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Sex change PC loses compensation fight
12:04pm Wednesday 18th December 2013 in Echo News
A TRANSSEXUAL police officer, who sued Essex Police after claiming she was forced to “out”
herself over the police radio, has lost her case.
PC Emma Chapman, 44, based at Southend, said she was forced to repeatedly explain to a control room operator she was a transsexual and claimed police chiefs failed to investigate her case properly or understand the issues she was facing.
But an employment tribunal rejected the allegations, saying PC Chapman was “unreasonably prone to offence” when questioned by operators hearing a male voice over the radio.
On three occasions in October last year and June, the operator questioned her identity, which PC Chapman said forced her to explain she was a transsexual and this was heard by hundreds of officers and staff.
She claimed the incidents created an “intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment’’ for her to work in.
She was seeking up to £3,000 in compensation and a declaration of discrimination by the force.
She was supported in her dispute by the Police Federation, for which she acts as a constables’ representative in Essex.
PC Chapman, who was born male, underwent a sex change operation in 1999.
At the time, she was working as a volunteer officer with the force before becoming a full-time constable in 2003, working with the response team.
She said she had initially told people about her sex change to raise awareness of transgender issues, but became frustrated at the lack of support and understanding transsexuals faced and stopped being open about her sex change in 2009.
She also claimed officers did not understand transgender issues.
However, at the hearing at East London Tribunal Court in October, Essex Police was praised for beginning a transgender awareness training programme six months ago.
A spokesman for the force, which always denied the allegations, said: “We have been informed of the decision of the tribunal that the complaint has been dismissed and the force now considers the matter closed.”