Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

PSNI officer blasted for holiday request

A senior police officer requested a day’s holiday because he took a 15 minute phone call from a PSNI personnel officer while he was on leave, a tribunal has heard.

The tribunal chairman blasted the cop’s “preposterous request” and also the PSNI’s “craven” response that he said would shock law-abiding tax-payers.

Evidence of the “astonishing” phone call episode emerged at the Fair Employment Tribunal in Belfast involving police inspector Kevin Curley who made a number of allegations against the PSNI and named senior officers alleging he suffered religious discrimination and was victimised. The claims dated back to 2004 when Inspector Curley, a Catholic, was a sergeant stationed in Ballymena.

The officer had alleged there had been a concerted effort to get him to leave Ballymena.

During the case it was revealed that Curley had complained about receiving a telephone call from a police personnel officer in Ballymena on September 17, 2004 when he was on leave.

He had put in a transfer request and a personnel employee had contacted him and asked if there was anything she could do to persuade him to stay in Ballymena.

Tribunal chairman Duncan Buchanan slammed Curley’s response to the call.

In his recent written decision Mr Buchanan said: “In the course of her duties Ms [Geraldine] Corry rang the claimant at home on September 17 2004 when he was on leave. She was fairly new to her post and in the course of the conversation mistakenly called him ‘David’ on two occasions.

“The claimant [Inspector Curley] made a complaint about Ms Corry because of this and because she had called him at home and asked that a copy of it be placed on Ms Corry’s file.

“He also requested that because he had been disturbed on his day off [by a telephone call lasting about 15 minutes which was meant to help him] that he should be reimbursed with one day’s annual leave.”

Mr Buchanan added: “This was a preposterous and impertinent request.

“What will astonish law-abiding taxpayers who fund the police force is that he was in fact given a half day’s duty credit as a result of it.”

He described the police service’s response as “craven” but added “it was hardly consistent with discrimination or victimisation on their part.”

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