It is as though instead of a dog wagging its tail the tail should wag the dog. And all Nature would stand aghast before such an improper spectacle.” – Fräulein Schmidt and Mr. Anstruther by Elizabeth von Arnim
Another knife-attack was thwarted last week in Westminster. Overnight, on the same day, there were anti-terror raids in Kent and London. These were unconnected, but police say that they have foiled an ‘active terror plot.’ All this will blend into the background soon, as much as last month’s attack in Westminster already has. Not because we don’t remember anything, but because we never learn anything.
Behind the scenes there are police officers working tirelessly to protect the public. But other, ill intentioned people within the police service itself are also working behind the scenes. They are a cabal of individuals who are determined to see those same officers in financial peril if they are ever injured on-duty; even though legislation exists to protect those who protect us, if the worse happens to them.
Today we are going to talk about two particular individuals, both of whom have history in the recent scandal started by Staffordshire Police in their mass review program. The frequency these two names appear throughout the saga of injury awards is clear proof that lessons have not been learnt.
Back in 2008 Staffordshire was developing a serious case of frost bite in it’s cold feet over the zealous application of the infamous Home Office guidance 46/2004 which called for severely disabled former police officers to have their income instantly dropped by thousands of pounds just because they had reached 65 years of age.
The small legal minds of Staffordshire Police were in a bind. “What to do?”, they mulled. “We really want to do this. Think of the money we we can save. But something about this guidance doesn’t smell right”. Like any proud member of NAMF at the time they reached out to the one person they thought could provide some legal incantation to help clear the way..
Introducing the first of our dastardly duo: Nicholas Wirz, principle solicitor of Northumbria Police.
Michael Griffiths was Staffordshire’s force legal advisor at the time and, on behalf of the force’s director of resources, Graham Liddiard, Griffiths wrote to Mr Wirz on 27th September 2006 to ask whether Wirz had an answer to their concern that, by reviewing all with the intention of reducing everyone not on a band one, that they would breach discrimination law.
Specifically Griffiths asked:
Our particular concern at this time however relates to the potential effect, if any, of the soon to be implemented Employment Equality (Age) Regulations 2006 upon the Home Office Circular.
My particular purpose in writing to you at this time is to ascertain whether or not you are in possession of any external legal advice regarding the matters referred to in your report
The report mentioned above is this NAMF guidance authored by Wirz and another grubby individual named Trevor Forbes.
Forbes is number two of our individuals of note. He is a former Inspector who joined ranks with Wirz and ran with the NAMF wolves, Forbes still to this day works as a freelancer for some forces defending their position in Police Medical Appeals Boards.
This NAMF guidance seems quite detailed on the Home Office invention of ‘cogent reasons’ doesn’t it? It is as if the Home Office authored it itself… or more likely the Home Office was using Wirz and Forbes as proxies. Perhaps another conspiracy theory is HOC 46/2004 was Wirz’s idea all along and he was the one who sold it to the Home Office.
Whatever the truth, back in 2006 Wirz and Forbes had a prominent role in the roll-out of unlawful guidance. Wirz happily used his position to slowly but surely influence decisions. He advised on every matter on reviews of injury awards that came to his court. This meant that every decision made in relation to Police Injury Benefit Regulations was influenced by Wirz as early as 2006.
We can’t find a comparable analogy of a qualified solicitor surviving the fall-out or pursuing an agenda that was later found to be unlawful, and yet managing to remain in practice. Whether or not the guidance was actually all his, or not, is irrelevant. The report referred to by Staffordshire shows that Wirz swallowed it whole and sung it out from the pulpit like a demented proponent of televangelism.
It’s quite likely a police officer found to be championing unlawful processes with such enthusiasm would find themselves on a gross misconduct charge.
Anyway, back to the Staffordshire and Wirz love letters.
Wirz obviously didn’t convince Messrs Liddiard and Griffiths. They bottled it and capitulated to an ‘agreement’ signed by themselves, local NARPO and the Federation.
