Northumbria’s Lazarus Syndrome

“Look up here, I’m in heaven
I’ve got scars that can’t be seen
I’ve got drama, can’t be stolen
Everybody knows me now”
― David Bowie

Steve Ashman, Chief Constable of Northumbria police, found himself in the news this week.  He dismissed criticism by the NSPCC  of the decision to pay an informant who is a convicted child rapist to secure a set of child grooming convictions.

Speaking to the BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Ashman said: “I accept that some people will not agree with position we have taken, but I have to be content, on the back of the convictions we have secured to date, that it was the right thing to do.”

Our readers understand all too well the the use of informers is a real dilemma … sometimes risks have to be taken and the police have to adopt strategies which at first blush would appear to be awkward and unpleasant. It is a sad fact that any informant who needs to be paid to help the police will be of dubious character, and many will have criminal histories.

It’s newsworthy that the NSPCC – UK’s leading children’s charity feels it wasn’t proportional that a convicted child rapist was paid £9,680 by Northumbria over 21 months to find out about the times and whereabouts of ‘sessions’ where girls were being plied with drugs and alcohol.  The NSPCC are entitled to raise the matter.  We think this is an operational matter for Northumbria to justify. Ashman said the NSPCC had got its facts wrong.

Police had to make a decision and – while unpleasant – if paying a convicted child rapist £10,000 gives the information needed to bring a swift conclusion to another criminal enterprise intent on the sexual abuse and rape of vulnerable children, then it is surely a price worth paying.

There is no nuanced argument, however, that condones how Ashman allows his force, on his watch, to decimate the income of those injured on duty.

That being said, the NSPCC is a victim of the same trite dismissal of a valid concern that is the usual response IODPA has familiarity with when the police defend their actions concerning injury awards. Telling the media the NSPCC has “their facts wrong” is a media soundbite but it helps no-one when concerns are disregarded in this manner.

As with the NSPCC, we in IODPA also are seeking answers from Northumbria.  We would like to know how CC Ashman thinks he can justify the way he is systemically setting about impoverishing severely disabled former officers who are in receipt of an injury pension. The stink rising from Northumbria on this issue is a miasma like that of an untended public toilet.

Police Injury Regs 2006 – a Freedom of Information request to Northumbria Police

Could you please provide the below information regarding the Injury on Duty awards to ex police offices. How many IODs does NP have and please provide a breakdown of each that are in bands 1-4 How Many Reviews have been carried and of what band Whether any were increased.If so by how many bands Whether any Decreased and if so by how many bands Whether any remained the same.

For our readers who aren’t aware of how the amount of injury pension due to officers injured on duty to the extent they can no longer work as a police officer is calculated, there are four bands or levels of payment, each of which covers a range of degree of disablement:  band one covers 0% to 25% (slight disablement); band two more than 25% to 50% (minor); band three is more than 50% to less than 75% (major); band four is the highest band and covers very severe disablement 75% to 100%.

Will Northumbria tell us our facts are wrong?  They can try.  The statistics are theirs.

The amount of pension paid may be revised should an individual experience a substantial improvement, or a substantial worsening, of their degree of disablement. A Chief Constable can conduct a ‘review’ of any individual’s degree of disablement, subject to certain conditions.

In the above Freedom of Information Act request Northumbria police admits to carrying out sixteen reviews from January 2016.

Of the sixteen reviewed, twelve have been decreased.  A shocking 75%.  As horrendous a statistic as this is, it is abhorrent to read that three of those on a band four injury award were reduced to a band one – in other words from the highest degree of disablement to the lowest.  Three other band fours were reduced to a band two and five on a band three were reduced to a band one.

Some context:  Merseyside reviewed 502 by use of quantifying salary only in the enforced compliance of filling out a, now discredited, questionnaire.  Merseyside reduced 25 out of 502 –  5% had their injured award lowered in bands.  Let us remind you that Merseyside had threatened those retired from the force with a review if their salary increased by 10%.  Don’t believe us?  Here is the letter sent by Peter Owens.

