Transsexual PC's discrimination case against Essex Police rejected

PC Emma Chapman claimed that she had been forced to "out" herself over the police radio system

Kashmira Gander
Tuesday 17 December 2013 02:03
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PC Chapman took her case to a tribunal, claiming she was discriminated against and harassed
PC Chapman took her case to a tribunal, claiming she was discriminated against and harassed

Harassment and discrimination claims lodged by a transsexual police officer have been rejected by an employment tribunal.

PC Emma Chapman complained that she had to “out” herself over a police radio system when working for Essex Police.

The tribunal said her reaction was “extreme” and she had been “unreasonably prone to take offence”.

44-year-old PC Chapman underwent gender reassignment surgery in 1999 when she was serving as a volunteer officer with Essex Police.

10 years ago she became a full-time constable and works on the force’s response team.

Legal documents analysed by the BBC showed her claim was based on three incidents when she had to speak to the police force’s control room using a radio handset.

According to the BBC, PC Chapman’s case against Essex Police was thought to be the first of its kind.

PC Chapman claimed that in the first incident in October 2012 the operator said she had a “male voice” and did not believe who she was. She replied that she was a transsexual.

She said she was “very distressed” by the incident where she said she was forced to “out” herself over a system where hundreds of officers and staff could hear her.

She reported what happened but claimed that Essex Police failed to carry out a full investigation and interview the control room operator.

Constable Chapman was challenged twice in June 2013 by control room staff who questioned her identity, legal papers show.

She said the incidents left her working in a “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment”

She later sought compensation for injury to her feelings and a declaration of discrimination. She also wanted Essex Police to improve its approach to trans issues.

Essex Police was praised by the tribunal for introducing transgender awareness training six months ago.

The judgement was made last month but has only just been made public.

It is understood that PC Chapman will not appeal against the decision.

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