On the 6th October 2006 Griffiths wrote back to Wirz saying:
Thank you for your very useful letter of the 2nd October 2006 in response to my earlier correspondence. […]
I am pleased to note that it is not just ourselves who are of the opinion that the Circular causes a degree of confusion which may require litigation to resolve. I shall forward a copy of your letter to Mr Liddiard for his consideration.
So what did Wirz say to Staffordshire police?
This is the Wirz letter to Staffordshire’s Mr Griffiths in full:
Apparently no external legal advice had been sought by Wirz or by NAMF (National Attendance Management Forum now re-branded as the National Wellbeing Engagement Forum). Wirz is the self-proclaimed authority in such matters so his arrogance probably prevented further legal examination of his mutterings.
Wirz starts his letter with this:
Thank you for your letter of 27 September 2006. I can confirm that I sought no external legal advice with respect to the matters contained in the joint note to members of the National Attendance Management Forum dated 24 July 2006
Wirz then says without a hint of irony that it is OK to review when Staffordshire wants to reduce awards, but encouraging former officers to seek a self-reviewed review shall not happen due to the drain on resources. He says:
Personally I believe an ex officer keeps the CRA, which applied at the time of an ex officers retirement, otherwise vast numbers of officers who have attained the old CRA and who are in receipt of injury awards will seek a review. No resources have been made available for this and the Home Office has not flagged this up
The highlight of Wirz’s assertions comes before his own definition of how compulsory retirement age can be used against a disabled former police officer. Apparently, he didn’t have a clue. In any case he doesn’t say whether Staffordshire should or shouldn’t concern themselves with worrying over discrimination and breaches of equality law:
As regards new age discrimination legislation, this, too, needs to be the subject of further guidance
An ambiguous lawyer’s answer if ever there was one! Guidance begat guidance seems to be his mantra. The cynic would say that no doubt Wirz would write the secondary guidance on the guidance, wrongly reassuring forces that there is in fact no breach of equality law.
But then even back in 2006, Wirz knew that forces like Staffordshire were guinea pigs and that he was walking on the wrong side of the knife’s edge. He knew the work he encouraged would light appeals. Realisation that anything Staffordshire does, as encouraged by people like Forbes and Wirz, will in all likelihood be challenged.
Wirz evens comes clean with this fact:
This matter will, in all probability, be resolved by the High Court when a case dealt with pursuant to 46/2004 is appealed.
Now that remark would be acceptable from anyone who hand no hand in the administration of police injury pensions, but is a remarkably incautious remark from a man whose influence over how injury reviews would be held was considerable. He seems to care not a jot that the Home Office guidance might be of dubious legal integrity. His attitude is to advise that administrators go ahead and possibly break the law. It is a gambler’s advice, not the carefully considered balanced view expected of a legal professional.
Indeed, Wirz’s prediciton was spot on. The issue was indeed resolved in the High Court – to the considerable inconvenience of the pensioners involved. The cases of Crudace, Slater and Simpson (along with a huge amount of Pension Ombudsman decisions) called Wirz’s guidance the unlawful perversion that it was..
So back to 2017.
Who is still the legal advisor to NAMF/NWEF? Answer: Nicholas Wirz of course. Who’s force has lost yet another judicial review about the unlawful interpretation of Regulation 37? Answer: Nicholas Wirz’s Northumbria.
And what police force is plunging head-first into another mass review catastrophe? Staffordshire. NAMF/NWEF is still at the heart of the problem.
Wirz is the tail that keeps wagging the dog. The lessons of the past have not been learnt.
The tentacles that spread out between Staffordshire & Wirz in 2006 are still clutching for hand-holds on brittle ground. This time it’s different though, as the lessons of NAMF has only been forgotten by those who listen to NAMF. The wealth of information available from dark times show that the benefit of doubt no longer exists. Staffordshire is looking down the dark wide barrel of a blunderbuss, which is primed, loaded and ready to fire. Wirz must know that Staffordshire is heading for large amounts of trouble with its mass review ambition. It will be a costly and futile mistake. But, Wirz has not a care. He gets paid no matter what.
