Month: June 2016

Repository of Pension Ombudsman decisions

Repository of Pension Ombudsman decisions

Summary of the Ombudsman’s determination and reasons
The complaint should be upheld against the NIPB because they have failed to take steps to establish whether or not Mr X is in receipt of the correct level of benefit.
– Pension Ombudsman determination PO-7548

The Pensions Ombudsman has power to investigate and determine complaints of maladministration in connection with occupational and personal pension schemes. The power can be exercised in relation to complaints against the trustees or managers of a scheme but also in relation to complaints against a person concerned with the administration of the scheme.

When there is a complaint or dispute, the complainant must (in the majority of cases) first try to sort it out with those responsible for the management of the pension scheme.  In the case of injury awards the responsible person is the police pension authority.  Often it is the delegated senior manager, such as the director of human resources, who deals with the internal dispute resolution procedure.

There has been a large amount of decisions made by the Pensions Ombudsman regarding maladministration of police injury awards and we at IODPA have collated the determinations into a single repository.

Pension Ombudsman Decisions

You can find the page on the category section on the right of the each page.

PO decisions

As new decisions are published we will keep the list updated.  We will also keep using the search functionality on the Pension Ombudsman website to discover those decisions that have at first been missed.

The Pension Ombudsman often summarises case-law in an accessible and plain-speaking manner.  It is also revealing to note the same police forces that keep appearing in the determinations.

Soon we hope to add a small description to each decision to identify the matter at the heart of the complaint to make it easier for the reader to determine relevancy.  This will be done  as and when we have available time.






It’s What We Do

It’s What We Do

“Most men would rather deny a hard truth than face it.”
George R.R. Martin, A Game of Thrones

There has been numerous scandals recently of public organisations conspiring to pretend that everything was for the best, in the best of all possible public service systems — and anyone trying to tell the truth was dismissed as loons, threatened with the sack, gagged when they left or otherwise bullied by amoral apparatchiks.

In the UK public services, cover-up is a “win-win” for those in charge: top management continues unaffected while the cover-up is taking place and then retires on full pension, payment of contract and honours if the cover-up is exposed. The longer the cover-up continues, the greater each of those “wins”.

The material posted on this website is a statement of fact, so it would not amount to defamation as you cannot defame if what you disseminate is true.  Notwithstanding it is held in House of Lords’ decision in Derbyshire County Council v Times Newspapers [1993] AC 534 that a local authority had no right at common law to sue for libel to protect its governing or administrative reputation, because allowing it such a right would stifle pubic opinion and be contrary to the public interest.

Merseyside police obviously never got this memo as we at IODPA are hearing from people unconnected to us that their freedom of information requests are being refused by Merseyside because of the posts we have written.  Our researchers trawl for relevant requests so we apologise in advance for those people whose requests have been refused because Merseyside is closing down the topic of injury awards, labelling all and sundry as ‘vexatious’.

Merseyside Police in it’s eagerness to covering-up their wrongdoing hasn’t considered the ‘The Streisand effect’.  This is the phenomenon whereby an attempt to hide, remove, or censor a piece of information has the unintended consequence of publicising the information more widely, usually facilitated by the Internet.


In 2003, Barbara Streisand sued photographer Kenneth Adelman for distributing aerial pictures of her mansion in Malibu. But Adelman was no paparazzo—he operated the California Coastal Records Project, a resource providing more than 12,000 pictures of the California coast for scientists and researchers to use to study coastal erosion. At the time Streisand sued Adelman for $50 million, the picture in question had been accessed ka whopping total of six times—twice by Streisand’s lawyers. Nonetheless, her lawsuit stated that the photos explicitly showed people how to gain access to her private residence.

 Of course, news outlets around the world reported on Streisand’s outrage, and before long, the photo on Adelman’s website (below) had received well over a million views. The photo was also picked up by the Associated Press and was reprinted countless times.


