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Allegations and counter allegations in the police


Bernard talks about what subsequently happened to him after he came out on television. “I used to have a group of Asian kids, in their teens, twenties, chatting to me, etc. After a while the young lads saw through me being gay and saw me for who I was, thought I was OK, a nice sense of humour. But I was moved about six times in two years and eventually moved away from the area, a Muslim area, by my seniors for all sorts of specious reasons. There was always a belief on my part that the parents might be saying negative things about gays, and the kids were saying, ‘he’s OK, got a good sense of humour’ and maybe some of the elders didn’t like the fact that their kids were getting a positive idea of a gay person. I can’t prove it, but there were always these irrational things happening, being moved, why are you taking me away from this area when I’m generating lots of intelligence, the kids give you lots of information that was leading to drugs operations, yet I was moved and lost all the contacts. I was questioning my chief superintendent why I was moved again, and he said ‘As far as I’m concerned your role as a sergeant is to supervise your officers, it isn’t to be on the streets’, which I thought was a load of cobblers because you’ve got to lead by example. It’s like a coded language that they didn’t like this openly gay officer on the streets of Sparkhill, who the kids actually liked and didn’t see as a gay officer any more.”

Bernard thinks there has been against him by the force because he was gay. “When I came out I was based in the , , area, which has a number of stations. You commit yourself to working an area for two or three years to build up contacts and get a return on your investments. But I was moved six times despite making representations on the impact of this, and all the good work I was doing was never being acknowledged, and eventually I was removed from the area because I was being approached by people in the drugs trade. I put in a report about this guy who in my opinion was trying to generate a situation where he would make a complaint, and I got some of the elders in the area to take him away from the area. Then three allegations of assault were made against me by three suspected drug dealers, which were all specious but ended up in court, in July 2001. I was then removed from the area and sent to the training centre where I was left doing nothing meaningful for six months.” 

“I made an internal grievance against my Chief Superintendent and alleged homophobic discrimination by him.  Then I applied for an , albeit in those days there was no cover for gay people in law, but on a technical point I was arguing this was covered by the . I then thought, maybe the reason I’m being moved isn’t discrimination, maybe it’s corruption; I decided the main beneficiaries of my being moved are the drug dealers. I compiled a report claiming corruption by my superintendent and put it on the desk of the Deputy Chief Constable at 11.00 a.m. on 20 December 2001.  Later that day I was served a suspension order by the Head of Complaints in connection with the allegations against me made six or seven months earlier, however, this suspension order was given hours after making allegation of victimisation against my senior police officers. So to this day I believe that my suspension was because of the allegation against my officer.  So I went to court because of the allegation by the drug dealer. All the versions of his allegations didn’t stand up, after two days it was thrown out. After the court case I was interviewed on the steps of the magistrates court, and I said that had influenced the officers; that encouraged further close scrutiny, this was all happening in 2000/2001.”   


Contributed by: Bernard McEldowney, 49

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