Anxiety is love’s greatest killer. It makes others feel as you might when a drowning man holds on to you. You want to save him, but you know he will strangle you with his panic.”
― Anaïs Nin
It seems that those who oversee the administration of injury awards in Staffordshire Police have rather a special collection of ineptness. Quite a feat to combine the malevolence of Northumbria with the idiocy of Avon & Somerset.
For a force that officially signed a contract and abandoned reviews in 2008, the errors and illegalities in the letter they have sent out to all those retired with an injury award is exceedingly far beyond any, even the twisted mind, could conjure up.
We’ve published the missive in full at the end of this post.
Rather than pointing out the obvious conflict this letter has with the Regulations and case law – such as the invented duty that the 2015 Police Pension Regulations* forces them to do this (!) and the continual use of the word “reassessment“, today we are going to talk about this paragraph:
This letter is just to inform you of the reassessment programme. Whilst I acknowledge this may cause you some anxiety, I regret that at this point in time I am unable to enter into correspondence with you about your personal circumstances. You will be written to again directly in due course when your injury pension comes up for review. The process is expected to take at least eighteen months, so it may be some time before you are written to again about this.
*(Very naughty Staffordshire! A blatant lie! In fact these Regulations has no implications on injury awards as they only refer to the Career Average Revalued Earnings Scheme (CARE) scheme and the lower/enhanced tier only applicable to those retired on this 2015 pension scheme – the PIBR 2006 Regulations are the only regulations that concern injury on duty awards)
Wow! Sending an unsolicited letter, that they know (or don’t care perhaps out of complete indifference) will cause or manifest an existing diagnosis of a mental health illness, to a cohort of disabled individuals – some with severe PTSD, all with a protected characteristic under the Equality Act – and then sign-off by saying that they will happily prolong the assault for up to 18 months….
Just Wow!… What cave has Staffordshire been living in for the past five years?
The Department of Work and Pensions received a drubbing in the Court of Appeal back in 2013. Court judges upheld a decision that the ATOS assessments for sickness and disability benefits discriminate against people with mental health conditions. This followed an earlier decision by the Upper Tribunal that the Work Capability Assessment – the notorious computer based test which has led to hundreds of thousands of claimants declared ‘fit for work’ – substantially disadvantaged those with mental health problems.
The Appeal Court said:
Tribunal was satisfied that the difficulties faced by [mental health patients] placed them at a substantial disadvantage when compared with other disabled persons who do not experience mental health problems
The judges found that:
In my judgment, therefore, the Tribunal properly identified relevant disadvantages in this case as potentially relating both to the actual determination or outcome itself, and to the process leading up to it.
So to speak the obvious; who has Staffordshire seen fit to sent a mass mailing list to, warning the recipient that they will spend the next 18 months in purgatory whilst knowing full well that what they intend to do will cause them harm?
Rhetorical answer: Only to members of the public with both physical and mental illness, who are permanently disabled and who are proportionally certain to have many of the mental health disorders that are caused by a combination of factors, including changes in the brain and environmental stress.
Bizarrely this was sent out to even the people they have unilaterally decided not to review such as those band ones and those over 72.
Even those with a terminal illness recieved this letter. Whilst it’s excellent that they won’t be further victimised whilst end of life, but why stress them with irrelevance? – an example why mass mailshots to those with a protected characteristic without due public sector equality duty compliance is unlawful.
Though we are experienced in the dark-arts of those who administer injury awards, IODPA is still perpetually amazed that some police forces think those that get injured and permanently disabled on duty have no rights.
Avon & Somersent DCC Gareth Morgan may be thinking that becoming this force’s chief may not be a wise career move after all!
11 thoughts on “Everlasting Anxiety”
I thought I’d seen it all but this letter takes the gold Rostrum Award for Narcoleptic Tripe, or RANT for short. It is staggeringly inept to the point of taking your breath at the moment you realise what this buffoon has written. I am an IOD pensioner having spent the last three and a half years battling my Wife’s former employer, a large County Council and school together with four individual staff, after she was suspended, investigated and sacked for whistleblowing.
I will drag them kicking and screaming before an Employment Tribunal Judicial Mediation later this month for Failing to make Reasonable Adjustments and Disability Discrimination under the Equality Act amongst others. They have conceded to settle in the face of discriminatory evidence which does not come close to that written by this Deputy Chief Constable. It is quite simply, unlawful and these perceived high ranking untouchables need to learn sharp lessons.
I would not sit back and take this without creating an almight stink, starting with my GP to evidence the psychotic thoughts it has caused and followed by a letter demanding immediate retraction to alleviate the immense stress of it. I bet, as surely the nearest this ACPO has got to an angry man is watching Line Of Duty, it will be ignored. I’d then sit back and count the months up to my next review having made periodic GP visits. Then see how long it takes them to regret sending it!!
All these officers were injured doing their job and this is all about budgets.
Karma would be for those who are implementing these ill thought out ideas to suffer similar and be treated like shit but have no support.
Dear Deputy Chief Constable Baker
In your senior position, I am sure you are aware that mental health issues within the police service are a hot topic. This includes the increase in those detained by the police who suffer from mental health problems and the manner in which the police deal with them.
