Natural Justice: The Rule Against Bias

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. ~Martin Luther King, Jr.

British justice, the sense of fair play and the British Police Service have been the envy of the world. It is somewhat ironic that injured Police officers who have lost their police careers have to fight to be treated fairly, and be treated in keeping with the scope and intentions of the Regulations, which are there to compensate them for their injury and consequent loss of earning capacity.

The fight over the 15 years has culminated in over 22 High Court Judicial reviews and 43 Pension Ombudsman decisions regarding  maladministration of Police Injury Awards. British Justice still lives within our Courts and arbiters. It is of little surprise that the decisions overwhelmingly remedy the injustices former injured officers have endured.

The rules of natural justice

The rules of Natural Justice require all trials and hearings to be rooted in fairness . Following the case of Re HK (an infant) (1967)  the phrase “act fairly” was established making it incumbent on all  decision makers to act fairly. There are two parts to the rule:

  1. Audi alteram partem – “hear the other side” or “let the other side be heard as well.”
  2. Nemo judex in res sua – “no one  should be a judge in his own cause” – A pecuniary interest in the outcome of the decision gives rise to automatic disqualification. Also known as the rule against bias.

Following on from our blog “The Judicial Fallacy” we need to explain that the term judex (simply translated as judge) within Nemo judex in res sua  extends beyond judges to all statutory decision makers. This, just in case some SMPs and Mr Wirz start to believe their own hype that they are judges.

Notwithstanding copious direction from the Courts, some scheme managers and SMPs have shown themselves unable, or perhaps unwilling, to apply the Regulations. It is because of this entrenched mindset we at IODPA thought it would be of benefit for decision makers to be educated in respect of their responsibilities.

Whilst the Home Office guidance 46/2004 has been deemed unlawful and withdrawn following the High Court decisions in Laws and Simpson it demonstrates   how the Audi alteram parterm rule can apply.

Some Police Pensions Authorities (Chief Constables), HR, and SMPs  fervidly embraced the unlawful aspects of this guidance and some still do. Despite a legion of in-house lawyers and CIPD qualified HR personnel, no one thought that guidance is unnecessary if the Regulations are followed.  Guidance only becomes a thing if the intention is to bend the rules.  Just as Al Qaeda’s Management of Savagery is a manual for how to wage war by creating religious resentment and violence, guidance has historically been used to square a circle, to give excuses to override Holy text and provide bureaucrats a means to blindly follow orders.

The law is the form of the Police Injury Benefit Regulations and case law.  This simplicity had to be spelled out in the Simpson case ruling that PPAs can’t usurp the law through guidance !!! Luckily, it wasn’t all 43 Police Pension authorities that wandered, zombie like, into the trap.

So with the advent of the Home Office guidance and a stroke of a pen many pensioners were dropped to Band 1. The decision makers’ minds were closed, the poor pensioners weren’t allowed to make representation or even have their voices heard… Audi alteram partem. This struck to the heart of fairness, our Courts and Judges world renowned for their sense of justice did not allow this dreadful state of affairs to triumph.

We at IODPA have raised previously concerns about guidance emanating from the National Attendance Management Forum. (Now re-branded as the National Well-Being and Engagement Forum – NWEF). We regard it as yet another crude attempt to usurp the Police Injury Benefit Regulations and case law. We regard the NAMF guidance as a resurrection of the unlawful Home Office guidance. The NAMF guidance does not operate in a vacuum: understanding the context in which it operates is necessary. Re-branded, but with the same people at the helm, NWEF still holds regular meetings, but the fact that not all 43 forces subscribe to this forum or attend its meetings should tell the organisers something.

During NWEF events Nicholas Wirz tells the force Solicitors, FMAs, SMPs and HR minions that a pensioners doctor’s opinion cannot be relied on.

…It is also not uncommon for that specialist to be provided with the incorrect legal test, in which case their conclusions need to be treated with caution.[…] This can often be the case with reports produced by a treating physician in support of their patient…[]

A common occurrence is for the treating physician to “fudge” the issue(SMP) DEVELOPMENT EVENT 31 JANUARY 2014 MR NICHOLAS WIRZ PRESENTATION

This is nothing more than a shameful attempt to uniformly denigrate  good, honest, hardworking GPs who have witnessed the physical and mental health of their patients deteriorate, been involved in treatment plans and best placed to comment on the efficacy of them. These practitioners are always best placed to provide the definitive medical opinion.

