PC 'was raped by a colleague'
Police Constable Eileen Waters, 24, is expected to make the allegation at an industrial tribunal today, which is due to begin hearing her claim against the force for compensation for victimisation under the Sex Discrimination Act.
The case raises serious questions about how the force responds to three key issues: allegations by police officers against colleagues, the problems of sexual discrimination in the police, and lack of confidence among policewomen and the public that reports of sexual attacks are investigated thoroughly.
In February 1988, PC Waters, then 19 and in the force less than a year, claimed a male colleague entered her Marylebone Road police residential hostel room on the pretext of being unable to get home that night. The next day she reported the incident to colleagues at Harrow Road, alleging he had raped and buggered her.
The investigation into her allegations was treated as an internal affair by Scotland Yard's complaints investigation bureau. The officer concerned was not suspended and, after the Crown Prosecution Service decided that he should not face charges, was not disciplined. He is still serving.
Contrary to PC Waters's wishes, officers went to Scotland, told her parents of the incident and questioned them as to why she would make the allegations. They also interviewed her alone and adopted an aggressive and unsympathetic manner, she claimed.
In November 1990 she was transferred from normal patrol duties to a search team attached to the anti-terrorist squad but, in July last year, despite receiving favourable appraisal reports, she was returned to backroom administrative tasks.
She was told by senior officers that she was medically unfit for specialist duties but claims she has not been given any proof to support that and has since been told she was unable to cope. More recently she moved back to patrol work, but is now on sick leave.
PC Waters claims that because of her original allegations she was treated unsympathetically several times by senior male colleagues. When she was on patrol duties male officers failed to respond when she summoned them for help.
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