The opening of Pandora’s box

“They gave Pandora a box. Prometheus begged her not to open it. She opened it. Every evil to which human flesh is heir came out of it.
The last thing to come out of the box was hope. It flew away.”
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake

Its been previously mentioned on these pages that a injured officer is rarely injured out on good terms with their former force.  Quite often management are uncaring and HR professionals become  zealous and officious during the administration of the retirement process.  Then the former officer has to adjust to the outside world without any assistance.  The silence from the force is then deafening – exiled and forgotten. Life moves on, years pass and some resemblance of normality mists over.  Grievances are shelved but not forgotten.  Any thoughts on the major maladministration of the medical retirement  is suspended, if the decision was unlawful, a pragmatic view of letting sleeping dogs lie is the default option for the former officer.

Decades pass.  The force has no intention to invoke any review.  It doesn’t care.  Until it sees a way to save money.

Then the gloves are off.

  • Was the original decision lawful?
  • Did the force summarily dismiss the injured officer on a injury process without following due process?
  • Has any previous review been unlawful?
  • Did the force collude to put the officer on an artificially low banding?
  • Is there a potential of a civil claim – something lurking in the former officer’s personal file that shows the force has acted dishonestly?
  • Will a review re-ignite the mental illness of the former officer?
  • Does Estoppel apply?  Was the former officer promised he/she would never be reviewed?
  • Is the former officer entitled to a gratuity that the force deliberately never told him about when originally retired?

It’s not a simple as ‘there is a duty to review’.  There should be other factors considered and not just ‘We need to cut costs.  The database says the ex officer is a band x.  Lets get the occupational health and personnel files out of storage and call him/her in’.  No matter the former officer has a mental illness aggravated by stress; that there is a PTSD driven phobia about attending police premises; that the former officer is currently on the inpatient waiting list; that the former officer is undergoing a high-stress personal life event.   All these examples are true of Avon & Somerset’s current review process.  And also of untold other forces nationally

The opening of Pandora’s box
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