However, Mr Wirz believes they are prone to provide false opinion. Really? So honest hard-working practitioners of medicine who are not paid by the PPA or the pensioner and who are bound by professional ethics are not to be relied on? What is it which drives Witz and his followers’ false belief that it is only the opinion of SMP’s which is sacrosanct or unbiased? That Wirz saw fit to make such a telling observation reveals that his mind is crammed full of both conscious and unconscious bias.

The SMPs are being paid for by the PPA and are being trained by Wirz. Anecdotal evidence and feedback we’ve had from members is that SMPs have quoted Home Office guidance as well as NAMF guidance. Well, if they are approaching the assessment with a closed mind then we would say that the pensioner will not be heard as the SMP has closed his/her mind to any other view than that of the NAMF guidance.

 Now turning to the rule against bias  nemo judex in res sua Lord Denning summarised this rule in Metropolitan Properties Ltd Lannon [1969] CA.

“The reason is plain enough. Justice must be rooted in confidence: and confidence is destroyed when right-minded people go away thinking: ‘The judge was biased’.”

The term judge incorporates decision makers such as SMP’s and PMAB members, just in case you missed it earlier decision makers and not Judges in the Judicial sense. So if we surveyed right-minded people, would they think that pensioners were not only treated fairly but seen to have been treated fairly?

We think not for the following reasons :-

NAMF training and guidance – So the delegates consist of FMAs, SMPs, PMAB members,  force Solicitors and HR personnel. We’ve made it plain that the NAMF guidance has no basis in law, yet the principles incorporated within this document are being mis-sold as the lawful regulatory framework to SMPs. We also believe it is inappropriate for  SMPs who are meant to act as independent decision makers  to attend such events and then apply these principles. What if the Police Federation held such events and invited medical experts they instruct, how would you feel about that Mr Wirz?

The fact is not lost on us that HML, the company who manage the PMAB process, no longer attends NAMF meetings, why not? Has the penny dropped that such conduct is not acceptable ?

Some PMAB members far from being fair and open minded are in fact closed-minded acolytes of Mr Wirz and NAMF. Did they think that if HML just slipped out no-one would notice? Especially not the injured pensioners who have been experienced and trained investigators.

SMPs  and the  HR partnership – The late Dr Sampson and Mr Steven Mitchell from Nottinghamshire HR have jointly given presentations. We would invite you to have a look.  Both are eager to  convey how much money can be saved.

No onlooker would conclude that this appropriate. What if Dr Sampson hadn’t saved Nottinghamshire Police money, would he have lost his lucrative contract? Well we need to go to Avon and Somerset to show what happens when SMPs can’t be tamed.

The Avon and Somerset PCC’s Agenda – Mountstevens thinks those that have lost their Police careers and their health by putting themselves in harms way are a financial burden. She does not care about the moral or legal obligations enshrined in the Police Injury Benefit Regulations.

Don’t take our word for it,  she has been caught out writing to the Policing minister,  take a peek. The then Policing Minister (Damian Green) has pointed out the obligations of police pension scheme managers are enshrined in law, and gives his direct opinion that it is right there should be provision for police officers injured in the line of duty. His letter can easily be read as a coded message to scheme managers: don’t approach the administration of injury awards from the viewpoint of looking to save money.

Selection and Deselection –We at IODPA do not believe it coincidental that honest SMPs, such as the fair and just Dr Jo Judge (now retired Dyfed Powys FMA used briefly by Avon and Somerset) who have retained officers on Band 4, i.e. the most disabled and thus the most costly, are no longer engaged as SMPs by forces who want to reduce their financial commitments.

Those that can be enticed to adopt the PCC’s mantra are handsomely awarded such as FMA Dr Bullpitt as well as Dr Johnson SMP. Dr Bullpitt has also lobbied the GMC and Home Office to be exempted from GMC guidance. Really??

Dr Bullpitt’s devious wish to remove the protections of GMC guidance for a hand-picked and specially chosen disabled few, just because they are members of the public in receipt of injury awards, is of serious concern.  It goes against equality law, human rights legislation and codes of conduct. All professions are subject to regulation be it Police Officers through the Conduct Regulations, Solicitors via the Solicitors Regulatory authority, even Judges and MP’s are not exempt, that’s what you expect in a fair minded democracy, no one is above oversight. Yet Dr Bullpitt wants this exemption… why ?

So would the right-minded think police pensioners are treated fairly ? We think not.

The rule against bias compels decision makers to  leave aside prejudices and preconceptions In the case of  R v Bingham Justices ex p Jowitt (1974) QBD a  magistrate said

“My principle in such cases has always been to believe the evidence of the police officer.”

We believe this is no difference to SMPs approaching their duties under the influence of NAMF guidance, for example dismissing the pensioner’s specialist’s or GP’s opinion.