As if single-handedly causing the exact thing she didn’t want to happen wasn’t bad enough, Streisand also lost the lawsuit; the judge ordered her to cover the $155,567.04 Adelman incurred in legal fees.

According to wikipedia there are 49 ways to cover up public service malpractice.

We at IODPA have put a green tick next to the behaviour that we have  already experienced from police forces and this is just the initial reaction – there are 40 other indicators!

Initial response to allegation:

1. Flat denial  tick-1
2. Convince the media to bury the story exclamation
3. Preemptively distribute false information  tick-1
4. Claim that the “problem” is minimal  exclamation
5. Claim faulty memory  exclamation
6. Claim the accusations are half-truths  tick-1
7. Claim the critic has no proof  tick-1
8. Attack the critic’s motive  tick-1
9. Attack the critic’s character  tick-1

The orange exclamation marks are next to points that by their definition relate to acknowledgement, some contrition and acceptance that a problem may perhaps exist – such a seed of honesty is sadly lacking in our experience.  There has been no evidence of contrition or acceptance and Police forces have fully yanked their dial all the way up to DEFCON-1.  The 101 text book of how to deny there’s a problem and withhold incriminatory evidence is seemingly being followed diligently.

The 2015 HM Inspector of Constabulary report into corruption  barely mentions cover-up at all but the closest it comes is interesting:

“When corruption is uncovered there is a tendency within organisations, including the police service, to suggest or imply that the problem is one that is confined to a few rogue members or what are sometimes referred as ‘bad apples’. However, the history of policing has too many examples of institutionalised corruption for this view to carry much credence. Morever [sic], the notion of ‘bad apples’ narrows the scope of attention, often directing concern away from others and implies that, barring the individual ‘bad apples’, everything in the organisation is ethically sound. The literature suggests that this is rarely the case and that maintaining such a view is damaging to the health of the police service.”

This eagerness to be seen as ethically sound, despite evidence to the contrary, is inflated by self-serving bias.  A good weather indicator of corruption is when a public body, instead of facing the truth, goes on the defensive and overtly attempts to perceive itself in an overly favourable manner.

The Police Service Of Northern Ireland realised that they had a broken IOD system on their hands and commissioned David Scoffield QC to conduct a report.  There is little probability of the same happening on the main land as the 43 police services here refuse to admit that anything untoward is happening – even though the Regulations concerning PSNI and the rest of England & Wales are identical.  Even though any given police service denies any wrongdoing there will always be a general public interest in transparency.

If there is a plausible suspicion of wrongdoing on the part of the public authority, this may create a public interest in disclosure. And even where this is not the case, there is a public interest in releasing information to provide a full picture.

Our message is resonating. In just 16 months our pages have been viewed over 60,000 times in 69 countries.

iodpa by country

But trying to get the full picture is only a small amount of what IODPA does.  Behind the scenes we are a support network.

We value the individuals, and care about what has happened to each former police officer that feels the need to get in touch and walk through our door.

We have limited time and resources, but try and help as many IODs as we can.  These are disabled former officers with no one else to turn to.  Those medically retired with an injury award often feel alone and that nobody really understands the challenges they face each day living and can lead to isolation.

When ‘reviewed’, often unlawfully and always callously, this challenge is raised exponentially.

Who else can be people turn to for advice?  Unfortunately,  NARPO (National Association of Retired Police Officers) is ill-equipped to deal with these former officers.  Advice is wrong, damaging and often out-of-date.  With a few notable exceptions the localised NARPO ‘wisdom’ often consists of ‘just accept that the force can do what it wants…’

At the moment policing bodies see IODPA as an agitator.  We are rocking their boat and they don’t like it. Public humiliation, even when it’s justified, is a bitter pill to swallow for them. That is why they put up the wall and become defensive.

Their denial is avoiding responsibility for their harmful actions to others and saying “Nuh-uh. Not me! I didn’t do it.” One department within the force learns to lie even to other departments.   Human Resources tell legal services everything they are doing is legit; legal services tells the freedom of information team not to disclose anything that contradicts the ‘lie’.

