Month: August 2015



“The mastermind is driven by his own boundless conceit and delusional aspirations, which he self-identifies as a noble calling. He alone is uniquely qualified to carry out this mission. He is, in his own mind, a saviour of mankind, if only man will bend to his own will. Such can be the addiction of power. It can be an irrationally egoistic and absurdly frivolous passion that engulfs even sensible people. In this, mastermind suffers from a psychosis of sorts and endeavours to substitute his own ambitions for the individual ambitions of millions of people.”
Mark R. Levin, Ameritopia: The Unmaking of America

Those that have read the posts on this blog know all about the now unlawful Home Office circular 46/2004.  It’s a fact that numerous police pension authorities have not updated their own internal ‘guidance’ concerning the administration of injury awards.  It is absolutely clear that the regulations always take precedence over any form of guidance but why do some police forces think they can interpret the regulations in their own sweet way?

Any freedom of information request asking for local guidance will reveal  that rarely is there a force that uses procedures that  are in-line with the regulations.  As the Home Office has capitulated and realised it can’t tell forces how to subvert the regulations, it is odds-on that the floundering force will have either out-of-date or blatantly wrong internal guidance. Even the College of Policing admits that:

“Many forces are struggling due to the lack of expertise within their organisations.

The only required guidance  is that forces shall abide by the regulations.  To all those concerned – just stop inventing your own made-up connotation of the regulations – abide by the legislation literately and as it is stated.

Let’s look at Northumbria (remember this is where Nicholas Wirz, Principal Solicitor Northumbria Police, thinks up the course material to bamboozle and groom SMPs into thinking they are all-powerful Coroner ‘judicial warranted’ investigating type deities – which they surely aren’t … SMPs are just vanilla Doctors with zero special powers).   This is Wirz’s guidance for his home force.  This same man runs training courses for SMPs nationally.

FOI 804 11 Northumbria

“Northumbria Police is under a positive duty to periodically review Injury Awards at intervals considered appropriate. Once a decision has been taken to review an award the former officer is required to comply with the injury award review process. A former officer may request for their injury award to be reviewed at any point, upon submission of relevant medical evidence”

Fail. The PIBR states that after a suitable interval the police pension authority should consider whether the degree of disablement has altered.  A suitable interval isn’t defined by the PIBR and this is by design. It is unique to the circumstances of the individual and not dependent on banding or age.  It works for both parties and nowhere in the regulations does it state it shall be unilaterally decided by the authority. A suitable interval could be never – it definitely isn’t dictated by a revolving calendar schedule.  How come Northumbria thinks only it can decide, not solely if the interval is appropriate, but also that said  retired officer has to justify his/her own self-referral by submitting evidence just to get a review.  The one-sidedness is sickening; they are basically saying we can review you whenever we feel like it but you have to convince us by proving substantial change before we decide if we think you have a need to be reviewed.  ‘Only once you prove it, will we then decide if your proof is our definition of any change’.

‘Required to comply’ … quite a forceful phrase.There is nothing in the PIBR that supports such acquiescence.  Regulation 33 talks about refusal to be medically examined but there is no  compulsion or penalty for non-compliance.  Only discretion to make a judgement on the available medical evidence.

If this part of Northumbria’s guidance was the aim of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.

The designated Support Services Administrator, Human Resources Department will run a monthly report to identify which former officers are due an injury award review that month

Ahh !  The truth of it.  The suitable interval is actually a spreadsheet run by an administrator.  So no medical justification there then, is there? !

If this part of Northumbria’s guidance was the aim of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.

Human Resources Department will send out the Notification of Injury Award Review Letter (Appendix 15 – Notification of Injury Award Review Letter) to the former officer, along with the Injury Award Questionnaire and medical consent form. This should be completed and returned by the former officer within 28 days

Fail.  No mention of a questionnaire in the regulations.  If they need to fish for information to justify a review then surely the interval is not suitable.  What if a questionnaire has never been filled in when the person was retired?  How can a non-medical HR administrator consider any alteration by a comparator when there is only an ‘after’ and no ‘before’.  At this point Northumbria has made its mind up that a review will happen (because the spreadsheet says so)  but no doctor has looked at this former officer’s occupational health file.  These people have no idea whether a letter from their organisation to a sufferer of mental illness will cause a catastrophic relapse.

If this part of Northumbria’s guidance was the aim of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.

if it is indicated from the injury award questionnaire that the former officer’s current salary will place them within the lowest banding it will not be necessary for the Injury Award Team member to complete an Injury Award Review Summary Report. In these cases the questionnaire should be forwarded to the SMP, indicating that the former officer’s current earnings place them within the lowest banding

Fail. Only after consideration of alteration of the degree of disablement can the question of whether it is substantial  be passed to a selected medical practitioner. This isn’t what Northumbria is doing here. HR have decided on the basis of an answer to a question that the person now has no loss of earning capacity. And they think it’s OK for HR types to then decide and for this to be passed to the the SMP for rubber-stamping? A clear abuse of the PIBR.