The test of apparent bias has  developed through  case law. In R v Barnsley Licensing Justices, Ex p Barnsley and District Licensed Victuallers’ Association [1960], Devlin LJ recognised:

“Bias is or may be an unconscious thing and a man may honestly say that he was not actually biased and did not allow his interest to affect his mind, although, nevertheless, he may have allowed it unconsciously to do so”.

Lord Denning MR, in Metropolitan Properties Co (FGC) Ltd v Lannon [1969] recognised:

“The court looks at the impression which would be given to other people. Even if he was as impartial as could be, nevertheless if right-minded persons would think that, in the circumstances, there was a real likelihood of bias on his part, then he should not sit. And if he does sit, his decision cannot stand . . . “

In R v Sussex Justices Ex parte McCarthy (1924) KBD the Defendant  appeared before the justices on a charge of dangerous driving, the clerk to the court was acting in parallel civil proceedings for  the other party.  This case led to the  celebrated maxim:

 it [… ] is of fundamental importance that justice should not only be done, but should manifestly and undoubtedly be seen to be done.”

During the inquest of “The Marchioness” disaster, the coroner was heard to have  described some of the victims relatives in attendance as “unhinged” and “mentally unwell” indicating  the presence  of unconscious bias. A different  coroner was required to resume the decision making process R v Inner West London Coroner ex parte Dallaglio (1994) “The Marchioness.”

We know through anecdotal evidence and having seen the SMP reports first hand of such bias. Comments such as ill-health retirement being a tactic purely in pursuance of a favourable exit packages, physical injuries being psychosomatic and ignoring specialist medical evidence are not uncommon. Dr Nightingale and Dr Willy Cheng are particularly adept at this malevolent projection. Dr Cheng goes the extra mile and repeats these attacks in PMAB hearings seemingly without challenge.

In R v Gough [1993], Lord Goff  formulated the test for apparent bias in the following terms:

 “the simple fact that bias is such an insidious thing that, even though a person may in good faith believe that he was acting impartially, his mind may unconsciously be affected by bias . . .”.

The accepted test for apparent bias is from Porter v Magill [2001] HL, para 103:

“whether the fair-minded and informed observer, having considered the facts, would conclude that there was a real possibility that the tribunal was biased”.

We at IODPA have been asked to demystify some of the hocus-pocus which some police pension authorities rely on. We hope that by showing how, through the resurrection in the form of NAMF guidance, erroneous Home Office guidance 46/2004 has, brought about a fresh wave of pension maladministration. Lazy, incompetent, HR managers with only scant knowledge of the Regulations, and no familiarity with the basic concepts of justice within the law, as have been briefly set out here, are tempted to turn to the chocolate teapot uselessness of guidance issued by people who seem to be incapable of freeing themselves of the most pernicious forms of bias.

We hope that this whistle-stop tour through the law will help in the demystification. The Chief architect of the NAMF guidance, Mr Wirz, is a lawyer (albeit not a very good one) and he more than most will come to realise that it is through the protections which the law provides to the victims of malpractice, we will continue to forcibly remind him and the NAMF acolytes of their shortcomings.

Mr Wirz we would like to remind you of another  legal maxim:

 “The law is a shield and not a sword”.

Whilst you wrongly quote and twist law to use it as a sword against police pensioners we will use the law as a shield. Natural Justice underpins Judicial Review and at present count it’s the Police Pensioners who are winning countless Judicial Reviews.  Does that not tell you something, Mr Wirz?

We will continue to educate and enlighten police pensioners to their rights and point out your wrongs, in right is might!






Natural Justice: The Rule Against Bias

25 thoughts on “Natural Justice: The Rule Against Bias

  • 2017-03-15 at 2:09 am

    Hi Jonathan S, The names you quoted, Forbes, Wallington and Sampson were all bit players in my PMAB. Add to that the name of my Force Solicitor, who presented for the Force, and the question over whether there had been any bias need not be asked.

    How could Wallington and his side kick Carla Shapland have the nerve to attend these meetings and expect it to be viewed as innocent. They weren’t just there for the free breakfast.

    They are all in it together.

  • 2017-02-21 at 8:07 pm

    I know from long and hard experience that the Met employ criminals with long out dated medical degrees to lie for them and commit fraud. So like any criminal organisation there is a boss who pays for it all and cascades the responsibility down. So ACPOO pay there HR Gimps who pay there corrupt so called medics to lie about cops. FMAs , SMPS and all there chump friends have no qualifications to diagnose any one, yet they purport to be consultants in all areas of medicine. I know that the outside world of real medicine including a number of professors hold them with disregard and disgust. They are merely hired guns of ACPOO .

