Essex Police have sent out their review letters a day before the Bank Holiday weekend. This was a common tactic used by police forces to cause maximum distress and upset to the recipient as they have nowhere to turn over the long weekend period to ask for advice and assistance. These methods were regularly used by Avon and Somerset Constabulary when they kicked off a programme of reviews back in 2014. After many complaints they agreed not to send correspondence before the weekend, thus allowing the pensioner the opportunity to seek assistance.
Essex police, it seems have learnt nothing from the experiences of others.
What is also particularly concerning is the fact that the letter informs the pensioner that the reviews will take place over a period of three years. So the pensioner now has to live with the prospect of further envelopes landing on their mat anytime over the next three years. How can this be conducive to their health and well being?
Finally, the letter quotes a recent court judgment by the name of ‘Goodwin’. Well, Essex Police may consider that for them and other unethical forces that it was a Good Win, but the pensioner concerned was called ‘Goodland’. If Essex police cannot even get the name of recent case law right, what hope is there that these pensioners will get a fair reconsideration of their pensions?
Questions have to be asked, who authorised this letter to be sent out in its current form? Was it BJ Harrington, M Gilmartin, or is this the work of Kevin Kirby, who appears conspicuously absent, but in all probability is still pulling the strings behind the scenes?
Here is a copy of the letter that has been sent.Essex letter
31 thoughts on “Essex Police Send Out Review Letters Before The Bank Holiday Weekend”
My injury was due to being bullied by a senior officer, I refused to carry out his unlawful requests which meant going against PACE and in some cases the law. I ended up with mental health issues- depression, anxiety etc. At the time I had a break down. My illness / injury was of a direct result of the bullying. Prior to the bullying I had never had any mental health issues.
When we join the police we understand that we may be at risk of injury in executing our duties to keep the public safe, however there is no excuse for bullying, Essex Police failed to protect officers like me from bullying, corrupt behaviour, in my opinion they are completely negligent , and here I find myself having to defend my injury pension when had they had protocols and procedures in place to prevent bullying I would have done my 30 years.
Hi Jo, like you i was bullied and was also discriminated against due to a spinal disability. I ended up with chronic depression which has not got better since the bullying in 2013. . Before the bullying, i was a detective in a very specialised role and no history of mental ill health or problems at work. Did your force concede that the bullying caused the mental illness?
I am going through the IOD process now. I resigned in 2016 with a certificate of permanent disability due to a spinal condition. The SMP said my mental illness would go once i left the job or repaired my relationship with the job. I was and still am very sick and now only have the strength to fight the process some 5 years after resigning. It would be interesting to know what case law was used in your case to fend off the SMP’s and HR departments.
I have had some advice from IODPA and am raising funds for legal advice just in case the Fed will not fund the mater.
Thank you 🙂
It’s hard to believe that Kirby would have been backed on doing this had the Chief Constable been aware that the recent judgement they are relying upon to press ahead with these reviews (the case of Goodland, not Goodwin) is the subject of an application for appeal.
If the appeal is won then any reviews conducted relying on this recent case will then also become the subject of appeals.
This could potentially cost Essex Police thousands of pounds in legal costs, damages and possible back payments, plus interest, in addition of course to the thousands of pounds they would have already spent in their haste to review?!
If that happens then those responsible must be forced to resign and that includes the Chief Constable.
I will be making sure their political masters are made aware of this situation as to go gung-ho in the face of uncertainty is eminently foolish, careless and lacking in judgement.
The tax payers of Essex would not support this.
Someone needs to get a grip of reality here and replace emotion with intellect. The Goodland case is not set in stone just yet.
This is not a good look for Essex Police !!
I agree. This matter should be brought to the attention of all the local MPs.
It seems to be foolhardy in the extreme to embark on a process when important aspects are subject to an on-going legal challenge.
Either the Chief Constable is aware of this, or he is not. Either way, he is responsible.
The local MP’s are not interested.When Essex did this in 2018 I went to my local MP.About as good as a chocolate tea pot.Went at the beginning of February to see him.Took lots of notes and ‘seemed’ interested.Then I heard nothing until June when he wrote to me saying he had lost my file and was now progressing with my concerns.End of July got a letter wishing me well at my review which would be happening in the future.
What did annoy me was that the then Chief had stopped the review process, started by Kirby,in the April.
My local MP and I believe all the others in Essex are not interested and that would include the one near me,the Home Secretary.
Sorry to dampen any ideas.
Is IODPA aware that one of the Essex MPs is none other than Priti Patel, the Home Secretary?
How well do the actions of Essex police pension authority sit with her new Police Covenant, which will in part focus on the health and wellbeing of former officers as well as serving officers and staff?.
