Met Police sued by 'amnesia' officer with criminal past

The Metropolitan Police is being sued for discrimination by a PCSO denied promotion after she failed to notify them of a conviction for theft.

Rachida Sobhi did not reveal her criminal record when applying to the Met owing to reported amnesia.

It is understood she was convicted of an offence of theft from a previous employer in 1991, for which she received a conditional discharge.

The Met vowed to "vigorously defend" its position.

PCSO Sohbi previously worked for a safer neighbourhoods team in Notting Hill before joining the force in Bromley, south London.

The previous conviction emerged when she applied to become a police constable.

On Sunday evening, PCSO Sohbi told BBC London: "I believe that I was wrongly accused of the theft and there was maladministration.

"We are talking about a conviction for stealing £20 all the way back in 1991.

"In 1999 I found a wallet with thousands of pounds in, and I submitted it to the authorities - I have evidence of that."

'Vigorous defence'

She added: "Stealing is not in my character and it is not how I was brought up."

A Met Police spokesman said: "We believe the first hearing outcome was the correct one and we will vigorously defend our position at future hearings."

The issue of police employees claiming compensation was brought to light earlier this year when it emerged that a police constable was suing a petrol station owner after she tripped on a kerb while answering a 999 call.

PC Kelly Jones, of Norfolk Police, claimed the owner failed to ensure she was "reasonably safe" when she attended a suspected break-in last August.

According to figures from the Police Federation of England and Wales, which represents 124,000 rank-and-file officers, more than £67m has been paid out to injured officers from 2009 to 2012.