So An Elite Police Squad Were Racist And Sexist Towards This Woman

Carol Howard, a black single mum of two serving on an armed police unit, was ‘singled out’ because of her race and gender…


by Debrief Staff |
Published on

A black female police officer – an armed one, no less – was bullied by her a co-worker for a year, a tribunal has heard.

Carol Howard, 34, had her claim of racial and sexual discrimination held up as it was found she was picked on, and frequently reduced to tears, simply because she was the odd one out in the ‘almost exclusively’ white, male Diplomatic Protection Group. Well, not quite the odd one out; there was, after all, one other black person in the 700-strong unit.

Acting Inspector David Kelly’s sexism and racism was so strong that he tried to stop Howard from being put forward as the police force’s poster girl ahead of the Olympics, because, he deemed her not a ‘good advert’ for the force.

The ruling stated that Kelly ‘singled out’ Howard, a single mum of two, who had joined the force aged 25 and became an Authorised Arms Officer in 2010.

It wasn’t only her who found Kelly difficult, as other colleagues considered him a bully – though he didn’t bully them. As the tribunal judges put it: ‘On [Kelly’s] own admission he had formed a negative view of her from very early on. He doubted her honesty and her ability. He has not provided any explanation of why he treated her far worse than others. We infer that the claimant’s race and gender both contributed to and significantly influenced AI Kelly’s treatment of her and that she was treated in the way she was because she was black and a woman.'

Her lawyers are seeking compensation from the Met, and Howard wants to return to her job, which involves protecting diplomats, royals and politicians in London, *The Evening Standard *reports. Her lawyer also called for a 'complete re-write' of the force's equality procedures, after it was found that many of Howard's complaints made within the force were deleted by the detective sergeant in charge of processing them, reports the BBC.

If this is the way police officers treat members of own ranks, we shudder to think of how they might treat women and black people who come in to use their services… plus, it’s a bit bizarre that officers serving London are so lacking in diversity that only two out of 700 of this special unit are black.

At the very least, PC Howard’s bravery in coming forward and making these claims proves that people shouldn’t have to be bullied in silence.

Picture: Rex

Follow Sophie on Twitter @sophwilkinson

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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