“Education without values, as useful as it is, seems rather to make man a more clever devil.”
― C.S. Lewis
The administration of injury awards is a racket: given what disabled former police officers have had to suffer at the hands of corrupt doctors acting for police pension authorities, aided and abetted by the astounding ignorance of HR departments, it’s fair to say that’s a given. But unless you’ve had personal experience of the devious workings of those who are responsible for the administration of police injury pensions you probably have no idea just how much of a racket it has become.
If you ever have to deal with Inhuman Resources or any (oh-so-carefully) selected medical practitioner used by them then you know that you get sucked into a system which taints almost everyone it touches with corruption so flagrant it’s hard to believe such a thing could be possible in hyper-regulated modern Britain.
All the current platitudes coming from Parliamentary candidates in the upcoming election and media focus about police numbers is so ignorantly abstract when it really boils down to the realism of what happens to those injured on duty that face the system.
The system is run so that a very small band of favoured occupational health companies provide nearly all the SMP services used by police pension authorities. They have cornered the market, with the active connivance of the NWEF. They get their snouts in the trough, grab as much public money as they can, and leave the patsies in HR to take the flak. Outsourcing is the new game now, with forces handing over what should be their responsibilities to private limited companies whose morals and ethos are moulded entirely around the bottom line of the balance sheet.
Even the police medical appeal boards (PMABs) are outsourced to a limited company, Health Management Limited (HML).
Occupational health doctors who act as SMPs mirror HML and set up their limited companies in dubious, but no doubt tax-efficient, manner.
We see that commercial basis as being the driver which impels some SMPs to revel in creating unjustified appeals, by flagrantly disregarding the Regulations and case law, as a means to further their pay-packet in attendance costs. They know that a PMAB will either side with their crass decisions or make a new one. Either way, this lets the SMP off the hook. If there is a judicial review, it is the PMAB and the police pension authority who appear as respondents. The SMP is left free to continue their abuse of the law and of vulnerable and damaged individuals.
Some of these decidely dodgy SMPs work in tandem with a more malevolent master. For instance, Dr Jonathan Broome. He is Northumbria’s resident SMP, and seems to be going for the world-record of mentions in High Court decisions purely because he is unable, or unwilling, to say no to his colleague, the solicitor of Northumbria police, Nicholas Wirz. Ever eager to push their own twisted and perverse take of the Regulations to judges, the dreadful duo are evidently so cold-hearted they never care about the morality.
But morality matters. Ethics is not just a necessary but inconsequential something which SMPs have sworn to when taking the Hippocratic oath. Some SMPs have abandoned the first ethical principle – to do no harm. For that alone their failures need to be challenged.
But would you believe that there is a “Code of Practice for the Principles and Standards of Professional Behaviour for the Policing Profession of England and Wales” which actually applies to people like Broome or Dr William Cheng, even if they are only a fleeting and temporary SMP gun-for-hire?
Quite by accident, we’ve discovered that the College of Policing’s code of ethics actually stretches itself to cover any person engaged in any work for any police force. Subcontractors are covered and it matters not if the contract agreement to provide the SMP service is verbal, written in stone, toilet paper, carefully scribed in blood, is on vellum or scribbled on the back of a fag packet.
Here it is:
1.3 Scope of the Code
This includes all those engaged on a permanent,
temporary, full-time, part-time, casual,
consultancy, contracted or voluntary basis.
The code of ethics demands honesty, courtesy, equality, the ability to follow the Police Regulations and confidentiality. Let’s look at the scope and detail, and wonder as we do so just how the likes of Broome, Cheng, Nightingale and others square this code with their behaviour.
|Standards of professional behaviour|
|1. Honesty and integrity I will be honest and act with integrity at all times, and will not compromise or abuse my position. 4||6. Duties and responsibilities I will be diligent in the exercise of my duties and responsibilities.|
|2. Authority, respect and courtesy I will act with self-control and tolerance, treating members of the public and colleagues with respect and courtesy. I will use my powers and authority lawfully and proportionately, and will respect the rights of all individuals.||7. Confidentiality I will treat information with respect, and access or disclose it only in the proper course of my duties.|
|3. Equality and diversity I will act with fairness and impartiality. I will not discriminate unlawfully or unfairly.||8. Fitness for work I will ensure, when on duty or at work, that I am fit to carry out my responsibilities.|
|4. Use of force I will only use force as part of my role and responsibilities, and only to the extent that it is necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all the circumstances.||9. Conduct I will behave in a manner, whether on or off duty, which does not bring discredit on the police service or undermine public confidence in policing.|
|5. Orders and instructions I will, as a police officer, give and carry out lawful orders only, and will abide by Police Regulations.I will give reasonable instructions only, and will follow all reasonable instructions.||10. Challenging and reporting improper behaviour I will report, challenge or take action against the conduct of colleagues which has fallen below the standards of professional behaviour|
Stop laughing at the back!
