A RETIRED police officer missed out on promotions because of discrimination within North Yorkshire Police, an employment tribunal has heard.

Zaheer Ahmed, who spent 23 years working for the force, claimed that "incompetent white officers" were promoted to some more senior positions and the only explanation for him to miss out on certain roles was his race.

The tribunal, which began at Teesside Magistrates' Court yesterday, heard that Mr Ahmed, who is of Pakistani origin, had missed out on promotions to "white" officers and obstacles had been "put in the way" of his career progression.

In January 2014, Mr Ahmed applied for a custody sergeant role, but was told he was not suitable as he did not have enough experience.

He then claims other "less experienced, less qualified, white" colleagues were assisted in applying for the role.

In his witness statement, Mr Ahmed said: "North Yorkshire Police are concerned with appearing as if they care about tackling the issue of lack of diversity, but their actions do not support this.

"As of March 31, North Yorkshire Police did not have a single black officer on its force.”

Mr Ahmed said a further application for a promotion was rejected in 2016, due to concerns with his performance, which he said was a "shock and a blow".

"I was receiving good feedback from my superiors, was achieving competent and even exceeding expectations in some areas - I could not understand why only during the promotion process was I being flagged as having development needs.

"I did not receive a full explanation for the reason I was the only officer in North Yorkshire to be blocked."

Mr Ahmed said this was the final straw for him and he realised he could no longer work for the force.

"I was hurt by the discriminatory treatment that I had received over the years, the extra restrictions. the lack of opportunity and support - I would be obstructed from progressing any further."

"I served as a police officer for 23 years, I gave my life to the job and was eager to succeed in my career.

"I did a great deal of overtime, worked on my rest days and routinely requested to be kept in mind for any experience.

"My loyalty and dedication has been rewarded with resistance and humiliation.”

Mr Ahmed also claims that racist comments from prisoners were not pursued thoroughly.

"I had an immense sense of pride of being a police officer and that I was part of this organisation.

"To have experienced and witnessed the discrimination within the organisation, I can no longer be proud. I am disappointed and I am hurt.”

The hearing continues.