TWO Asian officers at Cleveland Police were being bugged - and Special Branch was asked to "dig up dirt" on one of them, a tribunal heard yesterday.

PC Nadeem Saddique, who is pursuing a claim of racial discrimination against the force, told the employment hearing that two fellow officers told him he was under surveillance.

And he said another officer - who has now left the force - claimed he caught the Organised Crime Unit placing a tracker on his new BMW.

Firearms officer PC Saddique raised the issue with the Deputy Chief Constable Iain Spittal in a meeting to discuss his grievances last year, the hearing was told.

PC Saddique, of Ingleby Barwick, near Stockton, said another officer, Assam Ibrahim, had left the force after he caught the organised crime unit bugging his new car in the work compound.

"He worked in the technical support department," he said. "What actually happened was whilst he was at work, he came out of the door and found surveillance operatives planting a bug on his new car.

"He confronted them, made a complaint...and it went to the top. He wanted to know why as an Asian officer working for Cleveland Police, were they bugging his car in the compound.

"He was given the explanation that it was a training exercise, there was nothing sinister to it. But it was put on his car, without his permission.

"When he caught them... they were flustered because he caught them red handed. He was so concerned that he left the organisation."

PC Saddique said Mr Ibrahim - who has since moved to Dubai - told him he was also being targeted by surveillance.

He said: "In addition Sergeant Khan informed me that when he was in the sergeant's office at Middlesbrough an officer from Special Branch was disgusted that he was being asked to dig up dirt on me.

"I had been subjected to surveillance on more than one occasion."

PC Saddique claimed Mr Spittal's secretary later called him to ask if he would meet the deputy chief constable for a chat in a coffee shop, without his police federation representative. Mr Saddique refused.

Richard Oulton, representing Cleveland Police, said colleagues had described the PC Saddique as "paranoid" because he "felt the whole organisation was against him".

Cleveland Police deny the allegations. The tribunal continues.