but never did we imagine that in doing so we would be treated like this.

“Our policing career as we knew it is finished and all because we chose to voice our concerns rather than turn a blind eye.

“The whole experience has been incredibly stressful and upsetting and it has taken its toll on us and our families. At times we felt like both were at breaking point.

“What hurts the most is that there has been no apology, no attempts to address the problems recognised by the tribunal, and that is disappointing to think that lessons haven’t been learned, that this kind of victimisation may still go on.”

The officers claimed during the tribunal in Leeds that after being injured in a job they were unable to contact their line manager and that the same officer appeared to be “under the influence” of alcohol while on duty.

The tribunal was also told that a senior officer had refused to allow them to take a gun off the streets by buying it from a criminal, a result “contrary to their primary responsibilities as police officers”.

And the officers alleged sexist behaviour on the part of their superiors, claiming that one had referred to women as only good to use “on the arm” of male officers.

They told the tribunal that after complaining about the unsafe practices they were moved off the undercover unit and moved into back office policing roles.

West Yorkshire Police declined to comment.