A POLICEWOMAN was “petrified” of bumping into a male colleague who allegedly raped her, an employment tribunal was told yesterday.
The woman, who cannot be identified for legal reasons, is claiming disability discrimination against West Yorkshire Police following her dismissal in May last year for too many absences from work.
The former officer has a recognised history of depression and is claiming the force failed to make reasonable adjustments to cater for her long-term mental health problems which were exacerbated by the alleged rape in late 2010.
West Yorkshire Police denies the claim and says proper levels of support were provided.
In her final submission to the tribunal, the woman said: “Due to the long investigation into my allegation, West Yorkshire Police played a part in my absence because of their failure to consider my numerous requests to move Division.
“Having suffered from depression for a number of years and now being the victim of a rape, I believe my requests to move elsewhere were justified.
“I genuinely feared for my own safety when out on the streets and was petrified at the thought of bumping into the police officer of whom I had made the allegation.
“It is my belief that West Yorkshire Police is a large employer and my request to move could have been accommodated at little or no cost or disruption.
“I firmly believe that had I been given the opportunity of a fresh start at a different Division, my attendance, with continued support from unbiased supervision, would most definitely have improved.
“As a complainant in a rape case, the last thing I ever expected to happen was to lose my career.”
But Oliver Thorne, counsel for the force, said the woman had “become impossible to manage” and the force complied with all medically recommended adjustments to the officer’s schedule.
In his closing submission, Mr Thorne said the issue of whether the officer should have been moved out of her division was central to her case.
He said: “If she had moved, she would have moved to new line management, new human resources teams and out of the environment where people knew her and where considerable allowance had been made for her.”
Mr Thorne added that the police had to be able to effectively manage attendance and absences from work to avoid unreasonable burdens falling on officers who were on duty.
The tribunal reserved judgement which is due in four weeks.