If ever the maladministration of injury awards is adapted into a corrupted game of bingo, you could call house immediately in the above top ten of naughtiness.
By all accounts the code of ethics has guidance on what to do when the code is breached.
Behaviour that does not uphold the policing principles or which falls short of the expected standards of professional behaviour set out in this Code of Ethics will be dealt with:
• according to the severity and impact of any actual, suspected or alleged breach • at the most appropriate level • in a timely and proportionate manner in order to maintain confidence in the process.
For the worst offenders the College of Policing states that the most serious allegations amounting to gross misconduct can result in suspension from duty or restriction of duty, and may involve a criminal investigation and criminal proceedings.
The trouble we have here is the age old problem of who is the custodian of the custodians? Who does an aggrieved person report a breach of the code of ethics to? Of course, you guessed it – the relevant police force or policing organisation you are complaining about. This is such a sick joke, for all Chief Constables are the police pension authority in their own area, so, under the rules of natural justice should not be allowed to decide any matter in which they have a vested interest. Yet they do. And when they do, they of course always, without fail, decide there is no case to answer. Nobody has done anything wrong. Nobody is to blame. Nothing to see here, move along.
If the local professional standards department cuffs away the complaint or calls you vexatious for having the cheek to tell them their own colleagues are dabbling with corruption then it goes to Britain’s police watchdog, the Independent Police Complaints Commission or IPCC.
Home Affairs Committee publishes report on the IPCC – News from Parliament
the Commission is overloaded with appeal cases; serious cases involving police corruption or misconduct are left under-investigated, while the Commission devotes resources to less serious complaints; and public trust continues to be undermined by the IPCC’s dependence on former officers and the investigative resources of police forces.
The IPCC has been slated in the influential Parliamentary report that accuses the IPCC of being overloaded with cases, leaving cases un-investigated, of having no real power and of too often using former policemen as supposedly “independent” investigators.
For us though, it matters not whether the IPCC is fit for purpose. Concerns about the effectiveness or willingness of the IPCC should never be an excuse to not formally report a breach of the College of Policing’s code of ethics. Quite the opposite. Any contravention of this code by any person, working in any facility, needs to be officially reported and recorded to the relevant PSD department.
The volume of complaints can not all be deflected away into a dusty draw of a battered filing cabinet stored in the broom cupboard.
IODPA says this to all injured on duty pensioners.
If a HR minion makes an unlawful threat to remove your injury award, report them under the code.
If a SMP has breached confidentiality of your sensitive medical data, report them to the ICO, GMC and make a formal complaint for contravening the code.
Quite soon the lid will blow off the racket of maladministration of injury awards. The subsequent inquiry will look, through hindsight, at the College of Policing and all responsible Chief Constables and how they allowed such rampant disregard of their own ethical standards.
15 thoughts on “Contractors, Ethics & the College of Policing”
WIRZ recently gave a talk to the “College” of Policing, and they produced a biography of him for other attendees to have site. The “College” described him as “…Nicholas is recognised nationally as an expert in police pensions law”, so much for the savvy of the College, it is a case of the blind leading the blind, WIRZ should have stuck to modern languages in which he originally qualified as a lawyer he is no expert.
Man with Shovel – you are spot on. ICO, GMC etc all urinate in the same receptacle.
I have complained to both and got absolutely no-where. They just close ranks. PMAB was a complete waste of time but I got the impression that you had to take that step before the PO would take your case. I am waiting for their determination as I write.
My sense is that the only fair way of getting a proper result is via the PO or a JR. These so called professional bodies are just window dressing.
The way that IOD police pensioners are being treated on a daily basis is not only shocking but incredible! Who in Government would believe what is actually going on? and how prepared would they be to get involved to stop it? The Police Pension Rules and \regulations are very clear to all pensioners, if they were ever advised that there were any rules and regulations that is! Why are they so difficult for the HR and SMP’s and CC’s of all Police Forces to understand and follow? It seems saving money is the most urgent issue of the day to Police Forces and what and who they have to deny to pursue that goal doesn’t matter to them. Pensioners are of no further use or importance to them.