They need to keep up the pretence of being a good guy and across time they come to believe their own lie. Denial is being irresponsible at an unconscious level because the person is embarrassed to know the truth about their misbehaviour.

What we are really doing is helping those most in need.  Until they realise that we are a symptom of the problem that they caused then the atmosphere between ‘them and us’ will always be strained.  IODPA hopes one day that policing bodies can put their antagonism behind them and work with us to improve the lives of the officers they medically retire and have up until now abused.

Publicising  wrongdoing is such a small part of what IODPA is about.  It’s an important part as it is a beacon that is utilising the power of the Internet to show those affected that it hasn’t just happened to them – it has happened to hundreds of people like them.  IODPA has saved lives  – prevented suicides that would otherwise be blood stains on the hands of those that unlawfully reviewed the individual.

This is the world we inhabit and those who dismiss us as ‘self-styled’ are ignorant to the reality.

What those in power, those corrupting the administration of injury awards,  don’t see is that we pick up the pieces of the destruction that they cause by their wrongdoing.

If people join together, they are more powerful than if they work by themselves.  We will continue to do this  long after it dawns on the police service that they are implicit in yet another cover-up.






Immeasureable Loss

Immeasureable Loss

“Where it is necessary to determine the degree of a person’s disablement it shall be determined by reference to the degree to which his earning capacity has been affected as a result of an injury received without his own default in the execution of his duty as a police officer” – Regulation 7(5) The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006

We often trust experts blindly, because we’re programmed to do so practically from birth. Call it the “Wizard of Oz” effect: first with our parents, then our teachers, and then on to the authoritative voices in our textbooks and on TV news, we’re brought up to believe there are always people whose knowledge and judgement should be taken over our own.

Even when you are swimming in treacle during the ill-health retirement process and the police service’s inability to  deal with your situation means your view of them has crumbled further into a disillusioned, sometimes lazy, ineffective, unrespected and undisciplined organisation, you still remember when you were at training school and you were taught that with authority came responsibility and accountability.

Doctors have a special power over our brains’ decision-making capabilities.  We get discombobulated and our rationality put on hold when we’re presented with what an expert with a stethoscope thinks they should be doing, regardless of how bad the thing is.

When a Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) demands of a Human Resources minion to supply them with job profiles what is actually happening is a measurable assessment of loss.   The bad news for the occupational health doctor and Human Resources is that measurable future (or potential) earnings has no place in the Regulations.

One of the most complex concepts within the Regulations is the notion of ‘degree of
disablement’.  Earnings do not dictate earning capacity.

The doctors employed as SMPs find this concept exceptionally hard to grasp.

David Scoffield QC succinctly lays down this confusion as the main reason why he was commissioned to perform the PSNI “Review of the present arrangements for the payment of ill health pensions and injury on duty awards to former police officers”

Put shortly, however, the degree of disablement relates to the consequences of the duty
injury for the officer’s capacity to earn money. It is the calculation of this element which has given rise to many of the difficulties which have led to the need for the present review.

The law is quite exact in determining Earning Capacity.   Courts use something called heads of loss or heads of claim to pinpoint how much damage has been done which influences the amount of compensation a claimant will receive.  In civil claims the head of damage of ‘earning capacity’ cannot be awarded if ‘loss of future earnings’ is awarded as, if a claimant is not working by the time of trial or is already in a lower paid employment, he will be compensated under the loss of earnings head of damage.

Where the evidence that the former police officer is not able to earn as much as he or she would have done BUT for the injury then the compensation is loss of earning capacity.  The injury award compensates, in the here and now, for the injury and the affect that this has had on earning capacity.

The test for earning capacity is that there must not be a measurable loss.  If there is a measurable loss then this is loss of future earnings.  Billett v (MOD) [2015] EWCA Civ 773 (23 July 2015) was a case about loss of future earning capacity, not future loss of earnings.

