Police to reinstate woman inspector

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The Independent Online
A WOMAN police inspector who was victimised after she lodged a complaint of sex discrimination is to be reinstated.

All outstanding disciplinary charges against Dena Fleming are being dropped and her suspension is being lifted, Lincolnshire Police said yesterday.

A friend of Inspector Fleming, who has two children, said she wanted to return to work. "She intends to be a police officer again," the friend said.

An industrial tribunal in Nottingham last week delivered a 96-page judgment on the affair after a two-year hearing. It rejected Inspector Fleming's allegations of sex discrimination but ruled she had been victimised.

The force's chief constable, Peter Bensley, who was singled out for criticism by the tribunal, is due to retire at the end of May. Last Friday he was questioned by members of Lincolnshire Police Authority.

It is thought the decision to reinstate Inspector Fleming was taken by Deputy Chief Constable Phil Davies, who is in charge of disciplinary matters.

The authority also considered an inquiry into the case by the chief constable of Humberside, Tony Leonard. His report, which is covered by public interest immunity (PII) and has not been made public, is thought also to criticise Mr Bensley.

Gillian Merron, Lincoln's MP, has said she will ask the Home Secretary, Jack Straw, to place the report in the House of Commons library - a way to circumvent the PII. Miss Merron said it was vital that grievance procedures were seen to be fair. She criticised the costs of the case - estimated at between pounds 350,000 and pounds 500,000.

The tribunal was told Inspector Fleming was suspended after planting a tape recorder to record the alleged discrimination at Gainsborough police station. She said the problems began after she was forced to implement changes to the predominantly male shift - who resented her because she was a woman.