IODPA exists to stop the vicious gamesmanship of people like Wirz, who in their efforts to always try to push their own interpretation of the Regulations, to the very great harm and distress of disabled former officers and their families.
We take no pleasure seeing Staffordshire squirm in its defence of its mass review program. It’s all so unnecessary. But sorry, Staffs, you can not defend the indefensible and hope to get away with it.
16 thoughts on “The History between Wirz and Staffordshire Police”
Wirz, you are a clown and those who associate with you are also clowns.
When your house of cards falls down, will you have a similar IODPA to look after you?
Karma is a bitch, it will catch you and when it does people will be queuing up to laugh at you.
Sadly not surprised by this, the plod really do believe they are above the law. They pay so called medics and solicitors to lie on there behalf to screw cops over in a effort to save a few pennies. They care not a jot about how there corrupt activities affects the health of seriously injured officers. Sadly I know this through bitter experience when the organisation I believed in and gave my life to turned on me and inflicted further serious injury on me. Wirz, Cheng, Pittkannen, Broome, SMP, FMA,PMAB, ACPOO,Mental health well being,NAMF,police policy, all these are involved in a criminal conspiracy to commit fraud.
Forbes was approached by my Force and asked whether it made any difference that my income had been derived from abroad and compared to the UK National Average Earnings. Guess what. He said that it didn’t.
Forbes is just as bad as Wirz in my opinion. Apparently he lost his position with the West Mids. Federation as he was voted out of office. Wonder if that is why he has an axe to grind against IOD’s. A one-time Inspector who is now a self-proclaimed pensions expert.
Well done IODPA, another excellent blog in exposing the shenanigans of the ongoing saga of Wirzgate.
How this incompetent, narcissistic sociopath is still employed by Northumbria Police beggars belief. It has been mentioned previously that had this been a police officer acting in such an arrogant, egotistical and dishonest way, he would have been sacked. So where is the Chief in all this and who is Wirz’s backer? Why does NAMF or whatever they wish to call themselves listen to such guff? He has lost so many legal cases. Why would any organisation want to take notice of a second rate solicitor who is an inept little man who lacks integrity. I would add, it is not the tail wags the dog but in fact the flea on the tail that wags the dog. But, not all police forces are listening to him and they remain reluctant to stick their neck out particularly when any hint of legal action knocks at their door. Of course, there is always an eager foolish puppy willing to try it out….Staffs?
Well we know who is backing Wirz…Vera Baird the Northumbria Crime Commissioner. Yet more evidence of an unrequired role which is nothing more than a waste of public money. As a former ‘lawyer’ you would think she would want rid of him immediately but no, Vera is only concerned about domestic violence and womens’ issues. Now these things are extremely important and no one is denying this, but alas it seems to be her one and only agenda. Wirz can only be protected for so long……The net is closing in………..
Anyone who has been intimidated by Wirz (and there are many), I suggest you have a day out in court next time he is there and watch him squirm. Maverick is quite right, bullies are only brave when surrounded by their underdogs, but when faced with their victims without their minions to lick their butts, they disappear into the quivering jelly like amoeba that they truly are!
To all officers in Staffs, stand together as several Northumbria officers have and take these inexperienced clowns to a JR!
This is another example of well written and explosive investigations of IODPA
This will not make easy reading on the eyes of the ACPO ranks and the PCC and quite rightly so. ITs corruption and collusuon of the highest order.
This could be the next series of ” Line of Duty”.
IODPA this should be sent to CC, PCC , Staffs NARPO.
Maybe the Serious Fraud Office is the avenue to take as how could we trust Staffs Police to investigate this?
Here is a story about a bloke called Wirz
Who plies his trade where he knows it hurts
He makes it all up as he goes along
Then sells it to NAMF, they can’t be wrong
NAMF buys this stuff then bandies it around
Wirz is a hero, the answers he has found
But hang on a minute, will all this suffice
We learn that he hasn’t sought any advice.