So it’s fair to say, as far as the Regulations are administered lawfully, Merseyside fail.  Even still, they only reduced 5% of those reviewed.  Northumbria has reduced 75%

These aren’t just reductions.  This isn’t simply substantial change, an improvement to a person’s degree of disablement that has resulted in a drop of a band – this is wholesale slaughter of the income of those injured on duty.

We can guess that most of the reductions are being made on wrong assumption made by Dr Broome, Northumbria’s SMP, that co-morbidities are competing with the person’s inability to earn. In other words Northumbria is claiming that the presence of one or more additional diseases or disorders co-occurring with (that is, concomitant or concurrent with) the recorded duty injury means a person can go from 100% degree of disablement to zero percent.

Likely as not there has been no change to disabling effects of the duty injury in any of these cases. No change to circumstances of the person regards to the capacity to earn.  Northumbria is reducing people who have been band four or three for many years without change, just because they are carrying out a policy to reduce that is unlawful as well as insultingly aggressive. Chief Constable Ashman tells us that he is concerned about protecting vulnerable young girls whilst he is busily engaged on a programme to destroy the pensions of honest, loyal former officers who had the misfortune to be injured whilst performing their duties.

Many of the injury pensioners are vulnerable too. Forget the image of the rufty-tufty copper and picture instead a shell of a human being, reduced to a life of constant anxiety and plagued with flashbacks, insomnia, depression and all the other symptoms that come with a mind damaged beyond repair by the harsh realities of police work.

If the Regulations called for a reduction to the lowest percentage when a person suffers from Parkinson’s disease or a cancer, then it would explicitly say as such.  Northumbria is raising Home Office circular 46/2004 from the grave.  Instead of automatic reduction at 65 years of age, this time a person is reduced when advancing age equates to advancing illnesses.

Or Northumbria has seen a dozen walking miracles.  Either it is unlawful or what is happening in Northumbria could  called by biblical name: the Lazarus effect, after the story in which Jesus stands outside the tomb of Lazarus of Bethany and summons him back to life.

We have heard anecdotal accounts that the Police Federation in Northumbria will never sign off a C2 funding form to provide much-needed legal aid to any injury pensioner who is facing an unlawful reduction of their injury pension.  We say that any reduction from a band four to a zero percent band one should automatically be heard in front of a police medical appeal board (PMAB).

The matter the NSPCC took up with the media isn’t as black and white and there are intricacies to any payment to an informant that has grey areas.  What Northumbria is doing to medically retired former officers has no such complexity.

Northumbria has a policy that is contrary to law and they must be called to account before the misery spreads.









Northumbria’s Lazarus Syndrome
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20 thoughts on “Northumbria’s Lazarus Syndrome

  • 2017-08-31 at 8:44 am

    Praise be to the lord. Hence forth let this SMP be known as a saint.
    The SMP must be a Saint as they have made miracles happen.
    For to go from band 4 to band 1 then a healing of biblical proportions must have taken place.
    Has the pope been notified?
    Alas until the hand of God comes down and quashes the creators and instigators of such fakery then pensioners will suffer .
    IODPA has a hand that is getting bigger as each of us add a little to it.

  • 2017-08-18 at 12:11 pm

    Morgan asks for honesty and integrity from his Officers. Wow.

    Just how well would dear old morgan and the rest of his henchmen, not forgetting everyone involved in the Avon and Somerset debacle, Merseyside and Northumbria, if they were asked to do a lie detector test.

    About as far as answering their name and rank I reckon!

    The Lies they have all told, the amount of Skulduggery that has gone on, would make any big time villain really pleased with himself, and they just keep doing it!!

    It’s almost as if they cannot help themselves, but to come out with the biggest load of tripe they can dream up.

    Open and Transparent.

    Do me a favour.

    They, are about as open and transparent as the phial that did for Litvinenko.