If this part of Northumbria’s guidance was the of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.

In line with Police Injury Benefit Regulations 20 2(a), (b), and (c), the SMP will then look to establish: 1. Whether the former officer is disabled; and if the answer is yes;
2. Whether the disablement is permanent; and if yes,

Fail. Did I just read this right? They wish to revisit the question of permanence? They are not allowed to this. Only part (d) of regulation 30 can be regarded upon review.  This is limited to the degree of disablement. Everything else decided previously is a given and can not be redetermined.

If this part of Northumbria’s guidance was the of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.

The letter also contains a recommendation for when the former officer’s injury award should be next reviewed. In some cases it may be recommended that no further reviews are undertaken e.g. when the former officer is already over State Pension Age and is in the 025% banding

Fail. Oh, the hypocrisy ! Northumbria are happy never to review again if they have managed to get the person down to band 1. I think this shows their agenda quite starkly. Is their spreadsheet so magical that once their nefarious objective is achieved, the spreadsheet can overrule Northumbria’s ‘positive duty to review’ and make the regular calendar events disappear when the force are unable to reduce any further.  The formulas in the Excel cell seem unable to cope with the logic that a condition can worsen no matter what band they are. 

If this part of Northumbria’s guidance  was the of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.

Following the decision, the relevant member of the Injury Award Team will notify the former officer of the outcome in writing (Appendix 29 – Standard Notification to Former Officer of Management Decision). In these circumstances the former officer has no right of appeal other than to the High Court

Fail.  Let’s imagine that the force has made a discretional determination based in the available medical evidence using regulation 33 (failure to be medically examined).  Northumbria’s guidance saying the only right of appeal is a judicial review is an outright lie.  Any determination of a police pension authority can be appealed  to a police medical appeals board.  But if the appellant does not submit to medical examination to the PMAB then the appeal is closed.   Why isn’t this made clear I hear you ask?  You can envisage the pensioner saying to Northumbria:

  • IOD: “I don’t agree to that because you want my medical records from birth but the last decision can not be revisited.  You can have partial disclosure from the last decision”
  • Northumbria:  “If you don’t give us full records from birth then that is failure to comply.  You are now a band 1”
  • IOD: “Thats unlawful.  I want to appeal”
  • Northumbria: “You can’t. Tough. Take it to judicial review”

Double Fail. Northumbria doth protest too much.  In the real world the IOD can take it to PMAB.  The appeals board will decide that only part d of regulation 30 can be considered and full medical notes since birth are irrelevant.  The pmab may even query why this person was ever reviewed in the first place. The question is always and only alteration – substantial – since the last decision.  Medical records since birth are silent to this therefore the appeal is upheld.  No need for judicial review.  Northumbria are trying to bully the IOD into compliance.

If an SMP considers the following steps necessary: a former officer does not fully complete and return a review questionnaire; supply consent to access medical records; follow directions of an SMP; give consent for an SMP to provide an advisory letter; attend any appointment or fails to do anything else deemed necessary by the SMP by the date specified within correspondence this may be considered a refusal to be medically examined

Fail. Where does the regulations anoint the SMP with such super powers? “Fails to do anything deemed necessary by the SMP” … the targets of the power-crazed doctor are injured former officers with varying and individual afflictions.

Some are elderly, some have PTSD, all are no longer warranted police officers and are now members of the public with an injury pension; not a benefit or a means-tested allowance – an injury pension with finality. The term ‘pension’ is important, the meaning of which is lost on Northumbria. The PIBR is clear in that only a substantial alteration merits a review and this is not a trivial matter. Tellingly ‘substantial’ is a word not to be found in Northumbria’s guidance.


If this part of Northumbria’s guidance is the aim of the regulations then it would be explicitly defined in the PIBR legislation.  But it isn’t.  Not only that, but the regulations, GMC guidance,  data protection, case-law and civil liberties stop the victimisation of pensioners on the arbitrary whim of a police pension authority.  If only they woke up to this fact.

The Crocodile Court by Andy Gilbert

The Crocodile Court by Andy Gilbert
The Crocodile Court by Andy Gilbert et al. The Crocodile Court

Book Description

21 April 2015
Carl Byron was a highly thought of police sergeant who loved his job, the only job he had ever wanted to do since he was a small boy. Having just passed his inspectors exam, his career looked like it had a bright future. In private, his life-long battle with mental ill health was starting to take over and Carl was starting to struggle to keep his world together. A series of events took Carl on a journey that meant his life would never be the same again. This is a true story about mental health, the police misconduct system and a very special cat called Alfie. (All royalties are being donated to The Samaritans)
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a must read for the legal community 25 May 2015
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase

This book is an excellent demonstration of how an organisation sets out to keep it’s own house in order. However, in doing so totally loses it’s way and believes the people doing the watching can do no wrong. The organisation has a no compassion approach and a belief that their holier than thou attitude brings a sterile and sanitised Police Service fit for purpose. Or do they just want to control each employee in some kind of Orwellian nightmare.

