A policeman is accusing his force of sexual discrimination claiming he was banned from wearing an earring because he is gay.
PC Neil Bloomfield, 39, told a Southampton Industrial Tribunal that his gold ear stud was a statement of his sexuality and claimed he was unfairly targeted while other heterosexual officers avoided reprisal.
He told the tribunal, “I have been ‘out’ as a gay in the force for some years.
“I choose to wear a small stud earring in my left ear and this is an indicator of my sexual orientation.
“I believe because I made a complaint about the dress code or because it is known that I wear my earring as an indicator of my sexual orientation I have been singled out by the strict enforcement of the dress code against me.
“It is quite clear that it is not generally well enforced and that a large number of breaches of that policy are allowed to continue without comment.”
The Hampshire Constabulary’s dress code policy only allows women to wear small earrings on duty but not men, but PC Bloomfield, a special branch contracts officer, alleges other men flouted the rules but were not punished.
He accused Detective Sergeant Andy Lupton of singling him out and referring to him as a “crusader” and a “faggot,”
“He said he had never liked me wearing the stud but could not do anything about it until now,” PC Bloomfield said.
Jewellery cannot be worn if it places the wearer or others in danger of harm, according to the force’s rulebook.
The tribunal continues.