A POLICE force has today agreed to pay out an estimated £500,000 to a former Asian officer who ‘stood up against institutional racism and wrongdoing’.

Mark Dias, who was an acting inspector at Cleveland Police when he turned whistleblower on racism, leaking information to The Northern Echo in 2012 about the then chief constable Jacqui Cheer admitting the force had ‘elements of institutional racism’.

After that Mr Dias faced discrimination, his phone being monitored and even a police investigation.

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Cleveland Police was this year found to have unlawfully monitored Mr Dias’ phone, and the phones of others including two journalists from The Northern Echo.

Now Chief Constable Iain Spittal has published an agreed statement with Mr Dias, saying: “The Chief Constable apologises to Mr Dias and his family for the hurt and distress caused, and for the damage to his reputation and career within the police service and the damage caused by the organisation not acting on his concerns.

“The Chief Constable recognises the positive contribution Mr Dias made to policing during his time with the force. He is to be commended for his persistence in standing up for equality and integrity in policing.”

The terms of the ‘substantial’ compensation the force has paid to Mr Dias are confidential, Mr Spittal said.

But The Northern Echo has learned it is understood to be in the region of £500,000.

Today Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen said a review of Cleveland Police was 'desperately' needed.

"People want a force that does justice to the important work of our frontline officers – the women and men who are working around the clock to keep our streets safe," he said.

"The force desperately needs to do some soul-searching so we can put this chapter to bed, and work to ensure our officers feel supported by an organisation which enjoys full public confidence.”

Mr Spittal said today: “The matters settled with Mr Dias relate to things which occurred up to January 2013. They are not reflective of the positive and professional organisational behaviours present in the Force today.

“Cleveland Police has moved forwards significantly. As a Force, Cleveland Police has invested significant time and effort in ensuring that everyone who works or volunteers within the organisation can do so without fear of being subjected to poor behaviours. This is fundamental to our core values and I see this demonstrated in all aspects of what we do.

“Along with the PCC, I have led a programme of work called Everyone Matters. People tell me from within and outside the organisation that this is having a strong and long-lasting impact.

“Over the years that I have worked with Cleveland Police, I have seen more officers achieve promotion and advancement from under-represented groups, including BME, women and LGB communities. This would not happen if the people in this organisation were not embracing, respecting and valuing all.

“The appointment of a new senior leader for Standards and Ethics will further improve and strengthen how we deal with conduct across the organisation.

“I am pleased that we have been able to draw to a conclusion these historic matters which will help the Force to move forward positively.”