Transsexual wins battle against police force

A
transsexual who wanted to become a police officer has won a six-year court
battle against a chief constable who would not let her join his force because
of her sex change.

The
ruling will make it easier for other transsexuals to enter the force.

It
will also protect the police from potential civil action claims brought by
anyone who objects to searches or other duties by a transsexual officer.

Five
judges rejected the claim that the police might be sued for assault by a woman
if a male-to-female transsexual carried out a body search on her.

Known
as ‘Miss A’, the transsexual was turned down by West Yorkshire Police in 1998
as the police said there was a blanket ban on employing transsexuals. In 1999,
an Employment Tribunal upheld her sexual discrimination case, although the
Employment Appeal Tribunal later overturned that decision.

The
final verdict the judges ruled that ‘Miss A’ had been unlawfully discriminated
against in breach of the Sex Discrimination Act.

European
law protects transsexuals against discrimination, requiring employers to
recognise their acquired gender.

By Roisin Woolnough

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