CLEVELAND Police is being investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) after an employment tribunal concluded one of its officers was was subject to racial victimisation and discrimination.

In a statement on Wednesday, the IPCC said: "The employment tribunal, which concluded in November 2015, related to allegations made by Pc Nadeem Saddique.

"As a result of the judgement the matter was referred to the IPCC by Cleveland Police and a decision has been taken to conduct an independent investigation."

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IPCC Commissioner Mary Cunneen added: “The employment tribunal judgement raises serious concerns which potentially impact on the confidence in Cleveland Police, not just from the public, but also the employees of the force.

"It is therefore important that an independent investigation is conducted to examine the concerns thoroughly.”

A spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said: "Cleveland Police referred the matter to the IPCC following the employment tribunal judgement and will support their investigation as required."

In December, Cleveland's Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) apologised to Pc Saddique.

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

He also outlined plans to change the way internal investigations are carried out by the professional standards department.
Mr Coppinger said: “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."

He continued: “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.”

Earlier this month Chris Grayling said he agreed that an independent investigation of Cleveland Police was necessary.

Mr Grayling, leader of the House of Commons, said he supported the demands of Northern Powerhouse Minister and Stockton Tory MP James Wharton for a thorough investigation into the Cleveland force by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

On a visit to the region to support Matthew Vickers, the Conservative candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) in Cleveland, Mr Grayling told The Northern Echo: "There are concerns about Cleveland Police that continue to roll on.

"We need fresh leadership for the force in Cleveland, not in terms of the Chief Constable but in terms of the and Crime Commissioner who can provide a direction in overall terms for the force.