Breaking News: The Tyranny Of The Questionnaire Ends

Haven Solicitors has successfully won a judicial review against Merseyside Police.   Merseyside decided to give in, this is referred to as ‘conceding the case’ and a consent order has been issued.

We would like to extend our sincere gratitude and appreciation for all of the hard work and dedication provided by Ron & Mark at Haven Solicitors.

Haven’s press release:

IODPA has been openly critical of Merseyside’s mass review methods since they reviewed 502 injury pensions in 9 months.

Sometimes we are eerily prescient. We said Merseyside  ripped through the review process by bullying vulnerable people to wrongly having to self-justify their own entitlement to their award under the cosh of threats that their award will removed or suspended if the invented questionnaire is not completed.  The Merseyside questionnaire follows the same format as all questionnaires used in mass review fishing expeditions.

You can read the offending questionnaire here: Merseyside Review Of Injury Award Questionnaire

No person with an injury award shall never be forced to acquiesce to such invasion of personal and sensitive data again.

Full Text:

Right against Might
Commer House
Tadcaster Enterprise Park
Station Rd, LS24 9JF
DD: 01937 837 708
Merseyside police abandon unlawful suspension of former officer’s police injury pension, reinstate the pension and pay out legal costs.

Merseyside police have abandoned an attempt to force a former police officer to disclose medical records and fill in a capacity questionnaire in advance of a police injury pension review.

The former PC had agreed to be examined by an SMP and give limited disclosure of relevant medical records to the SMP but refused to hand over all his medical records to the Force or fill in a questionnaire about his health for the Force to review in advance of an SMP referral.

He pointed out that the Force had no legal authority to demand copies of any of his medical records or force him to complete a Force questionnaire.

The Mersey Force refused to back down, claiming they had discussed this approach nationally, and had support ( we assume from the National Attendance Management Forum) to do this. The force then suspended the former officer’s entire police injury pension to try to put pressure on him to disclose medical records and fill in their questionnaire.

The former officer, with Police Federation support, also refused to back down. He instructed specialist solicitor, Ron Thompson of Haven Solicitors LTD. Mr Thompson instructed Landmark barristers David Lock QC and Richard Clarke, who promptly drafted Judicial Review proceedings to challenge this unlawful suspension.

The result was that, just before the Chief Constable was due to file his “Defence”, he backed down and lifted the suspension, The Chief Constable will also pay all the former officer’s legal costs, meaning that the episode will not result in any cost to the former officer or the Police Federation.

Ron Thompson commented on the outcome saying:

“This was an unnecessary and totally avoidable dispute. All the Chief Constable’s staff had to do was to read the wording of the Regulations to see that they had no power to force former officers to hand over medical notes or fill in questionnaires, particularly in advance of any decision to make a referral to the SMP.

The lesson from this episode for Forces is that no amount of misguided “advice” from the National Attendance Management Forum can change the meaning of the words of the Regulations.

Any other Force that tries this tactic can expect to be served with the same type of
legal challenge”


Breaking News: The Tyranny Of The Questionnaire Ends
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29 thoughts on “Breaking News: The Tyranny Of The Questionnaire Ends

  • 2017-08-01 at 10:46 am

    All forces who are considering or who are actually carrying out reviews should take note of the Regulations and not what NAMF or NEWF or whatever they call themselves nowadays say which has been proved time and again to be unlawful. These operatives prey on IOD’s and eventually end up with lots of egg on their faces and costing the parent forces loads of money. How does Wirz et al keep their jobs. If we as police officers had conducted ourselves in a similar fashion we would have been disciplined or sacked. They are a disgrace and should not be employed by any police force.

  • 2017-08-01 at 10:45 am

    All forces who are considering or who are actually carrying out reviews should take note of the Regulations and not what NAMF or NEWF or whatever they call themselves nowadays say which has been proved time and again to be unlawful. These operatives prey on IOD’s and eventually end up with lots of egg on their faces and costing the parent forces loads of money. How does Wirz et al keep their jobs. If we as police officers had conducted ourselves in a similar fashion we would have been disciplined or sacked. They are a disgrace and should not be employed by any police force. They are upholders of the law they are not above it.

  • 2017-08-01 at 7:48 am

    Taking candy from kids springs to mind. This behaviour is not unique to Merseyside they are engaged in corrupt practices against injured cops across the UK.

