A discrimination lawsuit against Scotland Yard over racism and sexism was filed by Parm Sandhu, an Indian-origin top female officer working in the UK’s largest police force.
The Indian-origin officer, who works as temporary Chief Superintendent with the Metropolitan Police, claims she was denied promotions and opportunities at work due to her race and gender. The officer is supported by the Metropolitan Black Police Association as they are concerned about the lack of senior female ethnic minority officers.
Ms Sandhu, who joined the police service in 1989, rose through the ranks to become Borough Commander in Richmond-upon-Thames. She is one of the most senior ethnic minority female officers in the Met Police and in 2006 received an Asian Women of Achievement Award for her achievements in the police force.
The 54-year-old officer took the legal step at the end of an internal Met Police investigation which exonerated her of gross misconduct last month. The inquiry, launched in June 2018, focussed on whether Ms Sandhu encouraged her colleagues to support her nomination for a Queen’s Police Medal (QPM), which is awarded twice a year by Queen Elizabeth II as part of her honours’ lists. The medals are given to serving police officers in the UK in recognition of distinguished service or outstanding courage in the line of duty.
The UK’s National Police Chief Council guidelines say that “any person can nominate any other person for an honour”.
However, as with other honours, people are not expected to nominate themselves and are not meant to contribute to or know about the process.
The internal Met Police investigation concluded last month that Ms Sandhu had “no case to answer” and would face no further action, with restrictions on her duties at work being lifted.