I would add here that, with the current state of affairs in this country, how many uniform officers or recruits would Forces have if everyone was aware of what happens when your health/ life is destroyed due to violence or accident that can occur on duty and you are retired IOD, and how you will be treated by the Forces you gave all for?
I thank God daily for IODPA. It is growing and hopefully will get to a point where we victims of IOD Pension bullying and harassment can all act together, as a group, and get the Rules and Regulations of Police IOD Pensions followed to the letter, and all offenders seriously punished for what they have been doing all these years.
I would also advise those dishonest Forces that they are dealing with well trained former Police officers who made their living putting away each and every criminal they came across. The number of Researchers, Investigators, Legal experts and knowledge of Laws are increasing daily within IODPA. It is only a matter of time!
This is an exceptional piece of research. Who would have thought that there would be such a thing as a code of conduct. Mr Broome, ( I personally refuse to call these specially selected persons Doctors ) would go well to get past Honesty and Integrity, in fact I’m failing him on Part 1. As for Part 2, Mr Broome doesn’t actually fail the criteria, he actually blows it into orbit! I’m aware that he took part in a three hour shouting match with an IOD suffering from PTSD, who was in the company of a serving Police Officer, and a Police Federation representative. This bout, because that is precisely what it was ( Interview is the correct word, but terrorists weren’t treated like this back in the old bluey days) was temporarily halted, so the accompanying Doctor could resign from the process, before continuing.
So Mr Broome, should have been sacked after parts 1&2.
Had it been a Police Officer, treating a member of public, because of course an IOD is a member of public, in a similar fashion, supported by recorded evidence, as it was in Broomes case, then quite naturally, he would have been immediately suspended.
But, and here is the rub, these ” Hired Guns” are simply too valuable.
For every one they draw , they don’t lose, because just like criminals IOD’s will come again, they will wipe the floor with two unsuspecting pensioners, because the Pohleese and their revolting civilian cohorts ensure that their names, addresses and all contact detail are strictly monitored so help groups such as IODPA cannot reach them.
The problem is further exacerbated by the College of Policing, the Snorkers and piglets, the IPCC and yes, those bastions of freedom, the ICO all singing from the same hymn sheet.
So, Broome under the misguided tutelage of Mr Nicholas Wirtz, will continue until sadly one of two things will happen.
Either an IOD who has been harassed, bullied had his livelihood removed, kills him ( sad for the IOD, perfectly in order for Broome) or more tragically the IOD kills himself.
Then, and only then will they look inwards at themselves, because they will have to.
Right then who do you complain to about the Chief Constable? They all lie they all fail to keep up the standards of a police officer they are all guilty of corruption, but I guess when the Chief gets a complaint he says
” oh bum if I find in favour of this complaint I tarnish myself with it”
No case to answer. This is like asking Arsene Wenger to referee a match between Arsenal and Spurs. Although I would think Wenger may not be corrupt.
As for using SMPs that have had their brains removed and replaced with cotton wool, I know a Force who used a proffesional SMP who treated her patients fairly and completed her report within days she didn’t put down any time for the next review so was forced to do so by HR.
The funny thing is the Force never used her again and she then retired.
What about the story of the two newly recruited SMPs that were being trained by a force to perform the duties of an SMP. They both resigned from the course never to be seen again?
It doesn’t make sense either, being trained by a force to do an independent job and why did they quit? Perhaps they couldn’t be corrupted so good on them.
One day it will all come out and hopefully some senior HR people will get a good kicking, metaphorically speaking or may be not.
Hi Ho I’m orf.
We must not forget the role of the Pensions Regulator nor the Scheme Advisor Board of the Police Advisory Board of England and Wales in investigating such blatant abuses and disregard for the law. The Pensions Regulator will no doubt be interested in the farce that has become the Police Pensions Boards that supposedly oversee the administration of ill-health retirements, police officers’ injury awards and the reassessment of injury pensions.