  • 2017-07-26 at 2:56 pm

    If Merseyside had stopped at question one, they could have saved themselves a lot of wasted time, public money and paper. They would also have fully complied with the requirements of Reg 37 which was intended to ensure that the IOD pensioner continued to receive the correct level of injury pension. It was never intended to be an inquisitorial process and all the other questions are completely irrelevant (unless of course you happen to be a HR or Finance Officer grubbing around for made up reasons to try and reduce injury pension payments)
    Other Forces considering going down the same route should think long and hard

  • 2017-07-24 at 11:11 am

    Oh Dear oh Dear oh Dear.
    If Only…………..
    Regulations, Rules, Laws, funny things that they are.
    If it was a game, and you were trying to circumvent the Rules, to suit your own purpose, it would be called………
    If it was normal life and you were trying to circumvent the law, for your own purpose, or to obtain something you were not entitled to, it would be called……………
    But these are Regulations. A little bit like a mixture of Rules, and Laws, to suit both sides . They protect the Employer, and they protect the Employee. They are for the benefit of both the Employer and the Employee.
    So if you try to circumvent them, to once again to suit your own needs and purpose to the detriment of the other, then it is called…………..
    Oh Dear Oh Dear Oh Dear.
    And just who are these naughty chumps trying to do all this, to the detriment of their former Employee…………
    None other than the POLICE.
    Oh Dear.

  • 2017-07-24 at 10:21 am

    Well done to all involved in fighting this long running injustice. You have done a power of work for all of us involved in I.O.D. Campaigns. Thank You all very much

  • 2017-07-23 at 1:11 pm

    Yes but now Staffs Police are saying there will be a ‘medical interview ‘ wonder what this will consist of ? Could it be the same questions as on the questionnaire?

  • 2017-07-22 at 10:55 pm

    Excellent news.
    The questionnaire is tyrannical and the threats that have been made in order to conduct what can only be looked on as a ‘fishing expedition’ equate to the grossest form of disability discrimination.
    Well done to all involved in eradicating this despicable practice.

  • 2017-07-21 at 6:25 pm

    The retired police officer should be commended on his endurance throughout this ordeal. It is a stressful time for him and his family…the attempt to starve you out is wearing and challenging. But when you win and justice prevails, it is worth it.

  • 2017-07-21 at 10:39 am

    Am finding it difficult to work out whether it’s Christmas Day or April Fools day.Having experianced something similar myself I know exactly how The successful I o d and his family are feeling.Huge congrats to all concerned.A full summary of the case and findings was forwarded to Staffs Narpo two days ago by another IODPA member.Their response beggars understanding and they supposedly represent all pensioners.Disgraceful.Shame on you Narpo.To all I o d’s I suggest throw your weight behind our association.They will never knowingly let you down.

  • 2017-07-21 at 5:42 am

    Outstanding result, Staffs needs re think their approach now then, congratulations to the PC involved. By standing firm he as resulted in a decision by his force that will effect all IOD’s

  • 2017-07-20 at 8:37 pm

    Execellent news for the Merseyside officer and everybody potentially subjected to IHR review process. Highly reassuring. Well done Iodpa and Ron Thompson.

  • 2017-07-20 at 7:11 pm

    Ouch! Yet a further embarrassment for the over – promoted A4 pushing desk police and their incompetent arrogant human resource clerks. Well done Haven Solicitors and IODPA. Will lessons ever be learned?

  • 2017-07-20 at 6:38 pm

    Wonderful news and a thank you to all involved, especially the poor IOD pensioner who was fighting Manchester Police for his Human and legal rights. Hopefully each and every Force trying to use the nasty tactics to rob IOD pensioners will now see the light. Hopefully the Federation will realise that the risk of financially supporting IOD pensioners against being bullied and threatened by various police forces is becoming very reduced and it will be the forces acting unlawfully who will be footing the bills! Hopefully the NAMF/NEWF will be seen in their true colours and their incompetence deter any further actions from them being taken notice of by ANY police forces. Hopefully Wirz incapability of understanding and following the law will result in his dismissal!

    IODPA is now a ‘force’ to be reckoned with by anyone wanting to act unlawfully with IOD pensioners

  • 2017-07-20 at 4:45 pm

    I didn’t read the questionnaire initially, thought it was just the “bog standard type”, but my god having read it that is terrible, and from experience that’s STRAIGHT out of the DWP’s handbook on medicals !

  • 2017-07-20 at 4:44 pm

    Well done IODPA, a fantastic organisation with a fantastic legal team.

    From little acorns mighty oaks grow. From a small number in Avon and Somerset we now represent with a serious clout.

    Hated by NARPO and ACPO we win through each time. One by one we expose the bullies and their tactics.

  • 2017-07-20 at 4:40 pm

    There all the same up and down the country, bullying cops and retired cops to comply with there so called “policy”. Its not just reviews they use the same techniques on sick cops who have applied for IHR after being injured on duty. We all know who these bullys are and what your sad techniques are. This is another victory for honesty and decency, why can’t they just apply the regs and law. Oh yes they are ego driven financially motivated criminals.

