Dax | How police management treat women in policing

I left my ex husband in 2007 as he was violent & abusive, I was in the police and he was a retired officer.
As a single parent of a small child I applied for flexible working hours and faced unbearable pressure to constantly change my hours.

In 2015 I made a complaint against a police officer [redaction made for legal reasons] who was bullying me as he didn’t want another part time female officer on his shift. I was told I was lying then the police officer [redaction made] was in my locker carrying out a ‘routine’ locker check. I went off sick with work related stress as I knew this was retaliation for the complaint.

The senior police officer [redaction made for legal reasons] who investigated my grievance told me I’d made it all up and berated me for upsetting the police officer [complained of]. Days after the force discovered I’d raised legal action for discrimination Police Standards Department [redaction made for legal reasons] visited my ex husband asking if he wanted to make a complaint against me, anything at all. He refused and immediately alerted me.

My solicitor got no response when he wrote to the force asking for an explanation so he wrote again, still no response. I was frantic as they knew the history and I felt totally exposed and vulnerable. During this time I told a 10 year old off for calling me names, the latest incident in a long running neighbour dispute. I discovered months later management decided this was a criminal act and launched a huge criminal investigation- making unsolicited visits to many of my neighbours asking if they had any complaints against me. All of this was done in secret and I had no idea until a senior police officer [redaction made for legal reasons] told me I’d been issued with an Improvement Notice for ‘incivility’ to 2 of my neighbours. When I asked what I was accused of, he told me I’d find out after I signed for the notice and I’d also be then given the chance to defend myself. This senior police officer [redaction made for legal reasons] was the same officer who had investigated my grievance and was also my designated welfare officer. He denied any knowledge but documentary evidence clearly shows he coordinated the criminal investigation.

I eventually won part of my employment tribunal however bizarrely the only senior officer to blame was the police officer [redaction made for legal reasons] who initially bullied me, by that point he’d retired. All of this retaliation triggered a massive complaint against the head of PSD and 9 senior officers. None of the oversight bodies would investigate and the only option was to ask the force to investigate themselves. 2 years later they found themselves completely innocent, no surprise as during this ‘investigation’ 2 of those named senior officers were promoted. The police federation refused to provide me with legal assistance or support and actively worked against me.

This is only a small part of my story but proof of the untouchability of police management is clear as day as my solicitor and I wrote to all of these orgs and individuals about misogyny in policing (2014- present day) with no real response or interest:
The FM, 3 Justice Secretaries, HMICS, the PIRC, SPA,SPF,Justice Committee, various MSPs,and the CC.

Women who complain about male officers become instant targets, particularly if that male is a supervisor. I could not in good conscience advise any woman in policing to complain as police management are simply untouchable.

Constabulary: Police Scotland

Timespan: Started 2014

Did you report it to the police?: Yes

Your ethnicity: White British


Illustration by Danny Noble

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