Ethiopian-born Tegegn Bayissa had claimed his career was wrecked by ‘deep-seated and cunning’ racism.

The police community support officer blamed colleagues’ prejudice for their refusal to let him patrol unattended.

He insisted it was the only possible explanation, given that his role was ‘not rocket science’ and one that even a teenager could perform.

But when he brought a race discrimination claim, the true reason emerged – for the PCSO had made a catalogue of basic errors, one of which could have seen him arrested.

After hearing how senior officers had given Mr Bayissa every chance to learn the ropes, an employment tribunal rejected his claim on every one of 47 points. 

However, Greater Manchester Police has now been left with a reported £20,000 legal bill after he said he was unable to cover its costs.

University-educated Mr Bayissa joined the force as a £25,000-a-year PCSO in 2014 as part of a drive to attract more ethnic minority officers.

Humiliatingly, he managed to mess up a routine exercise security-marking bicycles at a family fun day, failing to apply lacquer on top of the ink which meant the details could be wiped off easily by a thief.

He was given a warning after failing to report an assault following a road crash, admitting he did not know what officers were meant to do after a traffic accident.

On one occasion he found a mobile phone, but instead of handing it in to lost property he put it in his drawer – which could have led to his arrest.

One shopkeeper on his beat refused to believe he was a genuine PCSO because he did not appear to know what he was doing.

Mr Bayissa claimed that ‘officers had been desperate to find fault in his actions’. In 2016 he quit, launching a race claim.

Mr Bayissa argued that he was a victim of ‘deep-seated and cunning police racism’, asking: ‘What part of PCSO’s role is so difficult for a man who has a university level education? 

‘A teenager with not much life experience can work as a PCSO. The role … was not rocket science.’

However, the tribunal panel disagreed, saying that senior officers had displayed huge patience as he struggled. 

Mr Bayissa had been ‘resistant to the suggestion that there was anything he could learn arising from incidents he had encountered’, they said, adding: ‘It appears to us that [he] underestimated the difficulty of the role.’

Yesterday at his Manchester home Mr Bayissa, who is now unemployed, said he did not accept the tribunal’s conclusions but had run out of money to appeal – or pay the police’s legal costs.

Greater Manchester Police said it was ‘committed to ensuring’ it was ‘representative of the communities it serves’.

It said under Operation Peel – the scheme under which Mr Bayissa was taken on – it had recruited 235 officers from ethnic minorities.

A spokesman added: ‘We note the decision of the employment tribunal.’

The force declined to comment on the legal fees it had incurred.


Sharing is caring!