'Poster girl' armed cop forced to strip down to her underwear during police training course awarded huge payout | The Sun
A "POSTER girl" armed cop who was forced to strip down to her underwear during a police training course has won a huge payout.
Detective Inspector Rebecca Kalam was subjected to sex discrimination while working for West Midlands Police's firearms unit.
The officer was told "just because you have t**s does not mean you cannot do a press up" and made to pose for a photoshoot when she was five months pregnant.
She was also left feeling "extremely uncomfortable" by her male colleagues, who drew graphic images on notice boards around the station.
Kalam successfully sued the force for sexual discrimination and harassment at an employment tribunal.
The cop, who has since been medically retired, has now been awarded £30,000.
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She had sought a payout of £1.2million but a panel dismissed her claim for "aggravated" damages.
The tribunal previously heard how DI Kalam was regularly subjected to sexist and derogatory language after joining the firearms unit in 2012.
In March that year, she was forced to act as a "stooge" in a training exercise and was "stripped down to her underwear.
A scenario had been created where she had a bullet hole above her breast which officers would have to "treat" – leaving her feeling "extremely uncomfortable".
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On another occasion, a male trainer made the remark about her "t**s" while pushing her neck down with his foot as she did press ups.
The panel heard DI Kalam was not handed an easy trigger handgun like her male colleagues and was told to wear a compression bra to fit into armour designed for men.
She was also blocked from attending assessment days for aspiring firearm officers.
DI Kalam was eventually transferred to a new role at the Criminal Investigation Department in January 2021.
Employment Judge Christopher Camp ruled West Midlands Police were guilty of sex discrimination by not ordering PPE including body armour specifically for her.
He also said the force had harassed her by making her the "poster girl" and forcing her to act as the "stooge" in the training exercise.
The tribunal found DI Kalam had been victimised by not allowing to attend assessment days and by delaying her transfer to a different unit.
They also ruled DI Kalam would have made the rank of Superintendent if it were not for the mistreatment.
Judge Camp said: "The severity of this case comes mainly from the fact that the admitted wrongs inflicted on DI Kalam by the force have resulted in a relatively young woman, ambitious in her career generally and specifically ambitious in her career in the police, being made so unwell that she has been medically retired and has been rendered unable to work for the police again for the foreseeable future.
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"Looking at everything together, and as the force appears to accept, DI Kalam was an excellent police officer and her abilities, experience and drive were such that had she remained in the police, uninjured by the force's mistreatment of her, she had a very good chance of achieving promotion to the rank of Chief Inspector.
"She also, we think, had a reasonable chance – we would perhaps even say a probability – of getting to the rank of Superintendent."
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