Forces like Nottingham, Northumbria and Staffordshire
Need to think twice about what they are hearing here
To comply with his advice is really fraught
now they know all of this will end up in court.
Wirz is a loser, he’s lost several times
But he keeps on chanting the same old lines
I’m surprised he hasn’t learned yet, sniffed it out with his nose
The people now realise the Emperor has no clothes.
I hope the IOD’S who are all on band 1
Take this to court and have some fun
You’re entitled to more, there’s no doubt about that
And into the bargain you’ll make Wirz look a Twat.
This should be sung as a rap in an annoyingly loud voice.
I have made a comment on your home page earlier and would like to speak to someone if possible. My husband is an ex Staffordshire police officer who was medically retired because of something that happened to him whilst at work. I have had a look around your website and I am speechless at what I have read. My husband has been retired for many years but we have never had any of this information that is on your website at all. Reading some of your information I think that my husband may not have even been given the right pension when he first retired. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you.
Message sent to your email so we can reach out to you Mrs Anonymous. Glad to chat
A system becomes corrupt only by the willingness of the many to allow the few to do wrong. Wirz is one of the few. He has created a great deal of mischief. But why is it that nobody in authority in Northumbria seems to want to give him the boot, for the good of the service?
In any well ordered organisation Wirz, and his ally, Dr Broome, whould have been required to resign following the debacle of the 2012 judicial review. This was the hearing where IOD pensioner Edward Crudance bravely challenged a decision made by Northumbria police pension authority (that is, the Chief Constable) to reduce his injury pension from 75% degree of disablement to 45%.
This reduction had been made for no other reason that Mr Crudace had reached the age of 65. According to Home Office guidance, issued in 2006, this was an acceptable reduction as it was assumed, withe no medical evidence whatever, that by some miracle Mr Crudace, and all other IOD pensioners, lost all earning capacity on the stroke of midnight as they reached the grand old age of 65.
Needless to say, the guidance was rubbish. It was later proved to be unlawful in court, and was withdrawn. Northumbria had meanwhile reviewed the degree of disablement of 90 former officers in 2008 and 2009. Of these, a staggering 74% had their injury pension payments reduced.
45 IOD pensioners attempted to appeal the decisions. This where the real nastyness of Wirz is clearly seen, for he wrote to all of them and ‘advised’ them they had no chance of winning, and would have to pay costs of around £6,200 each. Needless to say, this vile and empty threat, for that is what it was, made many, including the brave Mr Crudace withdraw their appeal applications.
Mr Crudace, however, decided not to be browbeaten by the likes of Wirz and sought a judicial review. He won his judicial review, and Northumbria had to reinstate not only his injury pension to its proper level, but also the pensions of all other affected.
The Judge in the case had this to say about Wirz. ‘Whilst I accept that Mr Wirz’s letter and subsequent conversation were made in good faith, the fact remains that very material assertions in the letter were incorrect. The appeal was not hopeless and there was no realistic prospect of an order for costs against Mr Crudace. There was material in the public domain (such as the decision in Pollard) which could have alerted Mr Wirz to the importance of the words in regulation 37.’
It seems very clear that Wirz was indeed taking a claculated gamble that he and Broome could get away with it.
Following the Crudace case, Wirz and Broome should have departed the scene, yet they are still in post, and still causing trouble.
There is something very corrupt about Northumbria. It falls then on decent folk, of which there are plenty, to bring pressure to bear on the Chief Constable to justify why Wirz and Broome were not disciplined and to ask the Chief Constable why this ill-intentioned pair still have their jobs.
Let us have a closer look at NAMF:
NAMF Procedural Guidance Notes for Assessing and Re-assessing the Degree of Disablement as a Result of an Injury Received in the Execution of Police Duties.