Carl is now in the best place in my opinion and I hope his story being told will give him the strength to go on to greater things. A sad story well told. It should be read by every prospective and serving Police officer. It should also be committed to memory by every officer following promotion through the ranks.

History tells us that when an organisation see themselves as being the only ones who know what’s right we end up with Labour camps and death camps.


“Most misunderstandings in the world could be avoided if people would simply take the time to ask, “What else could this mean?”

This group has asked what this all ‘means‘ continually. Why are we putting so much effort in broadcasting the failings of a police service we served.  The answer: A&S has attempted to shamefullly bully former officers with their unlawful agenda to reduce their duty to pay injury pensions.  What other interpretation can be placed on the events of the past two years?

IODPA is thankful for our source within Avon & Somerset who informs us that the force thinks that we as a group are misinformed.  It transpires that the force thinks we are confused and that all the questions we ask to justify the position of the force are only asked to reaffirm our ‘misconceived’ view that the force is unlawfully seeking to reduce  injury on duty awards. The spin A&S presents is that it is a force for good (excuse the pun), continually acting in the best interests of those that it has medically retired (as if).

So this blog post needs to set the record straight and state that no matter how much spin the force tries to pass the buck, it is in fact it itself that has the misconception, IODPA is not against regulation 37.  Reviews are a necessary mechanism and important as the regulations are forbidden to speculate on the degree of disablement.  The Scoffield report summarises the position of IODPA when it comes to the invocation of regulation 37, so there is no need to repeat this group’s position in this blog post. A&S can not rewrite history.

The letter from Mountstevens;  the minutes from finance meetings; correspondence from the HR managers; the email from the PCC’s finance officer Mark Simmonds; the make believe threat of prosecution under a law that does not exist if a questionnaire is not filled in to their satisfaction; the selection of 16 of the youngest and highest IOD band  – a group that still have not had closure 18 months later; the communication between Johnson and Bulpitt where these 2 doctors discuss revisiting causation and reapplying apportionment. IODPA does not need to alter the facts to fit our narrative.

The force is the organisation that has attempted via subterfuge and duplicity to present their own spin. We just tell it how it is.

The interesting piece of information given to this association through our friendly person on the inside is the time and resources the force has spent monitoring and logging social media in an attempt to infiltrate and undermine IODPA.  In a way this group is flattered that a police service with stretched resources is willing to draft personnel from their usual tasks to take on a group of retired former officers. Who needs to catch criminals when the force can spend it’s time on facebook monitoring the ‘likes’ of those it has retired?

It is not ourselves who have the misconception.  We served with this force.  We know all too well the pits it is willing to drop into to defend its position. Even when it knows it is on the wrong side of the fight it just entrenches itself further.

We can see history repeating in the way things are playing out in the current news stories involving the saga of the chief officers. Yet another brave serving officer speaks out the truth.

Hi Bullshire Polfed, Please will you post the below for me. As a serving female police officer with Avon and Somerset Constabulary, I agree with everything said by PC B Standard in his letter to you on 30th July 2015. I too have so much I could say but have been warned if I do I will be breaching our Codes of Conduct by bringing the force into disrepute. I have personally witnessed the vile attacks on frontline colleagues by senior ranks of A&S. I have also tried to support them after the event.Bullying is rife within A&S and the Grievance Procedure so underhand that no one has any faith in it. My colleagues are too frightened to approach the federation for help, as they fear repercussions from making a formal complainant in confidence.
Officers are suffering high levels of stress and in some cases finding life not worth living when they speak out against bullying and being punished
As a female officer will I report any inappropriate conduct / sexism from male colleagues??? Not if they have any rank I won’t! If our chief constable can get away with it why not anyone else. It appals me to think those poor women that spoke out now have to work alongside Nick Gargan again. It wouldn’t surprise me if they felt the need to leave.
Tow the line or find another job is the message we are receiving. Loud and Clear SMT, loud and clear! Regards,
PC V Concerned


How long is it before the force’s management is put on special measures?

It would not be surprising if the paper shredders at Portishead will be red hot and in overdrive – there is a lot of covering-up that needs covering-up –  just as the trouble shooters from the Home Office are driving along the M4 corridor to take on the huge task to start the reorganisation of a  police service that has lost it’s way.