Tees

Former Cleveland Police officer to sue force over bullying claims

Mark Dias
Image caption Mr Dias worked for Cleveland Police for seven years

A former police officer is suing Cleveland Police, claiming he was bullied, discriminated against and put under surveillance.

Mark Dias, who worked at the force for seven years from 2006, said he was targeted after challenging alleged misconduct by fellow officers.

He said Asian officers within the force were "seen to be corrupt" and those who complained branded "trouble-makers".

Cleveland Police said it could not comment on any civil proceedings.

In 2014 the force was at the centre of claims of institutional racism.

Mr Dias, who was selected for a fast-track development scheme, said he was forced out of his job as an acting inspector after he challenged alleged misconduct.

Image caption Cleveland Police has been criticised of alleged racism in the past

He said: "Asian officers were seen to be corrupt and for those who complained about racial discrimination, they were seen as being liars, trouble-makers and money-grabbers.

"You essentially became somebody the organisation wanted to get rid of.

"If you whistle blew, it was about 'let's discredit the whistleblower' not looking at what the whistleblower was talking about.

"To be castigated and demonised to an extent because you did that - that's not what the police service is about."

In April, the president of the National Black Police Association, Janet Hills, claimed the Cleveland force's professional standards department effectively spied on all its Asian officers.

Cleveland Police said it had received concerns about operations "alleged to have focussed disproportionately on black and minority officers".

But a statement added there were "no ongoing operations of this kind" and was checking whether operation fitting the description had ever taken place in the past.

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