A former Surrey police officer who claimed unfair dismissal and said fellow constables bullied her because of her “posh” background has had her case thrown out by an employment tribunal in south London.
Alison Wheeler, 39, of East Molesey in Surrey, was educated at a public school, gained a diploma from Trinity College of Music, and worked as a mezzo-soprano opera singer for ten years before joining Surrey Police force in January 2006.
Ms. Wheeler was sacked for cowardice, dishonesty and incompetence, however, one month before the end of her two-year probationary period, for not intervening as a colleague was punched and kicked to the ground as he tried to make an arrest.
Surrey Police said that by failing to use her CS spray during the incident she exposed herself and members of the public to danger. They also claimed she was frequently late for duty, failed to take responsibility for some of her assignments, and “regular underperformed.”
Ms. Wheeler now works as a singing teacher. She said colleagues bullied her for being “too posh” for the police because she owned a grand piano and claimed £350,000 compensation for “sexist and ageist” unfair dismissal.
Assistant Chief Constable Ian Dyson dismissed the claims as “scurrilous” and said the case had “cost the force considerably”.
“Far from discriminating against Ms Wheeler or writing off her potential at the first sign of weakness, we supported her – as we do with all new officers – and created an action plan to help her achieve her goal of becoming a police officer,” he said.
“Despite this, her poor performance continued during her probationary period and she failed to help a colleague who was being attacked and to uphold her duty to the public.”
** Additional Information & Advice **
You can obtain further information about unfair dismissal on FindLaw.
Depending on the circumstances of your case, however, it may be better to speak with a solicitor who specialises in employment law. You can be matched with a solicitor in your area for free via solicitor matching services, which can also help you to understand the best course of action for your situation and whether you are ready to hire a solicitor.
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