A POLICE force hit by racism allegations is facing another legal fight after three officers launched claims of discrimination.

Three officers of different ranks - including one senior policeman - have lodged employment tribunal claims against Cleveland Police, which is now considering its response.

The cases relate to racial discrimination - and The Northern Echo understands there could be even more claims pending.

One of the officers involved is a constable, while the other two are of higher rank, it is understood.

A Cleveland Police spokeswoman said: "We have received notifications against the Force.

"As is standard practice we will assess the content prior to responding in due course. It is for a tribunal panel to decide if there is any substance to the claim.”

The Force refused to give any details of either external or internal legal costs associated with the claims.

The Police Federation, which represents rank and file officers, is believed to be supporting the officers affected at a national level, but it did not confirm this.

Andy Fittes, general secretary of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said: "When allegations of discriminatory treatment are made, it is essential that these are thoroughly investigated.

"The Federation openly supports officers who wish to pursue proceedings following allegations of discriminatory treatment.

"Police forces in England and Wales work within an equal opportunities framework which means that all forces should be working to promote equality in the workplace and everyone should have the same access to opportunities for promotions, with selection based on the skillset and capability of the individual only.

“Nationally we also work with a number of minority groups such as the Black Police Association, to help inform police policy and eradicate discriminatory behaviour in the workplace.”

An employment tribunal involving firearms officer Nadeem Saddique, who is claiming he suffered race discrimination as an Asian officer at Cleveland Police, is ongoing. It was adjourned last month and will resume at the end of September.

The case has heard that at least one other Asian officer felt he missed out on opportunities due to the colour of his skin, and that a white firearms officer had a racist EDL sticker on a white firearms officer's gun holster. Cleveland Police denies the claims of racism.