Avon and Somerset Police pays undisclosed sum to rejected white applicant

A man rejected by Avon and Somerset Police because he was white has won an undisclosed sum in compensation in an out-of-court settlement.

Last week, Avon and Somerset’s chief constable, Colin Port, admitted that a recruitment drive that turned down applicants solely due to their race was “not appropriate”.

The force rejected 186 white applicants because its workforce was “over-represented by white men”. Only 51 officers out of the 3,314 working at the force are from ethnic minority backgrounds.

The force confirmed yesterday that the settlement had been made after the applicant, Ralph Welsman from Bristol, took the police to employment tribunal. It could mean a massive payout if the other 185 applicants decide to follow suit.

Welsman’s solicitor, Jennifer Andrews, said: “We are pleased that Avon and Somerset Police has admitted that it discriminated against Mr Welsman. The law is there to protect everyone from being subjected to discrimination.

“There are instances where organisations want to ensure that their workforce is representative of the local community to meet the needs of the public,” she said. “If this need is justified there are ways of doing this within the law. Avon and Somerset Police acted outside these legal boundaries.”

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