    Do as I say, not do as I do should be their motto!

  • 2017-08-17 at 8:22 pm

    Do the injury on duty bands vary slightly from force to force in Staffs 25% is band 1 Here it’s band 2. All seems a bit of a con to me

    • 2017-08-19 at 3:07 pm

      25% and less is a band one Ian.
      That being said, we are constantly shocked in the mistakes made in calculations and interpretation of the police injury benefit regulations. The ESA debacle is the latest of many and sadly won’t be the last.

  • 2017-08-17 at 6:41 pm

    It amazes me that these officers who have served their forces so loyally are now treated so badly. What sort of a message does it send to those still serving. I am disgusted that these forces,Northumbria,Avon &Somerset,Merseyside and Staffordshire etc etc treat there former officers so badly. I have noted that Staffordshires Chief Constable Morgan has recently commented about how he expects honesty and integrity from his officers in relation to a PCSO who has been convicted of theft. I wonder how well he would stand up to scrutiny when Staffordshire along with the other forces are finally found to be acting unlawfully in relation to the current reviews. I look forward to that day.

  • 2017-08-15 at 11:08 am

    “I know what youre thinking Punk, did he fire five or 6, well, to tell you the truth, in all the excitement I clean forgot myself”

    It must be early days in the Northumbria battle, or possibly, unlikely I would say, they have learned from one of hundreds of AS F@@k ups, and are actually answering FOI requests!

    Taking a positive approach to gaining valuable intel for convictions in relation to child grooming, is but a small price to pay.

    But then lets just start looking at the figures they have released, assuming they are correct, which they aren’t.

    So they have carried out 16 reviews.

    Must be something about the number 16, didn’t Avonandsomesh@t ” Review ” 16, or at least tried to, at a cost of somewhere in the region of half a million pounds, before the bean counters, pulled the rug.

    Anyway figures. Figures are facts, and we have seen that the Powleece don’t like facts and figures, because they represent something they have forgotten all about these days, truth.

    Northumbria have 616 IOD’s, of which 39.6% are Band 1, 36.8% are Band 2, 17.8% are Band 2 and just 5.8% are Band 4.

    Good old AS used what they called a Random Number generator, to ” Select ” their candidates for Review, unfortunately for them it didn’t manage to create the reasonable belief of substantial alteration at the same time.

    Northumbria’s method of selection would appear to be even less considerate.

    We’re going to review 16 ( The Magic Number ) of which 10 will be 4’s and 6 will be 3’s

    28% of all Band 4’s have been ” Reviewed ” on what basis you may well ask, 60% were given a strike out by that reincarnated turd Dr Broome, to Band 1.

    Not content with that, he goes for a full house with the Band 3’s.

    Broome should have been struck off by the GMC last year, after one of his reviews descended into a shouting match between himself, another Doctor, who withdrew from the process almost immediately, the Reviewee, and her support team, of a senior Police Officer and a Federation Representative.

    I hope the appeals are in, and they are having to engage reverse gear pretty rapidly on this one, because the only way these idiots will learn to stop this is if, the court costs start racking up.

    Don’t expect anyone to fall on their sword though. It doesn’t happen to Civvies. Civvies are moved, to a different department.

    The sad fact is this. The likes of Northumbria, Merseyside, and probably AS, know only too well that the relevant regulations do not serve their purpose as far as they are concerned.

    They cannot achieve what they want to achieve lawfully using the existing regulations, so they will change tactics.

    AS have already called for new legislation, well from my position I would say the Home Office have more than enough to deal with at the moment, and probably for the next ten years, so dream on.

    They will pick off individuals, one at a time, and hope they don’t pick on one of us.

    So what you gotta ask yourself punk is ” Is it my lucky day ? “

  • 2017-08-15 at 9:14 am

    Avon and Somerset Police crawled back under a rock, Merseyside had to find reverse, Staffordshire have gone awfully quiet. So Northumbria your turn is coming, so you had better get ready.

