CLEVELAND'S Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has apologised to a firearms officer who was victimised because he was Asian.

Barry Coppinger said he was "deeply troubled" by the findings of a recent employment tribunal which ruled PC Nadeem Saddique had suffered discrimination and victimisation by some colleagues, and supported Chief Constable Jacqui Cheer's decision not to appeal the judgement.

The Northern Echo: Nadeem Saddique

Nadeem Saddique

He also outlined plans to change the way internal investigations were carried out by the professional standards department.

But former officer Sultan Alam, who won £800,000 in compensation after claiming he was discriminated against, last night called on officers named in the tribunal to face disciplinary proceedings.

Mr Alam, who also announced his intention on Wednesday to stand as PCC against Mr Coppinger in elections next year, said: "Two of the officers appear to have carried out a personal vendetta, without prejudice, against a fellow officer.

The Northern Echo: Former Cleveland Police officer Sultan Alam was wrongfully sent to prison as a result of a malicious prosecution brought by colleagues

Sultan Alam

"The present situation demands urgent action, by the appropriate authorities, to protect the public of Cleveland and the integrity of the police service and justice system."

He said officers accused of racial discrimination should not be allowed to carry firearms.

Mr Coppinger said today: "I have written to PC Saddique to apologise for what has happened and to outline my determination, alongside that of the Chief Constable, to make sure that Cleveland Police is an employer of choice for all.

"Whilst no organisation can prevent an individual from making a conscious decision to behave in a certain manner, it can send out clear messages and create an environment where such behaviour is unacceptable."

He said the force would also apologise to PC Saddique and work with him to help him return to duty.

Cleveland Police's professional standards department would be changed and reviewed, giving the PCC more say in the way police complaints were handled.

He said he would also ensure staff were trained and safeguards would be in place to highlight discrimination and address it "robustly".

"Cleveland Police should be an employer of choice for all serving and aspiring officers, staff and volunteers - achieving the highest standards of community and industrial relation."

Mr Alam said today (Wednesday) that a "sycophantic cancer of corruption has festered for decades" within parts of Cleveland Police as he said he planned on standing for a second time as PCC.