PSNI found guilty of discrimination

The Sunday Life reports a tribunal has ruled against the PSNI in a discrimination case. The tribunal accepted that a Protestant photographer, Stephen Murphy, was subjected to ongoing victimisation by an Inspector and Acting Sergeant and then unfair dismissal because of his plans to marry a Roman Catholic. Following an appeal by DUP MLA Mervyn Storey to the Policing Board, the Board accepted his treatment had been too harsh but the PSNI hierarchy refused to reinstate him. The tribunal awarded £44K compensation and ordered his reinstatement within two weeks. (Links now added).UPDATE: The BBC is now leading with the story. A number of commentors noticed and welcomed the role of two DUP MLA’s in this case. I wonder why the BBC didn’t consider this worth including?

It also seems the PSNI did not fight the case:

“The PSNI were not in attendance nor were they represented at the fair employment tribunal.”

  • FD

    When did this discrimination take place?

  • fair_deal

    mickhall

    From 2001 onwards

  • Comrade Stalin

    Utterly outrageous.

    The Sunday Life article makes no mention of whether the officers involved have been investigated and/or disciplined. If these allegations are true, these officers should be dismissed from the force.

  • Sean

    LOL Comrade Stalin this is RUC lite isn’t it would hardly expect them to act like a profesional police force

  • joeCanuck

    This is one shocking story. I agree with Comrade; these officers should be disciplined and should probably be sacked.

  • This must be very worrying for those who have been prepared to give the PSNI a chance to prove they are not a protestant police force that serves a protestant people. For what you have here is the very officers [sergeant and inspector] who would be expected to set the tone within the coal face command structure acting in the most bigoted way.

    Few of its critics will be surprised about the Tribunals findings nor that the PSNI refused to side with the complainant, preferring to be seen in the company of the bigoted officers. The problem with the PSNI is that contains such a high proportion of officers who have served in the RUC, thus the working practice of the RUC is bound to prevail, unless the top brass fought tooth and nail to make sure this did not happen.

    The problem is a number of the most senior officers are bigots themselves, [sorry but what other word can I use] so they are hardly going to fight to liberalize the force, a touch of window dressing perhaps, but wholesale change, forget it.

    Solution, I doubt it will work and it will be costly but they could try pensioning off the vast majority of ex RUC officers currently serving within the PSNI, alongside a mass intake of new officers to be trained by non RUC officers and fast track a whole new generation of mid ranking leadership.

    Of course the real problem is that society within the north is still sectarian to the core, yet to few believe it to be so, especially within the Protestant communities. The PSNI simply reflect the society its officers are recruited from.

  • joeCanuck

    from the Sunday Life:
    “whether any disciplinary action had been taken against any officers as a result of the tribunal findings, a spokesman for Chief Constable Sir Hugh Orde would only reply: “We don’t discuss individual cases.”

    This is a cop out (no pun intended).
    Not sure how the FOI act works in N.I. so we may not be entitled to know names but there should be no reason why the public cannot know what, if any, disciplinary action was taken, and what the CC intends to do to ensure that there is no repeat.
    Hopefully a member of the Police Board will take this up.

  • heck

    anti catholic bigotry within the RUC/PSNI/UVF

    I’m shocked, shocked I tell you, just shocked

  • Kevster

    I will take one positive aspect of this case.

    This is the first time I’ve heard of 2 DUP men taking this man’s case to heart. Disgraceful as the case is, it is encouraging to see DUP at the forefront of fighting discrimination in the police. That is good news, as far as I’m concerned.

  • kevster

    A point well made.

  • abucs

    Yes, good point Kevster.

    Thanks for the post Fair Deal.

  • inuit_g

    Glad the guy got compensation – the cops who treated him that way ought be sacked, they ought have no place in policing Northern Ireland.

    Also I gotta say Good on the Dups for fighting anti-catholic bigotry in the police – another positive sign of the times, and it does improve my view of P Jnr.

  • Comrade Stalin

    I agree with the comments about the DUP. They are doing a lot of very sensible stuff lately, which is refreshing and heartening.

    Sean:

    LOL Comrade Stalin this is RUC lite isn’t it would hardly expect them to act like a profesional police force

    Sean, I do expect them to behave like a professional police force, and since the identities of the offending officers are known, I think it should be straightforward to investigate the allegations and begin disciplinary action.