    This will not be a walk in the park, you are up against the IODPA and its team of lawyers who know the law not like the Prat Wirz.

    This will cost you a lot of money and the way things are going some of you could face criminal charges. As Churchill once said “we are waiting for the invasion, so are the fishes”

  • 2017-08-14 at 8:13 pm

    Just remember this. You keyboard warriors, trying to terrorise the injured. One day soon, we are going to have a face to face chat about all of this.

  • 2017-08-14 at 7:32 pm

    Dear Northumbria Police

    You are the Police. You are trained to know when a crime has been committed and you have a duty to deal with it.

    Often, it’s just circumstantial evidence or an experienced hunch that leads you to the perpetrator.

    So, how do you you explain failing to deal with the criminal who performs under the title of Dr Broome, whose crimes are blatant and in front of your faces?

    You employ him to medically assess your police pensioners. Those who were injured in the line of their duty looking after the public you serve.

    How is it that the obvious crimes he is committing, on your behalf, are ignored? The evidence is staring you in the face. 16 injured former officers medically reviewed and a determination that 75% of them, 75 bloody percent, should have their injury award reduced.

    That is statistically impossible. It is criminal. YOU, Northumbria Police, are criminal. YOU will not be able to claim a mistake or misjudgement on 75% of former officers. It is a straight up deliberate and criminal decision.

    YOU are responsible for the devastation this unlawful process is having on those injured former officers. Make no mistake, we all know it is unlawful and you will be brought to buck for that eventually.

    But, the deliberate criminal act of fraud being carried out by Dr Broome will ultimately be the downfall of him and those in public office turning a blind eye.

    Yes, you are hurting people. But don’t be so arrogant to think that those and others like them are sitting back doing nothing or shouting veiled threats.

    The lawyers are with us. The law is on our side. A great big can is starting to split and the worms are already escaping.

    There have been many travesties of corruption within our Police service over the years. The manner in which YOU, Northumbria Police, and others like you, process the reviews of those former officers injured in the line of duty is another travesty.

    But, I am certain that individuals from Northumbria Police, those in their employ and others like them, will be dealt with for these obviously deliberate acts in the criminal courts. It may take a few years but we will get you there.

    I for one can’t wait.

  • 2017-08-14 at 7:32 pm

    Northumbria your reviews are unlawful.
    The FOI response you have provided states you are reviewing IOD’s that have not been reviewed for some time, where in the regulations does it state you have a right to do this?
    Quite simple, it does not!

  • 2017-08-14 at 5:47 pm

    Broome, Wirz and Ashman. A trio of evil awaiting a JR knee capping.

    That will come to you, if you don’t end your unlawful practice.

    You have been warned.

  • 2017-08-13 at 3:21 pm

    Upon reaching a certain rank, every Officer should have to reaffirm their original oath of office, as both a reminder and a legal caveat of their JOB. No more thinking they’re untouchable and above the law. Prosecutions and perhaps incarcerations need to be brought to act as examples and deterrents.

  • 2017-08-13 at 2:16 pm

    With reference to the recent Fisher v Northumbria case, it is hardly surprising that Wirz sent Mr Fisher an unlawful ‘invoice ‘for 20 k. Clearly they need all the money they can get to feed paedophiles and rapists. In the old days when officers had proper investigative skills, such conduct as this would never have been sanctioned. There is a shit pie festering at Northumbria and Ashman has simply jumped ship.

  • 2017-08-13 at 12:34 pm

    Dr Broome, you are a monster, just at a time when these police heroes who have been forced to retire because of their injuries and need help and support become more unwell because of cancer and serious illness, you exploit these conditions to reduce their pensions. You do this by twisting regulations and making up your own rules. How do you sleep at night? How dare you call yourself a Doctor.

