Monday, February 17, 2014

Female firearms officer wins her sex discrimination case

No Fear No Favour No sex I am British.........

By CHRIS PLEASANCE  Mail Online  Monday, Feb 17 2014 9PM 

Ms Wheatley complained that the handle of her Glock 17 pistol (pictured) was too big for her hands

Female firearms officer wins sex discrimination case against police chiefs - because gun was too big for her small hands

  • Victoria Wheatley is part of armed unit protecting Sellafield nuclear site
  • As part of her job, she is required to take test shoots, which she must pass
  • But she complained that her performance was hampered by equipment
  • She said the handle of her gun was too big, and her body armour didn't fit
  • Officer says she complained to senior staff but was ignored
  • Ms Wheatley and another officer have won a sex discrimination case

A firearms officer has won a sex discrimination case against police chiefs - because her gun was too big.
Victoria Wheatley, part of the armed unit which protects the Sellafield atomic complex, said she could not reach her weapon’s trigger because of her small hands.
She argued that she struggled with the grip of her Glock 17 pistol, and that her trainers failed to adjust it while carrying out a test shoot.
If Ms Wheatley had failed the test shoot, then she could have lost her job.
A tribunal found the Civil Nuclear Constabulary (CNC) guilty of discrimination against Ms Wheatley - and another officer Racheal Giles, who is based at Chapelcross, near Annan, Dumfrieshshire - for failing to provide suitable firearms and safety equipment.
Both officers, who are described as being 'petite in stature', asked on several occasions for a smaller, more suitable grip on the weapon when they could not reach the trigger, but this wasn't provided.
Their solicitor, Binder Bansel, of Pattinson & Brewer, said that every officer joining at the rank of constable or sergeant is required to take part in training shoots to make sure they are up to standard.
Ms Wheatley and Ms Giles said there were other problems during the tests, including helmets and kneepads which were too large and hampered their performance.
The women raised their concerns on 'a regular basis' but were often dismissed, with no 'adequate consideration', the tribunal heard.
CNC chiefs, however, plan to appeal the tribunal decision.
A spokesman said: 'The judgement has been passed and the CNC has lost on the grounds of indirect sex discrimination, however any claims of victimisation were unanimously dismissed.
Ms Wheatley is part of the armed unit which protects the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria
Ms Wheatley is part of the armed unit which protects the Sellafield nuclear site in Cumbria
'The CNC are licensed by the College of Policing for firearms training and we have shared this judgement with them in the context of the national firearms picture.
'As a result of what was discussed in this case, the CNC can also state it will be conducting an equality impact assessment.
'This is to ensure that the CNC remains committed to providing the right training and equipment, together with a commitment to equal opportunities.'
Nigel Dennis, chief executive of the Civil Nuclear Police Federation, which supported the claim, said he was pleased with the outcome, adding he hoped the constabulary would remove the 'disadvantage' to ensure all officers had a fair opportunity.





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