  • 2017-02-20 at 4:02 pm

    Let’s not forget about cognitive bias. There is a ‘function’ behind all behaviour. I always try and take a step back and understand what drives others to do and say what they do.

    “A cognitive bias refers to the systematic pattern of deviation from norm or rationality in judgment, whereby inferences about other people and situations may be drawn in an illogical fashion. Individuals create their own “subjective social reality” from their perception of the input.

    Numbered amongst cognitive biases are envy and jealousy.

    I am wondering if some of the personalities, so intent on attacking the disabled and disenfranchised, have become self aware that they would never be in our position. They never had the courage to step forward.

    They now lack the courage to respect what has happened to us and show a flicker of humanity.

  • 2017-02-20 at 1:12 pm

    Lord Justice Wrenbury, in Roberts v Hopwood, 1925, had this to say:

    ‘A person in whom is vested a discretion must exercise his discretion upon reasonable grounds. A discretion does not empower a man to do what he likes merely because he is minded to do so – he must generally exercise the discretion to do not what he likes but what he ought. In other words, he must, by use of his reason, ascertain and follow the course which reason directs. He must act reasonably’

    A PPA has a wide power of discretion over whether or when to act under provision of regulation 37 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006, to arrange what is commonly (and perhaps rather mistakenly) referred to as a ‘review’ of an individual’s degree of disablement.

    Regulation 37, however, requires a PPA to use a power of discretion to first consider whether there has been any alteration in degree of disablement. The regulation states that a PPA ‘shall’ do this, but that command, which in legal terms is a duty on the PPA, and is something that it must do, is modified entirely by the concatenated phrase, ‘at such intervals as may be suitable.’

    Hence, a PPA may not conduct a review until it has first, in each individual instance, identified that a suitable interval has passed since the time of the last final decision.

    A power of discretion must be exercised. A decision to consider all who are in receipt of an injury pension is not a proper exercise of the power of discretion. Application of a general policy without provision for individual circumstances places a fetter on the power of discretion.

    Similarly, a policy to review all those on band four, or not to review those on band one, or to review an individual or a group of individuals on a regular basis, or to use a random name selector to determine who will be reviewed, places a fetter on the power of discretion.

    As De Smith, Woolf and Jowell, ‘Principles of Judicial Review’, 1999, p398, put it:

    “A factor that may properly be taken into account in exercising a discretion may become an unlawful fetter upon discretion if it is elevated to the status of a general rule that results in the pursuit of consistency at the expense of the merits of individual cases.”

    In the case of R v Ministry for Agriculture Fisheries and Food ex p Hamble Fisheries (Offshore) Ltd (1995) – in describing the two conflicting imperatives of public law Justice Sedley opined:
    ” . . . the first is that while a policy may be adopted for the exercise of a discretion it must not be applied with rigidity which excludes consideration of possible departure on individual cases . . . the second is that a discretionary public law power must not be exercised arbitrarily or with partiality as between individuals or classes potentially affected by it . . . the line between individual consideration and inconsistency, slender enough in theory, can be imperceptible in practice.”

    Lord Clyde added important insight into policies and their limits in R (Alconbury Ltd) v. Environment Secretary [2001] 2 WLR 1389 at 1431-2:

    “The formation of policies is a perfectly proper course for the provision of guidance in the exercise of an administrative discretion. Indeed policies are an essential element in securing the coherent and consistent performance of administrative functions. There are advantages both to the public and the administrators in having such policies. Of course there are limits to be observed in the way policies are applied. Blanket decisions which leave no room for particular circumstances may be unreasonable. What is crucial is that the policy must not fetter the exercise of the discretion. The particular circumstances always require to be considered. Provided that the policy is not regarded as binding and the authority still retains a free exercise of discretion the policy may serve the useful purpose of giving a reasonable guidance both to applicants and decision makers.”

    In Merseyside, it appears that the PPA sought to use regulation 37 in a way which was thought to be correct, in that the PPA, through Mr Owens, attempted to ‘consider’ whether pensioners’ degrees of disablement had altered. Owens sent out a questionnaire, which IOD pensioners unwittingly completed and returned. From the information supplied, most of which had no relevance to the regulatory task, Owens determined whose degree of disablement might not have altered, and whose might have. In the latter instances, he then arranged for individuals to be assessed by a SMP.

    This approach was not lawful, as patently there was no account taken of individual circumstances in the initial selection of people to whom the questionnaires were sent.