Paragraph 53:

In Fairley v John Thompson (Design and Contracting Division) Ltd [1973] 2 Lloyd’s Rep 40 Lord Denning MR explained the difference between loss of earnings and loss of earning capacity in this way:

“It is important to realize that there is a difference between an award for loss of earnings as distinct from compensation for loss of earning capacity. Compensation for loss of future earnings is awarded for real assessable loss proved by evidence. Compensation for diminution in earning capacity is awarded as part of general damages.

The courts can see the distinction but SMPs and HR directors are blind to it.  The Regulations provide a minimum income guarantee in the form of the award that is in effect ‘damages’ for the injury causing ‘diminution in earning capacity’.

Interestingly the appeal court in Billet v MoD found that when considering what constitutes a substantial adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day to day activities the focus should be on what the person cannot do, as opposed to what he can do.

Paragraph 89 Billet V MoD

Those statements are all true. But, as Mr Poole points out, those submissions fall into the trap which Langstaff J identified in Aderemi. They are directed to what the claimant can do. The focus of the inquiry should be upon what he cannot do as a result of the injury to his feet.

This is the total opposite to the standard approach of a SMP who, more often than not, brazenly proclaims that if you are able to dress yourself and make a cup of tea, in their view, you should be able to work full time as an Intelligence Analyst at Force Headquarters. (One of the mysteries of the universe is why are there so many vacancies of Intelligence Analysts given HR minions always provide them to SMPs as one of the three job profiles that they think a disabled former police officer can do! )

Loss of future earnings is quantifiable.  It is measurable with some precision.  David Scoffield QC clarifies that the earning capacity in relation to the Regulations has no provision for exactness:

there is nothing in the Regulations which specifically requires an SMP to give a percentage figure in any individual case. Their obligation under regulation 29(2) is to give a decision on “the degree of the person’s disablement”, which could just as easily mean a decision as to whether the disablement is slight, minor, major or very severe. Regulation 29 could have been drafted to indicate that the medical authority had to specify a precise percentage disablement; but it is not.

If the Regulations meant for an injury award to be compensation for loss of future earnings then the injury award would be calculated using the Ogden tables, paid at the start and as a one-off lump sum.  It doesn’t and so it isn’t.

The major difference is that earning capacity is not usually affected by voluntary, non-binding, choices made by the worker. The ability remains whether the individual chooses to exercise that ability or not.  In other words, any earning capacity remains whether or not the person chooses to exercise it or not.

So, to consider the earning capacity of an doctor who earned tens of thousands of pounds in a fruitful year being a gun-for-hire SMP for a particular police service with a mass review program and has built up such a massive nest-egg that they’ve now chosen to stay home with pre-school children (or even sail a yacht around the Caribbean given the humongous amounts paid out) rather than enter or remain in the labour market, we need not investigate the process by which such a decision is made, nor attempt to estimate the year-by-year probability  of returning to the labour market. A focus upon future or expected earnings would lead directly to such questions.  It is irrelevant to earning capacity.

Winning the lottery or becoming the beneficiary to the estate of a recently deceased long lost Aunt are both factors that can voluntarily affect the decisions and choices of the worker.  Both are irrelevant to earning capacity.

How can we measure the immeasurable, we hear SMPs ask?

The good news is SMPs don’t have to.

Let David Scoffield have the last words:

Indeed, the fact that the degree of a person’s disablement is a “medical
question” under regulation 29 of the 2006 Regulations may also suggest that (what I have referred to as) the mathematical approach is not the correct way of determining degree of disablement under the Regulations; but that, rather, it is a broad judgment to be made by a clinician about the effect of the injury or condition he has examined in contrast to a much more detailed calculation based on earnings data. This approach seems to me to draw support from the Crocker judgment, particularly at paragraph [56] where Ouseley J noted that the approach he was suggesting (in relation to an issue of apportionment in that case):

“… reflects the statutory question which has to be answered. It is a straightforward
approach which fits with the process for making the assessment, which is comparatively informal, and one in which doctors, and not lawyers or philosophers, make the decisions.”
[underlined emphasis added]



Missing Morality of Merseyside’s “MRO”

Missing Morality of Merseyside’s “MRO”

“If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse, and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality.”
Desmond Tutu

And the elephant will thank you for being on its side.