But, there is much media attention and debate on the alarming rise in serving police officers experiencing debilitating mental health problems. As Deputy Chief Constable of a police force, you will be aware of this startling rise and I would certainly hope that as a senior figure within the organisation, you are working hard to find an effective solution to support your officers and thwart this statistic.
This brings me to your letter outlined in the above blog. I would anticipate that a significant number of ex-police officers, retired from their vocation as a result of an injury received in the execution of their duty, are suffering from mental health injuries.
Given these factors, what would possess a Deputy Chief Constable of a modern, forward-thinking police force to knowingly frighten and scare vulnerable former officers, suffering from mental health problems, by informing them that the review process may take up to 18 months and denying them any form of communication? It is a form of mental torture.
You fully accept within your letter that this may cause anxiety. It is preposterous. Why would you determine it acceptable to leave these vulnerable pensioners on notice for up to 18 months and offer no line of communication or support?
Your behaviour is despicable and you are personally responsible for the obvious damage to health caused to those in receipt of your letter and who suffer from mental health issues.
You either could not care less about the manner in which you treat your former officers who suffer injuries significant enough to take away their health and career as a result of an injury on duty or you need to swiftly get yourself on a course on how to deal with those suffering from mental illness.
Mental Health Campaigner
So………. this letter has been sent to each and every IOD Pensioner in a larger effort to save some money! (I won’t mention the postage costs!)
Don’t the IOD Pension Rules and Regulations say that reviews will ONLY take place if there has been a SUBSTANTIAL change in condition? Would not that be the only time such a letter would be in order?
It would seem that the Staffordshire CC is not aware of what exactly the rules and regulations say or he would have stopped this mailing as soon as he saw it or at least the copy he had been sent.
Maybe it is time for the CC’s in each force to be found guilty of the maladministration that takes place so often in IOD Pension matters?
Thank God for the existence of IODPA.ORG and them bringing all this stuff out into the light, where it can be seen by all those it is affecting and all those who may become a victim one day of such Force misadventures.
I thought that HOC/46/2004 had been banished to the waste paper bin where it belongs, but here I see it has been revived by Staffordshire. What a load of muppets.
Then they send out a letter with a hidden threat to IOD’s that they may be in line for a review, but they might not hear anything more for 18 months. What caring people they are.
Another well written blog, explaining the full facts on ‘lay’ terms. Thank you IODPA for you help and support and highlighting what in reality was what NARPO should be doing.
DCC Baker should hand his head in shame, letter is at best design for the ‘trash can’ – How dare that he and Staffs treat their injured officers like this.
Nicholas Baker. hang your head in Utter shame, I have complex PTSI caused by policing and trust me its not a pleasant thing. Staffs bullying letters are a disgrace who do they think they are. When I joined the cops I was told never do anything immoral or illegal. These people sicken me to to the core. Hey if they need to save some cash what about getting rid of all these ACPOO types, there ridiculous salaries, cars, PAs and all there ego driven dinners. Most large companies only have one person in charge but UK Plod PLC have hundreds of these ego driven immoral Loons. Maybe next time they can go out and steal some sweets from vunerable adults, oops that what they are doing.
Seriously what the hell is wrong with these people, having been at the mercy of the DWP for the past 17 years, the latter years going through numerous appeals and tribunals, I know exactly how this feels, “your life in their hands”, even when you get the letter, or in the case of tribunals the nod from the judge that you ARE entitled to XYZ benefits, it still takes weeks, even months just to start coming out of that state of numbness, that feeling of desperation, helplessness and start to be able to function in some positive way again, I can imagine the IOD pensioners in this case will feel very much like that to varying degrees.
I came to expect this kind of treatment from the DWP et al, not from our bloody Police Forces, it’s almost as if there’s a little side bet between them all to see who can be the more insincere, uncaring and downright inept when dealing with us, they really need to remember that we still deserve to be treated fairly, respectfully and in a dignified manner, period !
My respect for the Police has long since gone, I am sorry to say. It is instances like this that make my blood boil.
They never, ever learn, do they?
This word ” reassessment “?
What is the matter with the word ” Review ”
Presumably, because Staffordshire Police intend to do just that, a reassessment, contrary of course to the regulations in force.
All of this in the interest of saving money, pure and simple. Budgets have been cut, so lets screw over the IOD pensioners, and see how many we can flannel, or con out of their pensions.
We’ll add mention of the fraud act, that should do the trick, everyone will become compliant, fill out our questionnaires, when there is nothing in the regs that states you have to.
I would say to the Staffs IOD’s put your name and number on the form, and just fill out the form with the phrase ” No change ”
It is for them to prove, and not the Injured Officer.
How long before the first Staffs JR?
Not long, I will warrant.
Another well written blog . Thanks for your help and support. It seems ironic that the Chief Constable will be welcomed into Narpo with open arms having put her name to this illegal shambles!
Clear evidence of a macho, arrogant, bullying culture directed by half wits who have no understanding or scant regard for the, law, regulations or its employees. This is calculated deceit at the very least and all in the name of a naïve Chief constable’s obsession to try to save money. Lets hope this outrage will be career limiting for those who instigated it.
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