Bristol

Bristol woman wins race discrimination case against police

Bianca Durrant Image copyright SWNS
Image caption Bianca Durrant was arrested after a night out in Bristol in 2009

A woman who was forced to urinate in front of male police officers has won a racial discrimination case against Avon and Somerset Police.

Bianca Durrant sued the force after she was arrested after a night out in Bristol in June 2009.

A judge said there had been bias on the part of an officer who stopped her going to the toilet while in custody.

Ms Durrant was awarded £14,000 for her "upset and humiliation" and "unconscious racial stereotyping".

Ms Durrant had been with friends when an argument with a taxi driver escalated.

'Loss of dignity'

Judge Seys Llewellyn said police targeted Ms Durrant for arrest before they eventually arrested the other two people involved - who were both white.

He added that there had been "unconscious bias" on the part of two police officers involved in her arrest and subsequent treatment.

In the custody cell Ms Durrant was stopped from using the toilet and she had to urinate on the floor in front of officers.

The judge said this was particularly significant and Ms Durrant had to follow a long and hard road of complaints and litigation to gain vindication.

Deputy Chief Constable Sarah Crew said the force "apologised to Ms Durrant in 2009 for the loss of dignity that she suffered in being unable to access a toilet while she was held in custody".

She added that police officers were now being trained on the "impact unconscious bias can have on the fair treatment of individuals and communities".

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