Justice is rooted in morality. All laws are based on that which decent folk think is right. Injustice raises it ugly head when decent folk are gagged and afraid to speak out, or when people in power act not according to a moral sense, but for other, perverse, reasons.

Morality comes from us – we make it. It starts with a few biological sources, such as the basic survival instinct, and behaviours of social species. After that, human philosophy, theology, and assessment of harm versus benefit, establish the remaining nuances of morality.

The recent RSS newsfeed search of the BAILII database has revealed that Merseyside Police has historically had a disproportionately high number of judicial reviews compared to other forces and evidently has or had a moral compass that is badly out of kilter.

The Metropolitan Police (understandable given its size) and Northumbria Police (not surprising given the ubiquitous and nasty Nicholas Wirz is the force solicitor) are also widely referred to as either defendants or appellants at appeal.

There are apparent institutional deficiencies at the heart of the correlation between Merseyside and the frequency this force appears in England and Wales High Court (Administrative Court) Decisions cases concerning police injury pension decisions.

If you read the Judicial review transcripts it is easy to conclude that Merseyside had a culture where serving officers perceived they were being bullied, victimised or not supported. This led to a spiral down into sporadic and then long-term absence from work, as well as stress, depression, and no doubt the unseen dependence on alcohol or drugs; even manifestations of the physical symptoms that accompany such mental conditions.  Complaints about  management failures must have repeated themselves in occupational health  referral meetings and HR offices but it is apparent that Merseyside forgot the principles of what was right and proper, and the cycle repeated.

Organizational culture, power, hierarchies and poor leadership capacity clearly contribute to a culture of failures.  Quite likely Merseyside has glossy leaflets or fancily worded policies and procedures describing their approach to dealing with bullying, victimisation and other management failures.  Often serving officers in difficulties will rely on the support of the occupational health unit but if the culture of an organisation is corrupt then the morals of the occupational health unit will prevent careers being saved and, as sure as night follows day, peoples’ health will deteriorate.

The courts have declared that the mere provision of an occupational health unit does not excuse a failure of a employer to provide decent working conditions.  Intel Corporation (UK) Limited v Daw (2007) made it clear that there is a duty on employers to be proactive in reducing stress. There is a clear pattern that the occupational health unit at Merseyside seems to have been at best ineffective – at worse deliberately negligent.

It seems that morality within Merseyside’s occupational health unit, in it’s capacity to prevent the situations stated in the Judicial reviews, was found wanting.  Where did the institutional culture to not help those in need come from? From the cold, impersonal commandments of senior managers?

Or from Mr Peter Owens?

Peter Owens is a retired Chief Inspector who served in Merseyside Police as the Head of Merseyside Police’s Occupational Health Unit, and now is employed as the self-styled Medical Retirement Officer (MRO) of the same force.

So, what motivates Mr Owens?

To quote from, Mr Owens used his church connections to create a religious cell  that included at least 4 high ranking officers.

Early in 2006, Peter Owens, Chief Inspector of the Occupational Health Unit at Merseyside police and a leading member of the Merseyside Christian Police Association, planted a church at work, known as Riverforce.

From the initial suggestion made by his vicar, it took a year to set up the first cell, which consists of four high ranking police officers.

It is disconcerting and unfortunate that also quotes Mr Owens stating in the same press release that “Christians were filling key roles in the force”.  According to Merseyside’s 2015 equality publication 98% of serving officers are white and 43% have a religious affiliation, so it is no surprise that active Christians are well represented in senior management – what is of concern is the insinuation that a sect such as Riverforce, as an Evangelical Christian Support Group,  is actively recruiting members within a civil authority.