The way in which some police authorities deal with their severely injured officers is both shocking and disgraceful. At a time when there is no appetite to criticise our brave officers there remain those working within and on behalf of a handful of police authorities who are hell bent on further ruining the lives of the very officers injured doing a job which aims to protect all of us. They know who they are and they know what they are doing. Soon they will all be properly exposed for their cruel and heartless actions. These vile individuals probably think it has been acceptable to make their money by harassing and threatening weakened targets, but when the greater public find out about this there will be a demand for action. Just as there is no appetite to criticise our brave officers, there is equally no appetite to see them being pressured, worried and unnecessarily disturbed after being severely injured/disabled whilst protecting everyone else. Times are changing and yes “enough is enough” in many different ways!!
Are we missing a trick here? Aren’t these “medical professionals” governed by a professional body? If their decision on IODP is obviously against best medical practice and based on say saving money, then surely their action is against the medical ethic and as such a complaint to the General Medical Council (in the case of Doctors) would be justified. The GMC was surely have to take some sort of action if a Doctor got a series of complaints about the same type of issue. Let’s see how courageous these experts are when their professional authority is at risk!
It only takes one spark to light a fire!
Another well written blog. NO nonsense reading straight to the core of the problem.
Excellent article. My solicitor’s (Haven) are citing this breach of the code in my case and Merseyside Professional standards are investigating. If they fail to act then we will take my case to the IPCC, Ive already lodged a complaint against the SMP with the GMC.
Very well put. It just goes to show how deep the rot goes. Unfortunately, this behaviour will continue unless they are forced to stop, or the government through the Home Office, ‘legalises’ their duplicity. I can only hope it’s not the latter.
Before we congratulate the College of Policing for producing its Code of Ethics we should remember this: the College is not an independent seat of learning.
It is wholly funded by the Home Office. It is a private limited company, with but one director, who is the Home Secretary.
All the staff are appointees of the Home Office.
Far from encouraging unfettered intellectual research and discussion on matters concerning policing, it exists to validate the career paths of senior officers who have shown themselves to be amenable to accepting whatever the Home Office says and does.
Cuts to police numbers? ‘We will continue to provide a first class service to the public’
Direct Entry to senior ranks? ‘This is a necessary and welcome step in the right direction as policing is now in need of well educated individuals who can meet the future challenges we will face.’
Denying injured officers an injury award and screwing police injury pensioners? ‘We have highly trained staff and utilise expert medical opinion when considering all matters regarding injury awards.’
This is the College of policing which organised a review of ‘Force Management of Ill Health Retirements, Injury on Duty Awards and Police Medical Appeal Boards.’
Then Temporary Deputy Chief Constable Gareth Morgan of Avon and Somerset Constabulary was happy to run the review. It wanted to know the views of all ‘stakeholders’ – so questionnaires were sent to Chief Officers, HR managers, SMPs etc. but our Gareth decided not to ask the opinions of anyone who was actually in receipt of an injury pension.
As an academic exercise, this review was on a par with North Korea’s Kim Jon-ung asking his generals if they were happy with his leadership.
Our Gareth was thus able to draw the conclusion from the review which the Home Office wanted. ‘There is a critical need for forces to work collaboratively in order to ensure that these processes are managed appropriately as the lack of expertise, consistency and governance of the current arrangements is resulting in considerable problems.’
In other words, we want to set up a centrally controlled administrative machine, with regional centres, where we will select all the staff and SMPs and where we will have full control over all aspects of the grant of injury awards and reviews of degree of disablement.
As with the loaded and fake review run by our Gareth, so too with the empty and deceitful Code of Ethics. It means nothing unless those who contravene it are made to face some consequences.
So, let’s test it. Make complaints -there are SMPs and HR managers whose ethics are so entirely absent that they should be complained about on a regular basis. Let’s see what happens. Call the College’s bluff and insist that the Code of Ethics is applied with full rigour.
Oh, and a p.s. – our Gareth’s reward for his help at the College is that he is now the Chief Constable of none other than Staffordshire Police. He has gone from one hotbed of pension abuse to another. Says it all really, doesn’t it?
Yes, agree entirely.
Pointless reporting matters to PSDs and IPCC.
Force solicitors should be reported to the SRA etc May not get an outcome we would expect as similar levels of covering up take place but gives food for thought and inconvenience of them having to explain themselves.
Some local police federations have also been unhelpful and reluctant to assist officers in applying for ill health pensions.
Another excellent and informative piece, roll on the day when these crooked bastards are held to account.
I pray for the day of the first conviction, the example to all the others that were thinking of following in the same footsteps. That is the only thing that will make them think twice about their actions!
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