British Indian ex-cop accuses Met Police of victimising her
An Indian-origin former Metropolitan Police officer has accused the UK’s largest police force of victimising her for exposing alleged racism within the ranks in her book.
London: An Indian-origin former Metropolitan Police officer has accused the UK’s largest police force of victimising her for exposing alleged racism within the ranks in her book.
Parm Sandhu, who joined the Met in 1989 and served for 30 years, said she has been targeted after the Met Police threatened her with a legal action over her tell-all, which she doesn’t regret writing.
Sandhu has been forced to start paying back half of the 120,000 pounds she received in a settlement from the Met after the latter said it would otherwise sue her, The Times reported.
The Met claimed that Sandhu had broken a confidentiality agreement asking her not to make “disparaging” or “derogatory” comments about the Met or former Met commissioner, Cressida Dick.
According to The Times, the deal was signed in 2020 when Sandhu’s claim of discrimination was settled before an employment tribunal.
She had launched a discrimination lawsuit in 2019 against the Metropolitan Police alleging that she was denied promotion and work opportunities on the basis of her race and gender.
In her memoir titled ‘Black and Blue’, Sandhu said she had endured “regular episodes” of discrimination in an “institutionally racist” organisation for 30 years.
She said the incidents included “commonplace” low-level sexual and racial abuse and efforts to hinder promotion.
The Times report stated that Sandhu had agreed to return 60,000 pounds to the department to avoid the Met seeking to injunct publication with a court order.
But it emerged in 2022 that Sandhu refused to give the money following which the Met started a legal action, seeking 60,000 pounds plus 8 per cent interest.
Sandhu consequently started paying in instalments after facing the challenges of expensive court proceedings.
“I lost 60,000 for the privilege of speaking out. And if I could get it back, I would. But I don’t regret writing the book,” The Times quoted Sandhu as saying.
Lawrence Davies, who represents Sandhu, said it should not be legal to put into tribunal settlements confidentiality clauses or non-disclosure agreements.
“The public has a right to know about racism and sexism in the Met Police,” he told The Times.
“To be clear, the Met has made no admissions of liability in respect of the allegations made. The agreement was signed voluntarily by Ms Sandhu and part of that agreement was a clause against publication of derogatory statements,” Scotland Yard was quoted as saying by The Times.
Sandhu was honoured in 2006 with an Asian Women of Achievement public sector award for her work in the aftermath of the 2005 London bombings.