Posted on April 28, 2011

After Taking 848 DAYS Off Sick in Five Years, WPC Calls It Quits As Bosses Launch Disciplinary Action

Daily Mail (London), April 28, 2011

Hinah Parekh, 43, claimed that racist abuse from fellow police officers was making her unwell and signed off with depression and stress

A woman police officer who took 848 days off sick in five years has resigned.

Hinah Parekh, 43, claimed that racist abuse from fellow police officers was making her unwell and signed off with depression and stress.

She managed an average of only five shifts a month from her job at Belgravia police station in Central London.

However she did not take her case to an employment tribunal and senior officers finally launched disciplinary proceedings.

They found that she had worked 327 days out of a potential 1,175 since 2006.

Ms Parekh then resigned before she could be sacked.

A Metropolitan Police spokesman today confirmed that Ms Parekh left the police after she learned she faced disciplinary proceedings for unsatisfactory attendance.

He said: ‘A police constable from Westminster borough who had been subject to unsatisfactory performance and attendance proceedings, resigned from service during the past 12 months.’

Reports suggest that senior officers did not act sooner because they feared they would become embroiled in a damaging race row.

Peter Smyth, chairman of the Metropolitan Police Federation said Ms Parekh’s case should have gone through a process within the force to establish whether she was suitable for sick pay.

He said: ‘What should have happened after six months is she should have been considered for half pay, then after 12 months go on no pay.

‘Her immediate line manager would be responsible for this, then it goes up a chain.

‘There is an appeals process as well.

‘The sick days are cumulative, so it doesn’t matter that she averaged five days a month.’

He explained how officers injured in the line of duty, for example being stabbed, would not be put on half pay, but those who injured or got sick off duty, would. He added: ‘It’s pretty inconcievable that there weren’t doctors notes.’

Mr Smyth said when she was brought in over her attendance record, the investigation process would have taken ‘a bit of time’, but Parekh quit before it finished.

Two years ago Ms Parekh wept as she supported a tribunal claim of another Asian officer who also claimed he was subjected to racism at Belgravia police station.

She told Central London Employment tribunal: ‘I had experienced bullying from colleagues involving calling me names, ignoring me, pushing me to go drinking, publicly humiliating me and being completely insensitive to my religious and cultural beliefs and my obligation as a single parent.’

The former officer claimed the abuse continued when she was moved to a new job.

She said her supervisor ‘explained she had been bullied in the past and said people from my culture do get bullied and this was not the kind of role they would stay in’.

‘During the whole of the period that I worked with her at least once during each shift pattern I would be called to her office and she would say “I’m here to help” but always telling me that ethnic minorities don’t fit in with this role,’ she added.

‘She would always make me feel extremely uncomfortable about sometimes having to take time off to care for my daughter. Her behaviour was undermining and controlling.’

The Met denied allegations of racism and bullying.

It is not the first time the police station has come under fire for alleged internal racism.

Asian support officer, Asad Saeed, claimed an ‘Apartheid culture’ existed at the station and black and Asian colleagues were ordered to travel in a separate ‘black’ van from white officers.

However, the tribunal ruled Mr Saeed lied and was unreliable as a witness.