STATEMENT FROM SGT "B"
Updated: Dec 20, 2020
Part Time EJ Paul Housego Part Time EJ Gary Self DCC Sara Glen
(Solicitor) (Barrister) (Police witness alleged to have lied at Tribunal)
The following extracts are from a witness statement made a brave black police sergeant who was also ex military who became a witness in my case.
The relevance to my cae is that some of the same characters are involved, Employment Judge Paul Housego did not wish to hear from the officer despite him having travelled some distance to get there.
EJ Housego did select 2 of my witnesses who were there at the same time but chose to ignore the only black police officer which people felt was 'odd' and the perception was that he was trying to protect the reputation of Hampshire Constabulary with regards to racism.
Lastly and most importantly is that the officers statement was not challenged by Gary Self; the barrister acting for the force who accepted the statement and the tribunal gave it the same weight (apparently) as if the officer had given evidence in person.
Had there been anything in the statement that was not accurate, I'm sure the force would have jumped on it.
"I am currently self-employed as a Web Developer and also a part-time firefighter. Until 18th May 2005 I was a Police Sergeant in Hampshire Constabulary."
"I hold a B.Sc. (Hons) Degree in Web Development and in 1991 was awarded a medal for active service in the Armed Forces in Northern Ireland during the troubles."
"I had previously served in Cheshire Constabulary, where I was a Tutor Constable and also served on the CID"
"My experiences with Hampshire Constabulary showed me that there was a culture that discouraged complaints of discrimination and even refused to accept that discrimination, victimisation and bullying may exist in the organisation."
"Despite the organisation claiming that such behaviour would not be tolerated, where it was proven to exist, perpetrators were not punished. Instead, victims were made to pay for exposing the incidents of discrimination or bullying."
"Some of what I experienced had been identified in the Morris Enquiry Report 2004. This included: managers failing to deal with allegations of performance issues with ethnic minority officers, but keeping dossiers to be passed to PSD at an opportune moment (shown to be discriminatory as it makes the complaint more serious than it needs to be and PSD can cause an officer to be fired or prosecuted)."
"There was also a culture of fear, where officers were scared of speaking their mind or being themselves for fear that PSD would come down on them. I noticed this quite early on in my time in Hampshire Constabulary and, as a transferee, found it very strange that the organisation prefers to use the big stick instead of the carrot."
"I am making this statement with reference to the claimant Julian Panayiotou, who assisted me in making protected disclosures against Hampshire Constabulary."
"During my service in the Hampshire Constabulary, I was an active member of the Hampshire Black Police Association (HBPA). The Hampshire Black Police Association is a group of police officers and civil staff who look after the interest of ethnic police officers and staff within Hampshire Constabulary. The Hampshire Black Police Association is affiliated to the National Black Police Officers Association."
"During my time with the HBPA, I worked actively to redress injustices within the Constabulary. I was instrumental in having the recruitment policy changed, as I proved that its discrimination against non-UK citizens was unlawful. The organisation also wanted to introduce a policy to allow officers & staff prayer time at work provided it was made up after work."
"I was one of several who stated that this would be unfair as smokers are not required to make up the time for their numerous smoking breaks. I also brought to the attention of the head of PSD the fact that BME (black and minority ethnic) officers, who were victims of hate crime were then victimised a second time, as PSD would launch a rigorous investigation into the officer when the offender made a complaint. This happened in the majority of cases. I had been in this situation a few times and I was aware of others who had also experienced this."
"My concern was that, as there was no acknowledgement from PSD that the complaint was racially motivated, PSD was an instrument in the continuing victimization of the officer. Also, when an officer is the subject of over a certain number of complaints, s/he would receive some form of sanction. This also occurred even if the complaint was shown to be false or malicious."
"I was a transferee from Cheshire Constabulary and was initially posted to Southampton Police Station as a Police Constable. Whilst stationed at Southampton, I was bullied and victimised by members of the shift."
"Everything I did was constantly put under the magnifying glass. I was sometimes accused of failings that were not my responsibility. I was accused of failing to report a traffic accident that had not taken place and subsequently given a verbal warning by the Inspector. On another occasion, as a result of a press article, I was told that I would be getting a fixed penalty notice – even though it was clear that I had not committed any offence."
"I was constantly ostracised by the influential members of the shift and rumours were spread that I was lazy – despite my performance statistics being above average. The shift management team knew I was being bullied and victimized, but allowed it to continue. I felt isolated and under constant scrutiny. The situation became much worse when I was successful in passing the Sergeants promotion exam."
"When I arrested a member of the public who had racially abused me in the street, the offender was released from police custody without charge. This was despite there being plenty of evidence which would have secured a conviction. He was also invited to make a complaint against me, which he did but then refused to co-operate with the investigation."
"It was after this that I was told by my sergeant, I should take no action when being racially abused. He also put me on a performance action plan because of a comment made by an influential constable who had not actually heard or seen the alleged performance (which had not actually taken place)."
"This resulted in me making a disclosure to the Professional Standards Department (PSD) of Hampshire Constabulary. This was detailed in a full report I made to them in or around September 2003. The PSD did take a statement from me, and I am given to understand did interview some of the other police officers involved. Although my allegations were substantiated, no one was disciplined, nor was any official apology tendered."