    The actions of Merseyside PPA in setting out to ‘review’ the degree of disablement of all IOD pensioners, and the actions of Avon and Somerset PPA in using a random name selector, and previously picking out a small number of IOD pensioners because they are all on band four and under the age of 50, are an abuse of regulation 37, as it clearly requires that a PPA shall, ‘. . . consider whether the degree of the pensioner’s disablement has altered . . . ‘ Note well, ‘the pensioner’ and not ‘any pensioner’ or ‘all pensioners’. The regulation insists that a PPA needs to make a reasonable, rational, decision on whether a suitable interval has indeed passed.

    By failing to demonstrate that a PPA has applied its mind to the decision in each individual instance is not only an abuse of the power of discretion, but is a demonstration that bias is present.

    So then, how is a PPA to determine which individual should be selected for the initial ‘consideration’ of whether there has been any alteration in degree of disablement?

    It seems to be the case that PPAs rely on the medical opinion of whatever SMP made the last decision. That opinion is expressed in the form of a ‘recommendation’ that a further review may be necessary. This is acceptable if it is based on a well founded belief that the disabling effects of a duty injury or injuries may worsen or improve substantially.

    However, the ‘recommendation’ is usually followed by a suggested time when a review might be held. This is dangerously wrong, as no doctor can predict the future. No interval of time should be recommended, as it should be for a PPA to itself decide when a suitable interval has passed, in the light of current information, not a two or more year old recommendation. What has been happening is that the PPA does not apply its mind to the individual circumstances, and unthinkingly arranges a review based only on the ‘recommendation’ of the SMP. In effect, the ‘recommendation’ commits the PPA to a course of future action, and that places a fetter on the PPA’s power of discretion.

    This is explained in R. v. Secretary of State for the Home department, ex p Venables, 1998.

    Lord Browne-Wilkinson observed that,

    “When Parliament confers a discretionary power exercisable from time to time over a period, such power must be exercised on each occasion in the light of the circumstances at that time. In consequence, the person on whom the power is conferred cannot fetter the future exercise of his discretion by committing himself now as to the way in which he will exercise his power in the future . . .”

    The sad fact is that PPAs who see regulation 37 primarily as a way for them to shave some money off the force budget are blinded by the prospect and fail to ensure that the people to whom they delegate their duties as PPA are properly trained, informed and have a thorough knowledge not only of the Regulations, but of other aspects of the law, such as those concerning powers of discretion.

  • 2017-02-20 at 9:33 am

    The root of all the problems caused by errant PPAs is they fail completely to make the necessary separation between their duties as Chief Constable, and their duty as the scheme manager of the police injury benefit scheme.

    As scheme manager, their sole duty is to administer the scheme within the Regulations, for the benefit of members.

    NOT for the benefit of the force budget.

    With his/her PPA hat on a Chief Constable needs to be disinterested in the financial impact of injury award payments on the force budget. Unfortunately, this seems to be an impossibility for some Chief Constables.

    We need to see the police injury benefit scheme being managed by a new, independent. body, composed of properly qualified administrators who will apply the Regulations free of the bias which must inevitably always be there, whether consciously, or subconsciously for so long as Chief Constables hold the keys to the pension payment tin.

  • 2017-02-19 at 8:29 pm

    What about Dr CHENG (a disciple of WIRZ) who never awards a 100% reduction in earning capacity could he be biased? read on and make your own conclusions.

    CHENG was tasked with the question from the Pensions Ombudsman (PO), “did mr x satisfy the criteria for a disablement gratuity as at 20 years ago”, this gratuity comes under Regulation 12 & requires a 100% reduction amongst other factors,

    The former officer was shocked when CHENG turned down the application for a Reg12 gratuity. His reasons being, that twice in successive years post getting the IHR & injury award he successfully made two appeals firstly over an IOD award and secondly its banding and percentage , this in CHENG’s inane wisdom and words demonstrated competent capability, challenging and clear rationale. These words alone hardly appear challengeable however, when considered and compared to an earlier communication relating to a different officer from a different force regarding CHENG then it becomes blatantly clear why CHENG made his decision, BIAS.

    Extract from an e mail from a senior HR manager , dated 6 June 2014

    “Dr Cheng has advised that SMPs take a holistic view looking at the past, the present and as far as they are able,the future. He made the very good point that, if he were to consider Officers degree of disablement at the point of the assessment alone, given that many of them are absent on sick leave, they would all have a 100% degree of disablement. He said that to obtain a 100% degree of disablement in an initial assessment, he would normally expect that the pensioner themselves would be unable to even apply for the Injury Award as they would be so incapacitated. He advised that this is not based on any formal guidance he has but he would expect the majority of SMPs would share this view.’

