Force Admits Rejecting White Men

A police force has admitted illegally rejecting 108 potential recruits because they were white men. In an attempt to boost its number of ethnic and women recruits, Gloucestershire Police “randomly deselected” the 108 white men, a tribunal heard. But one of the rejected men, Matt Powell, 30, from Gloucester, took action against the force, taking it to the tribunal on the grounds he had been discriminated against, according to newspaper reports.

On Thursday, the force was ordered to pay £2,500 compensation to Mr Powell.

Mr Powell said: “I firmly believe a wrong has been done here. I was, I still am, desperate to be a police officer and they have unfairly discriminated against me.”

The case comes six months after Avon and Somerset Police admitted they had illegally rejected almost 200 applications from white men for the same reason, and the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents police officers, fears more forces could be doing the same.

Gordon Ramsey, head of human resources at Gloucestershire Police, told the hearing: “We were trying to advance diversity in the force and we thought at the time that this was a lawful, positive action.

“When we found out, after an independent investigation, that it wasn’t lawful, we accepted that. We apologise for the distress caused to Mr Powell and the other candidates.”

The tribunal’s chairman, Clive Toomer, said Mr Powell was awarded the compensation for “injury to feelings”.