“I sit on a man’s back choking him and making him carry me, and yet assure myself and others that I am sorry for him and wish to lighten his load by all means possible….except by getting off his back.” ― Leo Tolstoy,
…and how many times must they say they must review
Before there’s no savings to be gained?
The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind
This song speaks about humanity, war and peace and other ambiguous questions which people refuse to answer. Bob Dylan claims that the answers are already there. In his own words:
Too many of these hip people are telling me where the answer is but oh I won’t believe that. I still say it’s in the wind and just like a restless piece of paper it’s got to come down some …But the only trouble is that no one picks up the answer when it comes down so not too many people get to see and know . . . and then it flies away. I still say that some of the biggest criminals are those that turn their heads away when they see wrong and know it’s wrong. I’m only 21 years old and I know that there’s been too many . . . You people over 21, you’re older and smarter.
We at IODPA have been piecing together some of the pieces of the electronic paper trail left blowing in the wind by police forces, and they tell a story of their true agenda concerning reviews of injury pensions.
Some forces are two-faced.
With their public face, HR managers bang on about how they have a duty to hold reviews. They point to the Regulations in support of this claim. With their hidden, private, yet so revealing face they chatter away about the cost of injury pensions and how reviews might save them money. The hidden face reveals attitudes towards disabled people which are close to being hateful.
So many times have disabled former officers been told about the supposed positive, statutory, power to review an injury award, whenever the fancy takes them, and we have seen how certain police pension authorities relish the task. They, just like Tolstoy’s piggy-backer, claim in the same breath that they are a reluctant agent; that their hands are tied and they have no choice in the matter.
Blow the health and sanity of those caught up in the review roller-coaster.
On every opportunity we’ve argued against this hogwash. Repeating our assertion that the Regulations intend that a review should be a blue moon event solely dependent on the circumstances of the individual.
And then yet another piece of paper flutters down in front of us. This time from Cambridgeshire Constabulary.
The latest IOD policy from Cambridgeshire is that as there are no savings to made then the ‘proactive’ review policy of the force will be suspended.
“That in the absence of current national guidance on Injury Award Reviews and the diminishing likelihood of accruing further savings, the current proactive review process be suspended. “
How very interesting.
It seems then, from this that the attitude of those in authority is the review provision within the Regulations is there to allow them to save money. This is about as far away from the true purpose and intent of the Regulations as it is possible to bend one’s thinking. According to Cambs, they review to try to save money, then stop reviewing when it becomes clear that there will be no savings.
Thus the ‘proactive’ review policy was always down to a desire to make financial savings and with the intention to reduce the band of those reviewed.
2.5 The process of carrying out first reviews has generated some savings through the reduction in bandings of allowance for some recipients. However, experience shows that any further reductions in bandings is less likely as a result of second and further reviews.
Their ‘positive power’ to review evaporates as easily as turning off the tap. When there are no savings they think there is no point.
Our message is, and has always been, that the true purpose of the review provision within the Regulations is nothing to do with ‘making savings’. Any attempt to review on this basis is blatantly unlawful.
Cambridgeshire police pension authority has clearly fallen far short of the statutory legal requirements set out in the Regulations.
Cambridgeshire cannot say they inadvertently carried out a lawful duty defectively. Once those defects become apparent or the authority was made aware of the legal issues, if, those defects go uncorrected and the action continues, it is our understanding from that point onwards those people working for the authority, and/or the authority itself, then commit the criminal offence of misconduct in public office.
Read their latest policy and decide for yourself.
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