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Gay cop ‘was forced to quit’ after being told bosses monitor Grindr

Former policeman was told by other officers, after he successfully sued the Met for homophobic discrimination, that he should be a 'hairdresser or cabin crew'
A gay former policeman says he was forced to quit after being told his bosses were monitoring Grindr.
Photo by Lee Baxter.

A British gay ex-policeman is suing the Metropolitan Police for race and homophobic discrimination.

Kevin Maxwell, a former Special Branch detective, claims he was driven to resign after officers taunted him by saying he should become a ‘hairdresser or cabin crew’.

The 36-year-old also said he was told by a former member of Scotland Yard’s Vetting Unit that officers’ activity on Grindr would be monitored.

Back in 2009, Maxwell was diagnosed with depression after experiencing racism and homophobia in the force.

A year later, he claims The Sun newspaper paid for his private data and threatened to publish a false story about him as he had raised discrimination within Scotland Yard.

‘The leak to News Corp by the Met tried to discredit me and stop my complaints, the tabloid intending to make public my sexuality, illness and terrorism intelligence role,’ he says.

In January 2012, a Reading Employment Tribunal found he had been subjected to 41 acts of discrimination, harassment and victimization and agreed private information had been leaked, though no story ever appeared in The Sun.

After the tribunal decision, Maxwell said he had found comments made by officers on a police website that said: ‘If I couldn’t hack it in the police, why didn’t I become and hairdresser or cabin crew.’

And then that May, on a training day, an instructor allegedly warned officers Scotland Yard monitored officers’ activity on social networking sites – including Grindr.

His career unravelled as he began to feel even more ostracized from other officers, and says he felt suicidal.

When Maxwell was given another post an hour away by train, which he says he was unable to travel to because of his mental health problems, he refused to take the posting.

After the Met charged him with gross misconduct for not going to work, demanding he attend a formal hearing, Maxwell resigned.

As reported by the Daily Mail, he told the tribunal: ‘The MPS have done one on me and I'm trying to hold them to account. I lost my partner after five years, I lost my job and I lost my home.

‘One officer has been accountable in this and you are looking at him. I was the one that was fired and they promoted a racist. It seemed black and white.

‘They had already planned what they were going to do to me before I returned. Some will say it was helping me, but I had no hope in hell of surviving.

‘They destroyed my career, it doesn't matter what might happen at the end of the tribunal.’

Metropolitan Police denies the allegations. The tribunal continues.

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