Some PMAB Statistics

“There are three types of lies — lies, damn lies, and statistics.”
Benjamin Disraeli

A (probably false) attribution to Benjamin Disraeli by Mark Twain.  This comment was never valid. At least not in the direct meaning of the words. It is just a sarcastic statement. It’s true meaning is that it is very dishonourable to present statistical “facts” to convince others that are not aware of the context in what the statistic was derived.

Anyway, always suckers for all things with numbers, we have analysed the data published by the Home Office.  This data is a summary of the number of Police Medical Appeal Boards heard (not cancelled or withdrawn) by forces between November 2008 and October 2014 – so over a 6 year period.

PMABs heard

The above chart shows the number of PMABs by forces over the past 6 years.  In the spirit of Mark Twain it fails to put the count in context though.  You could look at it and pick-out who you think are the nasty Police Pension Authorities, those that are the main offenders of abusing their former officers; but without plotting the number of officers in each force you can’t tell if the PMABs that are heard are ‘as expected’ by a force of that size.

‘Expected’ is a bit of a loaded term – some forces have never had a PMAB so it could be argued that the expected number should be 0.  We live in an imperfect world though, and ‘expected’ in this sense means compared to its peers.

Anyway, moving on: is The Met, with over 70 PMAB hearings, an outlier perhaps due to its size?  Perhaps.

It does give you an idea of some of the possible culprits when you can clearly see…

  • Northumbria (the lair of Solicitor  Nicholas ‘IOD hater General’ Wirz),
  • West and North Yorkshire,
  • West Midlands (home of the National Attendance Management Forum),
  • Nottinghamshire,
  • South Wales

…up in the top tier.  These are the  forces you perhaps don’t want to be medically retired from if you are after a just decision.

Alternatively, Hertfordshire, Cumbria, Northamptonshire and Suffolk seem to do quite well in not forcing their injured former officers to seek appeals.

Now lets look at how everything compares by adding an extra variable – the number of police officers in each force.


The blue line is the number of PMABs expected by a force of any particular size over a 6 year period (remember that ‘expected’ is in relation to a peer group comparison and is not an ideal).

The grey boundary is the margin of error.  The points are the actual PMABs counts plotted by the number of officers.  For simplicity, in the above, the PMAB counts for each of the old Scottish forces have been combined and the relative point relates to the number of current  serving officers in Police Scotland (the exact point is the grey cross slap-bang  in the middle and within the grey boundary).

Any point above the grey boundary is an extremely zealous and nasty Police Pension Authority.  The grey crosses are OK insomuch that their PMAB numbers are roughly what is expected, hence those point markers that are not grey  crosses are not OK!  In other words, here you can see members of the nasty party in glorious techi-colour:

Derbyshire (blue circle),

North Yorkshire (orange cross),

Northumbria (green diamond),

Nottinghamshire (red square),

South Wales (purple inverse triangle),

West Midlands (brown triangle) and

West Yorkshire (pink circle).

These are all the forces who are infamous in their drive to push and bully their IODs into PMAB, the Pension Ombudsman and Judicial Review.

Finally lets see how many cases are being heard by a PMAB panels over time.

PMAB by year

Quite a reduction isn’t it?  In 13/14 there was just a third of PMABs compared to the number heard in 08/09.  This shows quite clearly that Police Pension Authorities have blatantly targeted IODs and it is only the result of Judicial Reviews, Pension Ombudsman decision and the Scoffield report that their ‘wings’ have been clipped. They still try it on but on a lesser scale – eager to bully but not to force another Judicial Review.  The Regulations have not changed so why the variation between forces and the variation over time!  Easily answered:  Police Pension Authorities think they are a law unto themselves.

There is no excuse for this – there should be uniformity and consistency in decisions and no single force (or group of forces) should be allowed to unilaterally undermine statutory legislation that is the Police Injury Benefit Regulations.

Data Analysed in RStudio

Some PMAB Statistics

4 thoughts on “Some PMAB Statistics

  • 2015-12-20 at 6:40 pm

    Good point John. The public interest test is easily passed for such disclosure. Any data scientist at the home office should be performing such analysis regularly. Then they will see on which SMPs public finance is wasted

  • 2015-12-20 at 6:37 pm

    The statistics make interesting reading and certainly a trend is emerging. Consideration should be made of which SMPs are driving the appeals because of their decisions and why. I suggest the there are SMPs that make a decision knowing it will be appealed because they then get paid again to defend their decisions. Without these rogue SMPs being reined in we will continue to see this sort of abuse, they seem to be constrained by no one and suffer no penalty. Until they are robustly controlled and answerable to a professional body we will continue to observe said abuse at the expense of the tax payer and the pensioners health.

    • 2015-12-20 at 6:45 pm

      Good point Joey Y. A decent home office data scientist should be regularly performing such analysis. It would be clear to the home office then that some SMPs are clearly incompetent and a waste of public monies to employ.

  • 2015-12-20 at 1:14 pm

    What an eye-opener! Excellent, informative, factual and a damning indictment of the maladministration which is rife in some forces. What the hell is the matter with these people? Do the likes of Nicholas Wirz have some sort of perverted chip on their shoulders? All any IOD pensioner asks is to be treated with respect and to see their pension administered within the Regulations.

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