    It is apparent that CHENG will never grant a 100% or band 4 if you are able of applying for it yourself, he has made this patently obvious and is reinforced by more recent PO determination 5477 dated 18 October 2016.

    “Ms E feels that there is scope for the PMAB to manipulate the evidence so that a level 4 award is never given. She cites comments by Dr Cheng to the effect that he would never sanction a level 4 award in any circumstances”.

    I believe that the reported comments of CHENG demonstrate that he and the “majority” of other SMP’s are biased or incompetent, perhaps both (CHENG suggests the vast majority of SMP’s would share his view). He is biased as his opinion shows that he readily assumes he will come to a certain decision. His perceptions are supported by HR. He has prejudged decisions or decisions that he has not yet been asked to make, such actions and words clearly raise issues of doubt in the course of his employment as an SMP and cast doubt over his impartiality and integrity. How much money has this quack saved the myopic PPA’s in the short to term and how much money has CHENG made when he gets a double bite of the cherry at appeal? The “ownership” and running of the PMABs is in the hands of Doctors, the SMP’s are contracted to the PPA’s, the Doctors make the decisions. The whole system is an industry with a silent code of conduct and stinks to high heaven and desperately requires robust intervention and the instigators of wrong doing brought to task.

  • 2017-02-19 at 5:55 pm

    “Force Without Wisdom Falls of its Own Weight”

    NWEF – adjust your next agenda. Spend more time on the Equality Act, 2010. It’s not that difficult and it is a key piece of legislation. You and the organisations that you represent are bound by it.

    Very soon, you are going to be held accountable and I for one am going to ensure that everybody and their dog, or Alpaca (in the spirit of diversity), knows about it.

    If I can, I will also make individuals accountable, under the law and their governing bodies.

    You need to pause. Take some responsibility, apply good leadership and inject some principled morality in to your work. If you do that, I doubt whether you will have the same goals going forward.

  • 2017-02-19 at 5:23 pm

    Thank you for this excellent well written blog. I agree with some of the comments above and this is simply a money saving process with no consideration of the rule of law. There is no concern that we are not able to work and we have lost our career. This often ends in the breakdown of our marriages aNd the loss of our homes. I asked my former force for medical help and they told me I was no longer eligible.

    The effect these actions have on people’s health and wellbeing should not be underestimated and I firmly believe that the risk of an IOD taking his own life are huge.

    The Police used to be a family that stuck together and looked after each other. Nowadays, it is operated by a group of HR freaks and accountants none of whom have the first idea of what being a police officer is all about. Furthermore, the fact they allow themselves to be influenced by Wirz who is misguided, biased and corrupt. I have been subjected to some of his ridiculous guidance, where his authority was a case that was dismissed on appeal.
    The amounts of money being made by these unscrupulous SMPs is the real outrage, it is no wonder they encourage gullible HR departments to continue with these illegal reviews.
    Thank you IODPA for your support and highlighting these scandalous attempts to deprive injured officers of their pensions

  • 2017-02-19 at 4:27 pm

    Thank you to the writer for a well reasearched and informative article.
    I cannot understand how these office dwelling, egotistical, pen pushers can sleep at night with their underhand methods and tactics of trying to save money by cutting pensions of those injured in the line of duty attempting to keep members of the public safe.
    ‘Wellbeing’ ? The wellbeing of whom exactly? Certainly not any police officer unfortunate enough to be injured.
    IODPA thank you for being the light in the dark tunnel, for without it, many poor souls would be lost.

  • 2017-02-19 at 3:49 pm

    NAMF, NWEF, NERF, doesn’t matter what you call it! It could be fronted by Bambi, as it is , it’s fronted by Miss Piggy, and advised by some non descript lawyer with a degree in modern languages. So the Home Office guidance is declared unlawful, the lunatics who run the various asylums, get carte blanche authority to set up their own coven. Then every three months they gather round the cauldron in the Tally Ho! to dream up some other fairy tale, egged on by Nick Wirtz.
    Now Nick likes to play games with people’s lives and livelihoods.
    Not necessarily by the rules, relying heavily on playground bullying tactics to prove a point.
    The PPA is now a redundant figurehead, usurped by the ” Civvy ” lunatics.
    They moan that it’s difficult to find people to take on the position of SMP, on £10K a week.
    That is serious wedge, for what really is an easy job.
    But, take the job on, and because of the lack of rules, or respect for law, you could end up in a court, with your spineless employer disappearing into the crowd.
    ” There is a group of Pensioners who believe Regulation 33, doesn’t apply to them, they are wrong ”
    Obviously the legal opinion of IODPA legal team, was a little more forceful, and accurate than the Witches Coven, legal services, who would have needed some 6-8 months to reply. Ours came in 72 hours!
    ALL the relevant Chief Constables could come out and declare a complete amnesty, but would that suffice?
    Not a chance in hell.
    Which self respecting pensioner in receipt of an IODA is going to put themselves in front of anyone from the current stock of useless A4 wagging Civvy lunatics, for any part of the review process?
    Not one.
    This lot, need to be sacked. They need to lose their livelihoods.
    Personally, call Tony Soprano!