    Again IODPA, the true voice of all IODs highlights the unlawful procedures and corruption of the “review process. Anyone reading these horrendous statistics could fail to be horrified by the scale of the injustice being carried out by Northumbria Police and Dr Broome. Regular readers of these blogs will be well familiar with Dr Broome and his perverse practices and may well wonder why would any force continue to use the services of such a morally defunct character to carry out what is essentially a simple task in answering a simple medical question. His reasoning is perverse, its all made up, there is no provision for these unlawful tactics in the regulations. Northumbria, it’s only a matter of time before you receive a financial kick in the nuts from a well aimed Judicial Review.

    Here’s a suggestion for any forces considering future reviews, sit around the table with IODPA who really understand and represent IODs and carry out reviews, lawfully, fairly and with compassion.

  • 2017-08-13 at 11:16 am

    The Merseyside Medical Retirement Officer, Peter Owens who has given himself the power to reduce IODS is an iod himself so who reviews him?
    Who has satctioned his power to reduce IODS or even review them without seeing an SMP.

  • 2017-08-13 at 10:45 am

    So this is what they are doing with money made from reducing IOD pensions? SHAMEFUL! I am now starting to wonder which other laws Northumbria police do not follow! They certainly do not follow the Legal Rules and Regulations of the Injury on duty pensions!

    Theft – Wikipedia
    In common usage, theft is the taking of another person’s property or services without that person’s permission or consent with the intent to deprive the rightful owner of it.

    Fraud – Wikipedia
    In law, fraud is deliberate deception to secure unfair or unlawful gain, or to deprive a victim of a legal right.

    I think there could be enough evidence amongst the ‘reviews’ and sometimes IOD retirements that would find the Police FORCES guilty of one of these crimes if not both. I also think it is time CC’s, HR units and SMP’s actions and reports were seriously investigated.

  • 2017-08-13 at 8:23 am

    As more and more forces are brought to book by JRs and more and more SMPs are exposed for what they really are (fraudulent doctors riding a gravy train), I find it astonishing that chief constables continue their ludite behaviour and totally ignore the fact that they acting unlawfully.
    What about those of the rank of inspector or above who are IODPA? You don’t hear about any reviews for those ramks. I wonder why?

  • 2017-08-13 at 7:12 am

    Ashman is retiring from Northumbria Police according to the Press. Didn’t hang around long did he? I wonder which one of Northumbria’s ‘Chiefs’ will be called to account in Court in the not too far off future when all this is exposed….

  • 2017-08-13 at 6:22 am

    When will they stop, when will they cease why do they do this and who is to blame.
    Easy answer they won’t stop and the HR department along with CC’s and other jumped up twats who think they know the regs. They are to blame and they want money and they want to enhance their careers on the back of saving money by targeting the old and injured.
    You lot are disgusting and a waste of space. Do you really think that the regulations where made for the police?
    Read them you idiots they are made to protect the IODS from morons like you so just start using them properly or you will face the consequences and those will be an expose in the national media which will show what yellow bellied cowards you all are watch out it will happen.

  • 2017-08-12 at 10:36 pm

    Sadly, this vile and twisted corruption being inflicted by Northumbria Police and the so called Dr Broome will not be sorted quickly enough.

    However, Dr Broome needs to be prepared. He is happy to take his money and run now, but when this despicable process is finally deemed unlawful, Dr Broome will feel the wrath of a class action against him personally.

    These Northumbria police pensioners who are suffering at the hands of the likes of Broome will win. They will complain as a group to the GMC about the dishonest and harmful behaviour of Broome and more importantly, they will vehemently pursue a private prosecution against Broome personally for personal injury.

    There are already a number of police pensioners from a variety of other force areas with evidence ready to support a private prosecution against Broome.

    The walls are closing in on police forces breaching the pension regulations, but just watch how forces distance themselves from SMP’s when the time comes.

    Your time will come Broome and far sooner than you expect. Your dirty and corrupt practice will be on show for all to see and don’t think you will have any support from those forces choosing to employ you.

    I for one relish the day I see you in court.

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