    Can you think of a “professional police force” elsewhere in the world where this does not happen ? There are bent cops everywhere – though that does not excuse this behaviour. The important thing is that they are caught and removed from their jobs.

  • Sean

    Comrade Stalin have you had your irony gland removed

    Just the fact this happened, was allowed to continue and was even encouraged by the non-reinstatement of this individual points to the obvious fact that this is not in any way a profesional police fore but a profesional police farce

  • I wonder…

    “a profesional police fore but a profesional police farce”

    No comment…except for…

    I’ve had recent experience of the police service, in which all officers involved were Catholic. All were extremely professional and I have the utmost respect for the organisation.

  • smcgiff

    Good news story.

  • Thrasymachus

    “The problem is a number of the most senior officers are bigots themselves, [sorry but what other word can I use] so they are hardly going to fight to liberalize the force, a touch of window dressing perhaps, but wholesale change, forget it.”

    Can you name these officers and cite what they have done that you regard as ‘bigoted’? And if you can’t, we’ll just accept you’re talking crap.

  • “Can you name these officers and cite what they have done that you regard as ‘bigoted’? And if you can’t, we’ll just accept you’re talking crap.
    Posted by Thrasymachus”

    “He was then subjected to a poor annual appraisal by a senior cop – referred to only as ‘Inspector F’ ”

    “Soon after – the tribunal accepted – another officer confided in Mr Murphy that he had overheard Inspector F and another officer, ‘Acting Sergeant K’, discuss how to “make life as difficult as possible for (Murphy) and to get him out of the organization or to get him to resign, as he was intending to marry a Catholic”.

    “It was the start of a shameful campaign of discrimination and harassment against Mr Murphy”

    “However, the police refused to reinstate him in spite of appeals from the DUP’s justice spokesman Ian Paisley Jnr to the PSNI’s human resources manager to accept the board’s recommendation to give Mr Murphy his job back.”

    Thrasymachus

    Instead of being abusive why not get your head out of the sand, this whole thread is about a middle management PSNI officer behaving in a bigoted manner. In my judgement almost anyone who has had experience of the PSNI could name officers who are still in the dark ages. This is not surprising as many people within the north of Ireland still hold similar unexceptable views.

    I had a fair amount of experience of dealing with the London met in the early 1980s, who were back then racist to the core, yet argued otherwise. Today they have moved light years away from this nasty attitude, but it has taken 25 years and there is still some way to go.

    Hopefully something similar, given time and a new attitude from the leadership cadre will occur within the PSNI. But to act as you are and deny any wrong doing, in my mind makes me feel that you feel holding views such as Inspector F is perfectly OK and normal. As what you are putting to me and the rest of us at slugger is that their are no bigots within the PSNI, as I wrote, get your head out of the sand for the facts prove otherwise.

  • Thrasymachus

    “Instead of being abusive why not get your head out of the sand, this whole thread is about a middle management PSNI officer behaving in a bigoted manner.”

    You are the one making abusive allegations that you cannot back up.

    So far you have produced evidence of two bigoted officers in the PSNI, that is hardly enough to support your allegations. Plenty of police forces would be ecstatic if that is all that could be levelled at them.

    “In my judgement almost anyone who has had experience of the PSNI could name officers who are still in the dark ages.”

    Then they should and provide evidence to support their claims. Or is the PSNI to be condemned on hearsay?

  • Sean

    the PSNI has to prove itself not the other way around

  • Thrasymachus

    You asked me to name a bigoted PSNI officer, which you claimed by inference do not exist, when I did so you want more. Sorry but as it is you with the problem I suggest you do the graft. Google tribunal results since the PSNI inception. Ask your police committee for the names of the officers facing disciplinary procedures which are covered by the matter in question. Pop into you local police station and ask to take a peep at the complaints book etc. Read the police ombudsman’s reports of late. Blimey mate there is plenty of evidence out there, but then again you will not be able to read it as your eyes are filled with sand.

    By the way, It seems it is true what your fellow citizens thought about you, i e you became famous by reasoning with clever but fallacious arguments.

  • Thrasymachus

    “You asked me to name a bigoted PSNI officer, which you claimed by inference do not exist, when I did so you want more.”

    You’re being pedantic. You are citing two examples, which you didn’t even provide, and then using them to form a generalisation. You are going to have to provide more evidence, or else admit you can’t substantiate your slur.

    And if these instances are as numerous as you claim they are, surely you would easily be able to provide a few examples of your own instead of expecting me to research your conclusions?