  • 2017-02-19 at 1:43 pm

    An excellent blog, which I fear reveals only the tip of an iceberg of bias.

    These blog articles have been revealing the truth and lifting the veil on the various malpractices, the sheer arrogance, the defensive ignorance and the barefaced lies which surround some HR departments like a stinking miasma.

    The blogs regularly attract comments, which seem to be exclusively from people who have been on the receiving end. Yet, I never see any responses from an anonymous HR employee, or an outraged police pension authority. Nobody has attempted to say that anything in the blogs is other than the factual truth.

    I draw only one inference from that lack of comment, and that is pension administrators, SMPs and force solicitors have no arguments with which to counter the content of the blogs.

    This is an open forum, so come on HR, speak up SMPs, give it your best shot solicitors, let’s hear from you. It should be fun – or are you scared to add even more nonsense to the pile of bullshit that you have been attempting to con disabled former officers with these last ten years or so?

  • 2017-02-19 at 10:18 am

    I have nothing much to add, except to express my disgust at what I’ve read from Mountstephens and Wirz on this blog. Fortunately, they are not from my force. My injury wiped out my career, ultimately cost me my family, home. It’s driven me to attempt suicide. I had no choice in being pensioned out but, in their eyes, now I’m nothing but a financial liability, am ‘lucky’ to be in receipt of an injury pension, and am probably somehow ‘swinging the lead’. That’s offensive in the extreme. Makes me bitterly regret ever joining the job.

    I’ve witnessed a far greater morality from plenty of criminals in the custody suite than what’s been displayed by these representitives of the police. And to think I probably risked my personal safety for people like this who would now choose to castigate me for my pension, and seek to reduce it in any way possible.

    Their views make a compelling argument for front line officers to just look away when faced with a violent situation. It goes against our instinct, and the public’s expectation, to serve and protect. Is this what it has come to? Shame on you.

    I dispair at it all.

  • 2017-02-19 at 2:45 am

    I wonder what people think when they read these blogs?

    Ex-police officers, of all ranks and departments, injured while performing their role. Forced out of their careers and livelihoods with physical and psychological injuries, often lasting a lifetime and affecting the whole of their lives and that of their families. This is, in itself, devastating.

    I cannot believe that even one of those officers ever imagined that the process to review their injury award would be conducted in such an outrageously, inappropriate and unlawful manner.

    Why is there a need for a group of HR staff to meet with SMP’s and a dodgy man with a law degree to mull over the regulations governing the reviews of injury awards?

    What is their motivation?

    What is wrong with just being fair and following the regulations as they are written? Consider the injury award of the officer under Reg 37 and if there is no evidence of substantial alteration, then the review ends. If there is evidence of substantial alteration then just ask the ex-officer about it. Is that unreasonable? Is that fair?

    This blog is spot on. It’s not much to ask to be part of a fair process. I have been the subject of an unfair review process more than once. HR staff refusing to answer my queries, which don’t suit them to answer. SMP’s telling blatant lies to me directly, and about me to others. So-called medical assessments that wouldn’t be legal under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act.

    I was devastated to lose the job I loved as a result of being injured on duty. The job that was my life (often to the detriment of my family). But I am more devastated that after being forced to leave, I am hounded, bullied and vilified by nobody’s within the organisation, hell bent on trying to reduce my injury award by any means possible regardless of what is written in the governing regulations (definitely to the detriment of my family).

    Sadly, ‘fair’ doesn’t come into it.

    I really do wonder what people think.

  • 2017-02-18 at 9:43 pm

    So the National Attendance Management Forum (NAMF) has rebranded itself with the title National WELLBEING and Engagement Forum (NWEF)…
    … whoever thought of that one must be twisted of mind to retitle with such cruel irony.

    The insidious coven of abusers now calling themselves NWEF are about anything but ‘wellbeing’ !

    IODPA – never stop shining the light on their nefarious abuses of law … the day is coming where they will fall from their wall of shame.

