Officers 'harassed WPC'

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The Independent Online
A woman police officer broke down yesterday as she told an industrial tribunal how a colleague suggested she should have sex with a glue-sniffer in the back of a police van.

Constable Karen Wade, 26, claimed she was sexually harassed by colleagues in the West Yorkshire Police Force. PC Wade, who is stationed at Holbeck, Leeds, described a string of incidents, including sexual comments, name- calling, and humiliation by colleagues.

The officer, who has been on sick leave suffering from stress since making an allegation of sexual harassment against PC Dean Mountain, 30, and Sergeants Ian Devey, 32, and Paul Fountain, 30, of Leeds police, in July last year, told the hearing how, while on patrol in a police van in July, 1995, she and colleagues, including Sgt Fountain and PC Mountain, picked up a member of the public "high on glue". She said: "PC Mountain started making comments to the civilian, saying 'Have you ever done it with a woman?' Then he said 'What about her?' ... referring to me. He kept on, saying 'Wouldn't you like to give her one?"'

PC Wade, who joined West Yorkshire Police in April 1992, told the Leeds tribunal of occasions when she felt embarrassed and humiliated by the officers. She said comments started soon after she joined Holbeck station in August, 1994, when officers complained she was only selected for a CID placement "because I was a woman".

Matters came to a head at the end of July last year when PC Wade was diagnosed as suffering from hyperventilation and stress-related symptoms, and was signed off sick.

The case continues.