1.1 The aims of these procedural guidance notes are to highlight the key provisions within The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 which relate to “Injury on Duty” (IOD) awards and to suggest how those provisions may be administered. References to the “Regulations” in these notes are references to the 2006 Regulations unless stated otherwise.
1.2 These notes are intended as a framework to assist Forces in adopting their own individual policies.
So, basically, NAMF are suggesting that it will be OK for each Force to set up their own procedures! Aren’t the IOD Pensions Rules and Regulations a national LAW?
Shouldn’t there be and isn’t there enough within that Law to carry out LAWFULLY any and all necessary and legal REVIEWS?
Having been a good Police Officer I would be asking many questions here!!!
just to name a few of my questions:
1. Whose idea was NAMF?
2. Where was it originated?
3. Are their ‘advisory’ policies LEGAL?
My understanding was that after the Home Office guidance 46/2004 being declared unlawful (illegal?) that they were not going to offer any further advisements, yet they seem to be a part of NAMF?
As for Wirz? he deserves to be in jail!!!!!!
Nicholas Wirtz. Weasel, Chimp, Chump, scruffy, non descript, evil, serial loser.
The fact that this twerp is advising Staffs Police , who themselves have ensured, that even those who have been awarded 100% degree of disablement by the SMP, actually ONLY END UP With a BAND 2 IODA because of a totally unlawful calculation called the Police Earnings Assessment Matrix, comes as no surprise.
IF STAFFS NARPO dispute this, then one of two things must apply to them.
They must be TOTALLY INEPT or directly in COLLUSION with STAFFS and Weasel Wirtz.
I call on STAFFS NARPO to PROVE that the above is not true!
We ALL KNOW IT IS, & I have an FOI reply from STAFFS to PROVE IT!
The REASON they aren’t reviewing Band 1 pensioners is because Wirtz, & their little PEAM scam got them there.
ANYONE in STAFFS on BAND 2, will magically end up as BAND 1, as sure as eggs is eggs.
EVERY SINGLE STAFFS BAND 1, should request a REVIEW, join the IODPA, and see if they dare use their little bit of additional maths afterwards.
Just one thing to note STAFFS NARPO.
The FISHER judgement 2017, I was there, sat next to the serial loser WIRTZ, when he lost this one!
Poor NICHOLAS, all big and powerful with all his corrupt buddies around him, but meak and weak, when cornered on his own!
Well said, ‘tail wagging the dog’ sums up what is happening perfectly, and to be frank, the man lost all credibility with his ‘fudge’ comment for me, a comment I hope all IOD’s GP’s get to hear about.
Wirz comes across as some kind of egomaniac, desperate to be relevant and recognised, he may well win the odd battle in the future, but he won’t win the war thanks to IODPA.
IODPA, I have only come across your website today and am a Staffs IOD/NARPO member. I can only thank you for your help and assistance. In no way have I found anything that is incorrect or derogatory.
You are in existence due to us being let down by our forces.
Never in a month of Sundays would I ever have believed that we could have been screwed over.
I have been in a lower band for years due to some calculation that I never understood. Yet trusted Staffs to do their best for me.
I now find that they used a formula in me to deny me monies due to me. Thanks To the IODPA, I now have found the Fisher judicial review and see that I have been diddled out of thousands of pounds.
Yet I won’t be the only one who this has happened to.
I am saddened that my local NARPO has seen fit to bad mouth you IODPA. I am ashamed and embarrassed by it. From the IODs that I know, and I know several, we are all pleased that you care about us.
Surely local NARPO should be aiming to work alongside you rather than make defamatory comments about you?
I thought you were all on the same side?
In any case, I thank you whole heartedly and please continue to support us.
There is nothing derogatory on this page just the truth which is turning out to be very uncomfortable for some! I think they do protest too much!
Well done to show the collusion that is happening. Please anybody from Staffs who reads this please share as Staffs Police and Staffs Narpo are in collusion to keep the correct information from getting to IOD pensioners. Please any one join IODPA the only organisation telling the truth regardless of what Staffs Narpo are saying.
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