To whom it may concern, including police officers and their families of both serving and retired officers across the country.
Please take the short time it will require you to read this testimony the importance of which cannot be over estimated; it may save the life of someone you know.
I joined the police in January of 1991, thoroughly relishing the opportunity of helping the public I served and doing my very best to keep them safe from harm. Over many years I was successful in apprehending criminals and preventing crime. Suffice to say I relished my role as a police officer and was fortunate enough to be commended by chief officers on many occasions for my actions.
In the mid 2000’s I decided to join the police dog section and until the middle of 2013, continued to patrol extremely effectively, in fact now becoming involved in even more serious criminal activity on a far more regular basis whilst also being aware of the seriousness of my role in the preservation of life and property. Again, my actions in work continued to be regularly awarded by chief officers and the Chief Constable himself – I was extremely proud to be making a positive impact against crime in my role.
However, in mid 2013 I became the victim of malicious allegations which were made against me by juveniles that I had assaulted them whilst attending incidents on duty. Within days of the allegations being made against me, I was stripped of my role as a patrol officer, prevented from wearing my uniform in view of the public and ordered not to become involved in any matter, no matter how serious, where a police officer was required. I spent the next 12 months cleaning forty dog kennels for my entire shift every day, as soon as I finished the cleaning of the kennels to start again and carry on until that shift was over.
Whilst the investigation was ongoing (as the allegations were made by juveniles), my family was forced to attend a social services assessment to ensure that I was not assaulting any of my family, having been told that if my family did not go through this procedure the front door of our home “would be taken off its hinges” to allow social services access to our family home.
Although denying the allegations in two interviews, I was subsequently taken to the criminal courts with two offences of assault against me. Eventually found not guilty at trial, with the judge heavily criticising the prosecution case against me, I was eventually able to clear my name.
Catastrophically, during the trial, one of my accusers carried out the rape of a 92 year old and details further came to light as to false details being passed to the court by the police to my detriment.
To this date I am still unsure whether or not a dog which was at the scene of the alleged assault has gone on to kill a woman since my dealing with him, the police failing to take any action in this regard.
With all these issues taking place, I succumbed to ill health with psychological problems and was treated literally as an outcast by my police organisation – the phrases “thrown under a bus” and “sent to Coventry” probably best explain the circumstances I found myself in.
Having been placed on long term sick leave, I eventually spent over a year without my wage and was finally ill health retired from the police.
My family and I also sought independent legal advice resulting in us being successful in winning an out of court financial settlement against the police with regard to their actions against me. At this point the solicitor dealing with the matter then passed me details of IODPA, the Injury on Duty Pensioners Association as in his opinion I required the assistance of police regulation experts to further my case.
Having contacted IODPA and then meeting with them, it immediately became obvious that not only were they willing to listen to my circumstances but were also able to direct me to the best legal advice with regard to police pension regulations that could greatly affect me. The staff at IODPA have been absolutely critical in their signposting of me to Haven Solicitors with Ron Thompson and Mark Botham whose skill has been paramount whilst representing me throughout the police injury on duty pension process.
To have a role you excelled at and were praised for time and time again ripped from under your feet through lies has left me with great psychological damage which I continue to fight at great financial expense to my family and I.
I can state that had it not been for the unwavering support of my family, my civil claim solicitors, IODPA and Haven Solicitors then the circumstances of our situation would no doubt have been deadly.
I implore anyone reading this who either is or has been a member of the police service, or who is related to or friends with someone who is, then please advise them to join the IODPA organisation – they were the ONLY people who will listen to me AND support me when I needed help.
As the saying goes, “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. I can tell you from a truly horrible experience, no other organisation who you would think will support you will do so no matter how many years your subscriptions have been taken from your pay.
Join IODPA as quickly as you can, it’s a move that without exaggeration literally could well save your life!