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Why a bald man couldn’t get ahead in bid to join PSNI

The PSNI has been criticised for lacking “common sense” in its recruitment policies after it emerged that a police trainee was rejected from the force because he is bald.

The man, who cannot be named for security reasons, won his appeal in the High Court yesterday.

The would-be police trainee launched legal proceedings against the PSNI following his unsuccessful bid to join.

It was understood he was at an advanced stage of the recruitment procedure when difficulties arose over a required drugs test.

Because of his baldness, it was not possible to get hairs of up to 3cm in length for the examination.

He was also unable toprovide quantities of around 200 body hairs as an alternative method of completing the tests.

The man challenged the outcome of his application, claiming it was irrational and discriminatory. Police chiefs have now agreed to reinstate him back into the process. They are also to amend their policies to include other sources of DNA analysis.

As the case opened at the High Court yesterday, lawyers for the PSNI accepted he would have to be offered an alternative way of being tested.

A judge was told that he will now be reinstated, with practices checked to ensure the same situation does not occur again.

Last night Policing Board member Basil McCrea said the case should never have come to court and criticised the PSNI for not having alternative methods.

“Common sense should have prevailed,” he said. “It’s not that you should be doing a test, it’s the fact that you should be able to prove that you are not involved in any misuse of illegal substances.

“If you can do that, then that should be the end of it. The PSNI should have made appropriate allowances.

“If he was an excellent candidate then he should have been allowed in. It shouldn’t have been a problem.”

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