The phrase “separation of church and state” is generally traced to a January 1, 1802 letter by Thomas Jefferson, addressed to the Danbury Baptist Association in Connecticut, and published in a Massachusetts newspaper. Jefferson wrote,

“ I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should ‘make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof,’ thus building a wall of separation between Church & State.”[1]

Peter Owens has managed to knock the wall down and truly embed the law with his church.

Belonging to a clique can only result in unconscious people preferences (biases) playing a significant part in the way Riverforce ‘cell’ members engage with others and the decisions others make about them. Perhaps it was connections such as this that led to Peter Owens being re-employed as the MRO directly after his retirement.  A shoo-in, so to speak.  The job application of the MRO was written in a way to certainly only be favourable to a preferred candidate given its narrow suitability to a small number of people with a specialised knowledge and interest – such as a former Head of Occupational Health with connections.

Whether nepotism did or did not actually exist, the mere perception of nepotism will poison the newly created MRO post that Mr Owens moulded for himself.  What is corrupted is the ‘special trust’ and neutrality that now can never be invested in the position and makes the exploitation or misuse of authority a natural progression for the compromised post-holder.  Baggage from previous decisions will haunt and prevent the correct administration of the Police Injury Benefit Regulations and the Chief Constable as the true Police Pension Authority, thinking he has a ‘safe pair of hands’ doing all his work for him, will be kept blind to the real travesty happening in his name.

Peter Owens has also been regularly attending NAMF (National Attendance Management Forum) meetings at least as early as 2004 as Merseyside’s ‘attendance coordinator’ – and we all know the thin moral fibre of NAMF is so weak and elastic that it stretches with them to commit whatever outrages they can get away with.

namf 2004 attendance cropped

The tenure of Mr Owens overlapped all the Judicial reviews that Merseyside zealously pursued, and so there is high probability that the God fearing, faith moralistic Mr Owens was acutely aware, possibly even a leading protagonist, of the following legal proceedings:

Williams, R (On the Application Of) v Merseyside Police Authority [2011]

Merseyside Police Authority v Police Medical Appeal Board & Ors [2009]

Merseyside Police Authority, R (on the application of) v Gidlow & Anor [2004]

The 2004 case of Gidlow concerned medically retired Police Sergeant Mr Reilly-Cooper who was given an injury award on appeal after the original SMP rejected the application. Dr Gidlow, the appeal  SMP (this was before the days of PMABs),  decided to uphold the appeal as in his view the Sergeant’s diagnosed adjustment disorder and mixed anxiety/depression being found as “an injury received in the execution of his duty as a police constable”.  Merseyside disagreed and took the decision of the SMP to Judicial review where  the decision of Dr Gidlow was quashed and the judgement made that Mr Reilly-Cooper will have to see another SMP.

The sorry episode chronicled from 1997 to 2001 shows that Mr Reilly-Cooper developed a  psychiatric condition resulting from resentment and poor handling by the force of the grievance procedure over an allegation made against Mr Reilly-Cooper and his perception that he had not been supported by senior officers.

Simply put, Merseyside Police made him ill. Mr Reilly-Cooper’s complaint was that he felt that he was being punished for an allegation against him being upheld suggestively, though not directly expressed, even though he was found not to be guilty.

The occupational health unit, headed by Chief Inspector Owens, seemingly failed in their duty of care. Where is the moral compass here? Who made the moral judgement that it was acceptable to visit mental distress on an already ill individual, presumably to attempt to win a point about how the Regulations applied?

The 2009 case  involved two former police officers who served with Merseyside, a Mr McGinty and Mr Hudson.  PMAB panels found that each were permanently disabled from performing the ordinary duties of a member of the police force.  Merseyside Police Authority disagreed and challenged the Board’s determination that the respective disablement of each was received in the execution of duty.  Merseyside Police seemed eager to go the extra-mile to attempt to stop people getting injury awards.

In this case the Judicial review found in favour of the PMAB and rejected Merseyside’s appeal.  The noteworthy aspect of the transcript is the theme that there were concerns of the fairness or propriety of the procedures that the Merseyside force took against Mr McGinty and Mr Hudson.  Again Merseyside seemingly failed in its duty of care to its serving officers.

