Second policewoman wins case against force

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The Independent Online
Dee Mazurkiewicz yesterday became the second policewoman in two months to win a sexual harassment case against Thames Valley Police.

The 41-year-old detective constable (above) had claimed that sexual innuendo and crass jokes wrecked her career with the force and that she was victimised when she tried to complain.

She also said that male officers, who gave her the nickname "Massive Cleavage", had accused her of offering sexual favours and "getting her boobs out" to make suspects confess.

Her complaints were unanimously upheld by a tribunal in Reading yesterday which ruled that she had been the subject of both harassment and victimisation.

Her victory comes just weeks after a colleague, Kay Kellaway, won her case of sexual discrimination against the force after being told by a senior officer that women did not belong in the police and she was "taking jobs from his boys".

Miss Mazurkiewicz joined Thames Valley Police in 1984 and became a detective at Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, nine years later. But, in March 1995, she took sick leave "because of the stress of sexual harassment."

Speaking after the hearing, she said: "I am very pleased with the outcome. It has taken three years of my life to get this opportunity for the truth to come out. I am grateful to the tribunal and all those who have supported me in bringing my case. I am very sad I had to bring this case at all."

Ian Blair, Assistant Chief Constable of Thames Valley Police, was present at the hearing. He said the force would look closely at the judgement and may take further action against the officers criticised in the decision.

"We feel sorry that Miss Mazurkiewicz has felt distress at this case," he said. "We will learn from it. She is welcome back and the decision as to whether she would like this is up to her."

The tribunal will meet again in February to decide whether Miss Mazurkiewicz is fit to go back to work and to decide any compensation.