    As for Nicholas Wirz… he is of the same ilk as that repugnant specimen Phil Shiner, the so called “human rights lawyer” involved with IHAT….and we all know what just happened to him don’t we…

  • 2017-02-18 at 7:33 pm

    These people are financialy driven animals, just ask why do ACPOO pay them so much. I hope at some point they ask them selves what motivates them to get out of bed in the morning. It sure isnt the care of injured police officers, there arrogance and dishonesty sickens me. I spent my whole adult life dealing with criminals only to find out the police employ them to destroy cops.

  • 2017-02-18 at 7:28 pm

    I can’t really add anything that hasn’t already been said. I am just highly relieved that my force has seen the light(forced to see the light through JR’s i should add). I can not stress enough the importance of the work that IoDPA do to support disabled officers. It is a life line that some people want to see cut for their own narcissistic objectives.

    Shame on them.

  • 2017-02-18 at 6:54 pm

    Another great article… thank you Iodpa without your guidance and up to date info I would be lost in this whole IOD saga that I am in!
    Keep up the fantastic work x

  • 2017-02-18 at 5:08 pm

    NAMF (National Attendance Management Forum / now renamed: NWEF One presumes (Northumbria Wirzesque Evil Fraudsters).
    These self-appointed idiots- legends in their own minds, have the audacity to usurp the recognised term ‘PTSD’(officially recognised by learned scholars). Instead discussing’ mental wellbeing’. Well done. Give Lesley Anne a rope…..
    These naïve reprobates are making it easy for us due to their lack of intellect and insight.
    PTSD is a recognised psychiatric disorder recognised by the American Psychiatric Association and widely accepted in the UK.
    Let us also consider:
    Human Rights Act 1998
    Equality Act 2010
    Data Protection Act 1998

    NAMF rebranded as NWEF is no more credible than mumsnet.

  • 2017-02-18 at 4:34 pm

    What makes me so angry is that I and so many other Police Officers put our lives and health on the line to protect people like these! These corrupt SMPs and solicitors will eventually, at some time, find themselves in difficulty and need urgent Police assistance. What a shame if it wasn’t forthcoming! Maybe then , if they’re seriously injured and unable to work anymore then their employers will treat them with the same contempt and unlawful behaviour with which they show now. They should remember that what goes around comes around!

  • 2017-02-18 at 4:25 pm

    NAMF might have re-branded, believing themselves to be some sort of Phoenix rising from the ashes but the fact is they are still skating around on a thin veneer of bullshit, dress it up whichever way you please they have no legal standing whatsoever.

    Another good blog which everyone would do well to read and understand. Were it not for IODPA a lot of innocent good people would have gone to the wall long ago.

  • 2017-02-18 at 3:58 pm

    I’ve thought of a practical example. So Mr Trevor Forbes is instructed to act for the PPA, the PMAB chair is say DR David Wallington. Both trained by Wirz, both NAMF delegates.Now say the late Dr Sampson was the AMP also a NAMF attendee, pension misadministration ? I think so, appearance of bias, had you known as the appellant would you think you had a fair hearing? I don’t think so… we could now reopen historical abuses……

  • 2017-02-18 at 3:21 pm

    Another well written blog from the “Ghost”. shining a light in the darkest depth of deceit. They is light becoming at the end. Mr Whirz please read and take notice!!

  • 2017-02-18 at 2:51 pm

    A beautiful piece of writing on a hideous injustice. It is my firm belief that we are not making enough use of the Human Rights Act and the European Convention on Human rights associated conventions. Art 8 the right to a family life at least is being abused constantly. The PPA ie the Chief Constables have a duty as public office holders to ensure the rights of IOD pensioners are not abused contrary to the above legislation.
    Open your ears ladies and gentlemen, this is being done in your name.

  • 2017-02-18 at 1:29 pm

    What is happening, as a result of the activities of the injustices caused to IOD pensioners, is that as this information is being uncovered more and more IOD pensioners are communing and sharing their experiences and getting to know the LAWFUL rules and regulations involved with their IOD pensions and every day more and more are joining the fight to put things right.

    As for what Wirz is saying about disregarding a pensioners GP reports, it strikes me that it would be far more inexpensive to hire the Pensioners own GP to prepare a report in each case? No SMP’s from any agency necessary, no HR imput necessary, so no lies exaggerations or other made up info or any other wrongdoings, so no appeals, No PMAB’s necessary, no legal services necessary, and most of all no NWEF necessary as far as IOD pensions were concerned. Just imagine how much money could be saved!!!! and more importantly how FAIR and JUST these retirements and reviews would become!!!!

  • 2017-02-18 at 11:51 am

    Just keep shining a light in the dark receses, illuminate the injustice for all to see.

    In unity is our strength.

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