sohail ashraf manchester

UK policeman’s promotion overlooked for 11 years because of his Pakistani origin

LONDON: A police sergeant in the UK police, who served the department for 23 years, was overlooked for promotion in favour of ‘less experienced, less qualified, white’ officers because of his Pakistani ethnic origins, a tribunal has ruled.

Feeling marginalized on what happened with the long-serving cop, 54-year-old Zaheer Ahmed dragged the North Yorkshire Police to court and said snub to him was racially-motivated which was later proved by the employment tribunal, reported the Daily Mail.

The 54-year-old – who left the force last year – will now receive damages payout in a remedies hearing that will be held on a date still to be fixed.

The tribunal, held at Teesside magistrates court, ruled: ‘The tribunal has concluded that a white police sergeant who had passed his or her inspectors’ exams and was seeking promotion would not have been treated in the same way the claimant was to the extent that the various obstacles would not have been placed in that officer’s way.

‘The tribunal is satisfied that the reason why this claimant was treated that way was as a result of unconscious race discrimination because of the claimant’s protected characteristic of his Pakistani ethnic origin.’

Mr Ahmed was subjected to ‘unconscious race discrimination’, plus two instances of ‘direct discrimination’, the tribunal said.

Mr Zaheer left the force after hitting a ‘glass ceiling’ in September last year when he was overlooked several times for promotion.

He began working for the force in June 1994 and was promoted to sergeant in 2006 but was unable to progress further for the next 11 years.

Mr Ahmed said: ‘I served as a police officer for 23 years, I gave my life to the job and was eager to succeed in my career.

‘I did a great deal of overtime, worked on my rest days and routinely requested to be kept in mind for any experience.

‘My loyalty and dedication has been rewarded with resistance and humiliation. I had an immense sense of pride of being a police officer and that I was part of this organisation. To have experienced and witnessed the discrimination within the organisation, I can no longer be proud. I am disappointed and I am hurt.”

‘North Yorkshire Police employs a minimum of 44 police officers and police staff from black or minority ethnic backgrounds, and we are absolutely committed to making sure that every single one of those people has every possible chance to thrive in our organisation.