“I have recently been looking into the area of ‘injured on duty’ (IOD) police officer pension enhancements and found that a significant part of my budget is consumed every year on these payments which generate no benefit to the people of Avon & Somerset. ”
– Sue Mountstevens Avon & Somerset PCC 14th August 2013
Over the past week or so, the two recent blog posts have focused on how badly and vindictively those injured on duty are treated compared to other samples of the populace and similar schemes. This post is the apogee of a trilogy.
Trilogy is such a suitable word as it originates from the Greek word trilogia, meaning a series of three related tragedies performed at Athens at the festival of Dionysus, the god of ritual madness (among other things).
It’s both tragic and madness that police pension authorities administer injury awards with such intermingling of corruption and disdain.
Why do some forces think it acceptable to threaten to remove or suspend awards when such an action is patently unlawful? viz. Merseyside, Avon & Somerset, Northumbria, Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire et al.
Why do police pension authorities deliberately pervert, or fundamentally not understand, the Regulations? In every Judicial Review Mr David Lock, Q.C. destroys the barrister used by police forces (usually Mr Timothy Pitt-Payne, Q.C) and always proves that their assertions are wrong.
Why do police forces still think it is OK to reduce someones banding purely and unlawfully based on earnings and without any decision by a medical authority? viz. Merseyside et al.
Why bully and bluster to unlawfully scare disabled former officers to disclose medical records from birth in order to unlawfully try to apportion a previous and final decision? viz. Merseyside, Avon & Somerset, Northumbria, Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire et al.
Why do they think it permissable for legal services to use their position to dissuade any appeal of an unlawful reduction with the threatened penalty of being liable to pay £6500 costs? viz. Merseyside, Northumbria et al.
Why should a retired former officer have to justify the final last decision of their lifetime injury award every two years AND then be subject to spending the next five years of their lives in a never-ending appeal process trying to correct the wrongs that should've never occurred? viz. All police pension authorities with mass review programs
Why are those with IOD awards so despised to be treated in such a dehumanising way? viz. Most police pension authorities
What drives the perverse jealously, that an injury award is something for nothing, that is directed against IODs? viz. Most police pension authorities
Walk a day in my shoes:
All that is described above can be summed up by a single phrase:
“Institutional Oppression is the systematic mistreatment of people within a social identity group, supported and enforced by the society and its institutions, solely based on the person’s membership in the social identity group … The barriers are only invisible to those “seemingly” unaffected by it.
The practice of institutionalised oppression is based on the belief in inherent superiority or inferiority. Institutionalised oppression is a matter of result regardless of intent”
Any oppressive system has at its core the idea that one group is somehow better than another, and in some measure has the right to control the other group. The dominant group considers itself more resilient, harder working, stronger, more capable, more noble, more deserving, more advanced, superior, and so on.
It starts as soon as someone is on long-term sick leave.
As soon as a high-functioning police officer is injured and unable to perform their full-duties then that person becomes a victim of institutional oppression. The dominant group, the senior management team, sees that the injured officer now has the opposite qualities to them, ones now attributed to the lesser group – vulnerable, lazy, weak, incompetent, worthless, less deserving, abnormal, inferior, and so on.
It needs to be said that the institutional oppression described here is narrower, more esoteric and less obviously damaging to society as a whole to when a woman makes two thirds of what a man makes in the same job, or when black young men are disproportionately stopped and searched – this is institutionalised sexism and racism respectively. But ultimately all are on the same spectrum even with the acknowledgement that receiving an injury award compared to not receiving any compensation for injuries received is firmly “privileged checked”.
Remember though that this is the police. High ethical standards are demanded from the upholders of the law and the Queen’s peace. How evidently easily can the senior members turn on it’s supposed own without such behaviour affecting their conscience. Just in an attempt to improve their financial commitments.
The so-called police “family” is a myth. Once injured a target is painted on your back.
Why else did Mounstevens think it perfectly acceptable to declare that those injured on duty are of no benefit to society? The answer is because of the core of institutional oppression that permeates the police service against those who have gone from being fit and high-achieving to being medically retired.
This view is endemic and is sadly not just the opinion of a rogue PCC.
Merseyside and Northumbria scare off those who want to appeal as they make it clear they will do everything in their power to make sure the appellant will have to pay the PMAB costs. Not only that but some IODs who had been unlawfully reduced have also been threatened with the prospect of being chased to Judicial Review if they have the ‘audacity’ to win the PMAB.
This creates a perverse incentive for those disabled former officers, who having had ill-treatment and injustice foisted upon them, to avoid an appeal and acquiesce rather than run the risk of failing to convince the PMAB.
Or how about the selected medical practitioner that has taken it upon himself to bar any serving officer he sees, or the accompanying federation representative, from taking contemporaneous notes during the ill-health retirement assessment? Failure to comply ends the application.
Let us also mention another SMP who is guilty of malice and malfeasance. When reviewing a retired officer this so-called doctor does not permit the spouse to talk AT ALL during the review and puts it as a prior imperative that she demands that the former officer shall not have an accompanying friend who has any knowledge of the Regulations.
The orthodoxy of some Federation representatives is not helping. There are important exceptions and we are thankful for all those fed reps who still understand the significance of challenging wrong wherever it raises its ugly head. Nevertheless within the past few months an IOD turned to a single fed rep for help and the response was “its people like you who make it impossible to get an injury award nowadays”.
Was this an isolated instance or an example of a global problem? Does this fed rep really think that if people like Mounstevens are allowed to carry out their delinquency then all would be good in the land of injury awards?
Not on his life. This is a battle on two fronts – it is a task of Hercules to prise an injury award from police forces in the current climate and police forces are simultaneously unlawfully trying to reduce their financial burden at the same time by mass review programs. The correlation between the two fronts are that they are wilfully and menacingly ignoring the requirements of the Regulations. But correlation does not equal causation.
Imagine if police pension authorities were not held to account in relation to reviews. In this dystopia only the deluded would think awards would be given out like smarties. But let us give the misguided fed rep that just for a second. In this frightening world the injury award would be taken away six months later as there would be nothing to stop the police pension authority from doing whatever devious and unlawful act it wanted to do to protect it’s financial bottom-line.
All these elements of corruption have been occurring behind closed doors for years.
Enough is enough.
Fighting back will be a long, difficult process, and will take more than isolated individuals in silos questioning whatever injustice is carried out against them. But this is one necessary activity, among many others we all need to try.
This is the start and the strength of voice will build momentum to change the oppressive culture. Let’s not allow realism to turn to despair, meanwhile.
The stakes are too high.