  • 2017-07-20 at 4:33 pm


  • 2017-07-20 at 4:28 pm

    A massive well done to the officer who stood firm and to the Fed for backing that officer against this unlawful instrument.

    Staffordshire police, are you now going to withdraw your questionnaires now that they are shown to be unlawful? Or are you going to await the replies coming in with notes telling you to shove them right up your arse?

  • 2017-07-20 at 3:52 pm

    A huge well done and thank you to the IOD officer who bravely stood up to the unreasonable intrusion to their rights. Also thanks to IODPA and the wonderful legal team who assisted him in ensuring he, and others, do not suffer further at the hand of yet another force who think they can get away with bully boy tactics on vulnerable ex-officers.

  • 2017-07-20 at 2:50 pm

    What is wrong with these CCs and official legal departments? The Police Regulations are not new. They are enshrined in law and have been for decades! All IODs want is to be treated fairly and according to the regulations but the official side think they can flout the law and intimidate vulnerable injured ex officers. They are a disgrace. They are incompetent and malicious. It’s this bullying attitude that led to the debacle of Hillsborough!
    Over the years I have been out of the job I have been reviewed three times and had to go to appeal once when the official side challenged causation and removed my pension. It was reinstated on appeal. That action was unlawful as well and that was seventeen years ago! I remember being forced to fill out these questionnaires even then! Will these people ever learn?
    I would like to give my support to the officer concerned, the solicitors and barrister for presenting the case and to the Federation for the legal funding.

  • 2017-07-20 at 12:31 pm

    Great result, but I feel for the officer who had his payments stopped and had to endure what can only be described as a traumatic and embarrassing experience resulting in legal action to end unlawful and disgraceful tactics, by the force.

    I was subjected to this intimidating questionnaire, and having read through the supporting letter, I saw that pension payments would be stopped if failing to reply. Therefore, I complied with their request, even though I felt that I was being bullied, belittled and intimidated, and my Human rights violated. I was exonerated from a review ‘on this occasion’, but I still feel that their threats still hang over me.

    In view of the fact that the questionnaire has been deemed to be unlawful, and in view of the fact that officers have been, subjected to harassment causing alarm and distress, will Haven solicitors be asking those officers to come forward and lodge similar complaints against the force?

    Just a thought!

  • 2017-07-20 at 11:53 am

    Hallelujah! At long last this matter has been sorted once and for all. These questionnaires are intrusive and bullying. The consent forms demanding and frightening. Well done to the IOD who stood up to them. I sincerely salute you.
    I am fed up of how these treat their injured officers. They demand with threats, designed to intimidate us.
    But with the help of Mr Thompson and Mr Lock, good prevails again.

    Well done IODPA for updating us and getting the message to us. I am very grateful to you all.

  • 2017-07-20 at 11:51 am

    Well done to all concerned in achieving this result. It must have been difficult for the officer during this process but please remember your hard work in fighting this together with the Federation and solicitors assistance may save another IOD pensioner facing the identical problem.

  • 2017-07-20 at 11:51 am

    Great stuff, so what is the actual (official) purpose of these questionnaires other than to (as I see it) ambush retired Officers in the review ?

  • 2017-07-20 at 11:41 am

    Well, I think we all know exactly where the advice came from that it was OK to issue a questionnaire, with accompanying threats, overt or implied that failure to complete the form would have adverse consequences.

    We need not look far for the source of an unbroken string of utterly incorrect and damaging legal advice and opinion. The NAMF/NEWF is only the conduit for Nicholas Wirz, solicitor to Northumbria Police.

    Why is he still employed? Why does anyone listen to his ramblings?

    The Chief Constable of Merseyside will no doubt spout, if anyone can be bothered to ask for his view, that he had a duty to contest any legal challenges in regard to police injury pensions. Sorry, Chief, it was your intransigence which made a legal challenge necessary. If you had the common sense to listen to IODPA you would not have been dragged to the door of the courthouse.

    Well done to the IOD pensioner who stood up to these bullies. Well done to Haven Solicitors.

    Is there any other force which would like to try using questionnaires, or demanding full medical records?

    • 2017-07-20 at 2:56 pm

      Try Staffordshire Police

  • 2017-07-20 at 11:35 am

    I trust the HR/Occupational Health/Legal staff for the force will receive a severe reprimand for their ill-informed decisions and additional costs out of the police budget.

  • 2017-07-20 at 11:26 am

    Justice and ethics prevails. Take note Staffordshire. Bullies always get chastened. Now is your chance to do the right thing. Reassess your position NOW.

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