The 2011 Judicial review concerned a Mr Williams, whose claim involved the issue as to whether or not the former police officer, compulsorily retired due to permanent disablement as a result of psychiatric illness, could establish an entitlement to a police injury pension on the basis of – yes, you guessed it – that the psychiatric illness was received … in the execution of his duty.  In this instance the appeal was upheld.  Merseyside is nothing but consistent in reasons to force its former officers to the high courts after it neglected the same officer whilst in service.  Not a good advert for the head of the occupational health department.

  1. It is clear that this account includes reference to requests for training which were rejected and to Mr Williams’ perception that his employers were not listening to his concerns. It also refers to Mr Williams “struggling to cope” with his new duties. This is also consistent with a report produced by a Mr Ganley, a clinical psychologist, dated 22 April 2004, who in the course of recounting the history given by Mr Williams at the appointment, wrote:

    Due to imposed changes in 2001 Mr Williams was then transferred to get back to active service. From this period Mr Williams reports increasing stresses due to being overwhelmed with new aspects of the role. Mr Williams reported his concerns but he feels he was not given the extra support and training. Subsequently Mr Williams’ anxiety developed to such an extent that he developed significant symptoms of anxiety and depression and was unable to remain in his post.”

The Judicial review quashed the PMAB decision on points of law and ordered that Mr Williams shall be seen by another PMAB panel.

Who won or lost at the above court actions isn’t the point of this blog post.  It is the fact that the Judicial reviews needlessly happened when it is clear by reading the transcripts in each and every case that if senior officers, personnel department and the occupation health unit had the moral compass to have treated the officers with fairness and compassion from the beginning it is arguable that the court actions would never had materialised in the first place.

The concern is how Merseyside Police mistreated these four former police officers and drove each to an illness so severe that they had to be medically retired.  Once retired the officers came up against the full force of Merseyside who continued the trauma by pursuing them through the courts.

We question the values of an organisation which is apparently content to allow someone in a position of authority when this all happened to continue in a similar role in the present day.

In 2015 history repeated itself.  How many retired Merseyside officers were similarly mistreated when they served and driven to medical retirement by the same senior management team that supposedly were there to lead, manage and support them?

Did Mr Owens ignore that the injury pension of victims such as Mr McGinty and Mr Hudson (Mr Reilly-Cooper and Mr Williams if they were eventually successful) are unique to that person’s individual circumstances of disablement and continued to review them anyway despite such a review only being allowable to occur at a suitable interval relevant to that individual’s circumstances.  Or or did he take the cynical judgement to conveniently forget about a review of those who had the temerity to challenge Merseyside’s failures at the Administrative courts – if challenging them provides protection from future abuses then its a sure sign that it is never advantageous to acquiesce to bullies.

In any case, Regulation 37 does not empower a police force to neglect its duty of care. Where mental health issues are identified in an employee and the occupational health unit blithely ignores or participates in management failures to influence and strengthen the hold of the illness, to the extent that the person becomes so ill that they are medically retired then later, once that person is trying to move on with their lives, blindly reviewing them along with 501 others just reduce the financial burden of the force is inexcusable.

If that person suffers a repeated attack each and every time they are reviewed, just because they are a band three or four it is quite plausible, given Intel v Daw, for retired officers to consider bringing retrospective claims for personal injury.

When Chief Financial Officers foolishly cook up ideas to corrupt and misuse a Regulatory power to exert heavy pressure by mass reviewing everyone in order to extract money they should stop to think whether reopening any individual’s history will start a process that will generate many unpleasant and complicated problems, that they or their predecessors caused, over which they will have very little control.

The Chief Constable of Merseyside can not be neutral over this. He is the boss of both the mouse and the elephant. At present he is giving the nod to the elephant. We say this to the Chief Constable: elephant dung makes a whole lot more mess compared to mouse droppings.