A Police Community Support Officer with Greater Manchester Police is making a claim for race discrimination and race-related harassment in the Employment Tribunal after she alleged that she had been subjected to an unfair investigation at work.
PCSO Shazia Awan, who is Pakistani heritage, is suing the Greater Manchester Police after she alleged that she was the subject of a “malicious investigation” following an accusation that she referred to another Asian police constable as a “coconut” – a racially derogatory term which suggests that someone is betraying their race or culture by being of that race or culture but “acting white”.
PCSO Awan’s claim documents apparently state that the parameters and facts behind the investigation changed substantially during the course of the investigation and that she had been told to admit the allegations or be referred to the Professional Standards Branch (“PSB”). She made the claims based on the contention that a “white counterpart of Christian faith” would not have been treated in the same manner, that PSB detectives failed to investigate her case reasonably, that fellow officers lacked integrity and impartiality, and that 14 other white officers received lesser punishments following claims of racism. She claims that she suffered three heart attacks because of the stress caused by her disciplinary and states that she continues to remain off work sick because of the police force’s conduct.
PCSO Awan appears not to have made a comment on the matter and a Greater Manchester Police spokesman stated that they could not comment because of the ongoing Employment Tribunal.
Chris Hadrill, an employment solicitor at Redmans Solicitors, commented on the case: “In direct discrimination cases Claimants must show that they have been treated less favourably than other persons because of their protected characteristic. We must wait to see whether the Employment Tribunal accepts PCSO Awan’s facts as overturning the burden of proof in her claim.”