Stop Police Forces Victimising Those Injured on Duty
We seek to challenge the threatening way certain police forces are treating officers who have been injured on duty.
This campaign seeks to end the intimidation levered onto the vulnerable when police forces demand full medical records from birth from those it has already medically retired, knowing full well they are not entitled to them. Sadly this isn't the only issue of deliberate malpractice that needs resolving - it is just the start..
There have been decades of abuse against those unfortunate to be injured on duty. In 2014 Home Office guidance, to reduce an injury award to 0% at 65 years of age, was declared unlawful by the High Court. This stopped a decade of unlawful reductions but at a horrendous cost to those who fought for justice.
Some Police forces are now trying new ways to reduce injury awards. A lawful review is a good thing; it removes the need to speculate, but the last decision is always final. Reviews should be benign but they are now always commenced with the predetermination to save money and to reduce injury awards. This is a wrong use of a public duty. Often HR police employees want full medical records from birth to revisit historical decisions that are closed to them.
Andrew Colley, a Staffordshire Police Human Resources employee administering their mass review program recently wrote:
"My own view, which our lawyers are aware of, is that in the event of a person refusing to co-operate, the SMP is entitled to conclude that there is insufficient evidence that the person’s current level of injury disablement is the same as originally assessed, and therefore the SMP may decide to reduce the person to a lower band."
This is not only a deliberate misinterpretation of the law, it is unlawful. It will lead to a massive but preventable travesty of injustice. Forces influenced by the self-appointed National Attendance & Wellbeing Forum think that "to cooperate" a person has to give all medical history from birth, in other words that a person retired from the police with a brain injury and severe mental health disablement has to prove that he still disabled.
UK law protects people. A medical retirement and injury award means an officer is permanently disabled from carrying out the full duties of a police officer and the decision is final. The Police Injury Benefit Regulations 2006, Equality Act 2010, Access to Medical Reports Act 1988, Data Protection Act 1998 and the forthcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) all contradict Staffordshire Police and Mr Colley.
We need your help to provide legal assistance to those officers who are having funding refused; to stop this madness and protect not only those who came to harm protecting the public, but to help the future injury award pensioners: those healthy serving officers who risk their lives daily.
- Everyone in the UK has a right to privacy. Even the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) can not have full access to a person's full medical history;
- Staffordshire Police has told Police Oracle (The UK's largest provider of police news and information) that "FORCE WILL NOT WITHHOLD PENSIONS IF EX-OFFICERS DON’T FILL IN MEDICAL FORMS"
- It is unlawful for the Selected Medical Practitioner to require disclosure of anyone’s full medical history for a Regulation 37 review following the decision in Laws –v- MPA
- Five people are currently being reviewed by Staffordshire Police. All have said they will attend a medical examination;
- Staffordshire Police have threatened that not providing full medical records from birth is for them a "non-attendance" and have threatened to use something called Regulation 33 against the pensioner.
- It is clearly the case that a former police officer cannot bring himself within this part of Regulation 33 if he attends an interview
- NWEF influenced forces are trying to use this Regulation to punish pensioners for not doing something they are wrongly demanding them to do. Nothing punitive is allowed in law. An injury award is something you have for life, an injured on duty pensioner does not have to reapply for it as if it's a benefit.
These police forces want to overturn previous final decisions but are forbidden to do so by case law. A patient cannot be required to disclose his own confidential medical records to a state body unless there is a clear statutory requirement to do so.
Sadly, many serving and retired injury on duty officers are being refused legal help from their statutory staff association. We aim to help those that have been abandoned and to challenge unlawful actions by providing the much needed legal assistance - help previously denied to them.
Why should you help?
Threats alone will impact particularly on the vulnerable members of our community. If the threats are allowed to be carried out, the implications against civil justice are immense.
- If serving officers do not have the protection of injury awards as compensation for work related injuries, they will not risk their life and health for the public good. They will fear being injured on duty.
- Vulnerable, elderly and disabled former police officers will find themselves facing years fighting an appeal process. Some will just give up.
- It is a misuse of public funds. The current review programs initiated by Northumbria and Staffordshire police will spend huge amounts of public money to justify their wrongful actions at appeal, which could be spent on other resources such as more police officers on the street.
- Avon & Somerset recently spent £147,000 of public money paying just a single doctor to act as a selected medical practitioner, only to stop the reviews due to the illegality of how they performed them.
- The law is explicit on this matter. Staffordshire and Northumbria are carrying out an unlawful act
- Those with PTSD and mental health difficulties could be driven to final despair by the threats made to them.
Staffordshire Police is not the first force to try such a wholesale abuse of process. Avon & Somerset recently stopped a mass review program. Merseyside Police recently capitulated in a judicial review on exactly the same point. Staffordshire is currently threatening non-attendance despite saying they wouldn't and regardless of the recent Merseyside judicial review consent order won by Haven Solicitors.
If we don’t challenge this now, we risk this horrendous abuse being adopted by other forces.
How much we are raising and what it is for
We need help to pay for solicitors (Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors and Mark Lake of Cartwright King) with great expertise in this field to provide legal representation. We are raising £2500 as a first step to our full £10000 stretch target, so anything you can give will be very gratefully received!
About the claimant
IODPA is a registered charity (charitable incorporated organisation) that has the charitable purpose to relieve the need of retired and serving police officers in hardship or distress who are disabled as a consequence of being injured on duty. Registered Charity Number 1174473.
### Name of our case:Stop the Police Victimising Those Injured on Duty
### What’s at stake: A minority of Police forces continuing an unlawful act
### The next step: To fund legal work and to provide succour and relief to those being threatened and those unlawfully reduced or victim of an illegal suspension of their award
### Our legal team: Mark Lake of Cartwright King and Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors
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