"On promotion to Police Sergeant I was transferred to Totton Police Station. During my time at Totton Police Station I felt I was being victimised by my Inspector, Inspector David Moore, which lead to me being treated unfairly by the rest of the team. About 05 November 2004, Insp Moore ‘hinted’ that he may have issues with my performance as a new probationary Sergeant over the previous eight months. He was not specific and did not address anything directly with me. Due to my previous experiences at Southampton Police Station, this made me suspicious that there was more going on behind the scenes."
"In the Autumn of 2004, I was present at a community meeting which was also attended by Superintendent Ogden from PSD. Superintendent Pat Ogden was addressing the meeting, which was being in furtherance of our general duty under the Race Relations (Amendment) Act 2000."
"I felt that Superintendent Ogden was being disingenuous to some of the questions put to her on racial issues by a member of the public who was aware that I was police officer, and whom discussed with me her concerns afterwards."
"As a result I made further protected disclosures about the Community Meeting incident to Chief Superintendent Stevens, who at the time of the incident was the immediate supervisor of Superintendent Ogden and also in charge of PSD. I again felt that although I felt my concerns were listened to, nothing changed and no one was brought to account."
"In or around January 2005, a member of the public made a complaint against me. They alleged that I regularly visited shop premises. Superintendent Pat Ogden, the second in command at PSD allocated the investigation of this complaint to herself. As I was at the time only a probationary sergeant, this was very odd that a person of the Superintendent’s seniority was conducting a minor investigation. Normally investigations of this nature would have been investigated by a lower ranking officer."
"I was interviewed by Superintendent Ogden about the complaint, which I felt was not a fair interview because she was the person who had been subject of my complaint, a month or so previously."
"At the interview I was also served with a further regulation 9 notice of Complaint which alleged neglect of duty. This I felt, was a complete ambush. As the allegation unfolded, it was clear their suppositions were based on hearsay, they contained no admissible evidence against me. The Superintendent and PSD failed to interview any key witnesses."
"I felt at the time I was being picked on. I also felt that some of the issues raised in the disclosure had also been highlighted in the Morris Enquiry Report on similar issues. For example, that ethnic minority officers are more rigorously and thoroughly investigated. I felt that Superintendent Ogden was conducting and directing the outcome of the investigation because I had complained about her."
"During the interview, it was revealed that Insp Moore had indeed had issues with my performance for the entire time I was at Totton. Instead of addressing them with me at the time, and in the appropriate manner, he had taken them directly to PSD. At their instruction, he had kept a dossier of anything that I may or may not have done with which he was not happy with. At no time had he brought any of it to my attention. I later discovered that he had also instructed my subordinates to keep an eye on me and report back to him."
"Immediately after the interview, after the audio tapes had been turned off, Superintendent Ogden informed me that the only way I could save my job was to ask for demotion back to being a police constable."
"This was totally unbelievable, especially when the PSD had no evidence that I had done anything wrong but still wanted me to request a sanctioned punishment of demotion."
"Superintendent Ogden also said, “How far do we have to keep digging?” This to me indicated that they clearly wanted me out of the constabulary and would keep looking until they found something they could use against me."
"As a result of this victimization, this made me physically ill and very depressed. I was signed off unfit for duty for four weeks for depression. Following my period of illness, I felt that there was little point in continuing with my police career, for fear of future victimisation."
"I resigned from the Police Service on 18th May 2005. Until I was treated in this way, I always thought I would have a successful police career, having been promoted to sergeant and also passed the Inspector’s examination."
"It was during this period of sickness, I was contacted by Julian Panayiotou, who was a member of the Independent Police Support Group (The IPSG), a network of police officers and police staff who were willing to assist people making disclosures or felt bullied at work. I was grateful of Julian’s help. He was the only person in the Hampshire Constabulary who listened to me, and empathised with me about the way I had been treated."
"I was on anti- depressants for about two months. Although I felt I could have had a successful career in the Police Service, I never want to be a Police officer again because of the way I was victimised and intimidated for making protected disclosures of a racial nature against fellow officers and senior members of the PSD."
"Julian raised my issues and concerns, along with other protected disclosures with the Hampshire Police Authority and the Independent Police Complaints Commission."
"He was the only person to take me seriously and raise my issues. The Black Police Association and the Police Federation appeared not to be able operate effectively within Hampshire, because they were fearful of the power the PSD had under the influence of the Deputy Chief Constable Readhead."
"Sometime during Autumn of 2006, I was working in a mobile phone shop in Southampton when Mr Ian Readhead entered with his family. He was not in uniform and appeared to be off duty. At some point his family went outside whilst Mr Readhead remained inside."
"Mr Readhead was dissatisfied with the service provided by the airtime provider and spoke to the shop manager about it. When the conversation was not going the way Mr Readhead wanted he raised his voice and said “This is not fit for purpose. I will make a report to Trading Standards. I will also speak to my MP.”
".What shocked me most was when he then stood up and said “You don’t know who I am!” This was clearly a reference to his status as Deputy Chief Constable and the power and influence that comes with it. Basically he was threatening my employer."
"My boss replied “I know exactly who you are Mr Readhead.” Surprised at this, Mr Readhead left the shop and joined his family outside. After a short amount of time, Mrs Readhead then entered the shop and asked my boss how he knows who Mr Readhead is. My boss replied that his father used to be a police officer in Hampshire Constabulary."
"I am certain that if any of DCC Readhead’s officers had behaved in that way, and tried to use his/her status as a police officer to influence the service received from a company, he would have had them disciplined. In fact, I know of one police staff employee who was sacked for allegedly doing something similar."