“This Covenant acknowledges the sacrifices made by those who serve or have served in our Police Forces, either in a paid or voluntary capacity, whether as an officer or as a member of staff. It is intended to ensure that they and their families are not disadvantaged as a result of that commitment and seeks to mitigate the impact on their day to day life or in their access to justice.”
A question. What is the opposite of ‘woke’?
Answer: Harrington/Gilmartin. Joint signatories of the letter.
Woke itself is seen by many, mostly very sensible and kind people without a cruel bone in their bodies, as a rather sick joke. It comes from the good old US of A where it started as a one-word signifier of an awareness of social justice and in particular of racial issues. At that point, it was all well and good. It has however morphed into a catch-all bucket into which people with all kinds of bees in their bonnets pour their frustration and imagined victimhood. It has become a method for killing free speech, for ‘cancelling’ anyone who has a point of view which differs from what the crazies of this World think should be the norm.
The two signatories of the Essex letter to disabled former police officers, Harrington and Gilmartin, are examples of the other extreme side of the same tarnished coin. They surely must have no awareness whatever of social justice, unlawful discrimination, or the effects of disability on mind and body and when they eat their morning corn flakes they certainly don’t use the milk of human kindness.
The tone of the Essex letter is deficient of any empathy, devoid of any comprehension of its impact on the lives and well-being of the recipients.
It reads like the proclamation of a dictator.
Far from being woke the dozy duo are asleep on watch.
So, what shall we call the movement they belong to? All suggestions will be welcomed.
I’m not a former Essex officer, or even a former police officer from any other part of the country, and I have no disability or injuries that I have to live with, but:
I’m shaking with anger and my stomach is churning with nervous tension. That letter is the stuff of nightmares. What low-life blood-sucking swamp creature wrote it? I am disturbed and amazed in equal measure to see that a police force – a bloody police force, for f’s sake, which is supposed to protect and serve, fight crime, look after us and ours – to see that a police force could actually send out such an aggressive and plain nasty letter.
This is a letter sent to damaged, disabled people, many of whom will have mental health issues. I dread to think what harmful effects it will have on them.
It reads like the pronouncement of some petty dictator of a third world country that nobody has ever heard of. All the tell-tales of a power-crazed mind are there to see. For example – look at the way it describes the doctor – giving all his postnominals, LLM MD FRCP FFOM MSA.
No need whatever to do that other than to puff him up and make it sound like he is some kind of super-qualified expert and the poor mortals who he will be assessing need to bow down in awe of his knowledge and medical prowess. All hail Cheng, HN PoP FoAK MC IRS CPB – Healer of Nations, Provider of Powders and Potions, Font of All Knowledge, Master of the Curing, Inserter of the Royal Suppository, Chief Pricker of the Boil.
Has anyone actually checked his credentials?
These ‘reviews’ all feel a bit like being scammed don’t they? As my old boss used to say, it’s not a fraud, it’s a fiddle, clever people do know how to bend the rules you know?!!
Let’s be honest if these reviews were really carried out in good faith wouldn’t the letter to the disabled former officers read something like this?
How are you, I hope you’re managing to cope during these terrible times, it’s been really tough hasn’t it trying to deal with lockdowns and restrictions etc. We know this has had a negative impact on the health and quality of life for so many but we do hope and trust that all our former colleagues are managing to get through all the changes brought about by this so-called ‘new normal?’
And talking of change, you will of course be aware that the Chief Constable in his position as the Police Pension Authority is entitled to consider at suitable intervals whether there has been any substantial change in your injury which might affect your banding and thus your injury payment award.
As this is most certainly not a money making exercise we should make it very clear that we are only concerned that you are being paid the correct amount for your particular circumstances.
So please can you kindly advise us if you feel your injury has now worsened as we will be happy to re-assess your payment. Conversely if you consider your injury has not changed, or has actually improved since you were either last reviewed, or medically discharged from the service, then we would also be very happy to hear from you.
We fully understand that any intrusion into your personal circumstances is likely to cause much distress and you are also probably thinking ‘why me?’ this is understandable as we know we are only one of a very small number of forces who now carry out these ‘reviews.’ But as explained above it is considered important for us as we do care about our former colleagues who we know only too well have only become disabled because they put themselves in harms way in order to protect us.
So we very clearly only want to make sure you are receiving the correct award for which you are entitled.
In this connection we would therefore be most grateful if you could kindly indicate if your injury has substantially altered in any way, or if indeed there hasn’t been any change. A letter from your primary care doctor just confirming your situation would really be most helpful and much appreciated.
May we thank you in anticipation of your kind response to this matter. We look forward to hearing from you and if you would like to discuss any of this over the phone, or by email then please don’t hesitate to contact us.
In the meantime take very good care of yourself and you can be assured of our very best attention at all times.
A fellow human being.”
So in all honesty I believe the average person looking at this objectively would consider the above to be a reasonable approach IF we are to believe the system is straight, is fair and is not about trying to save money!
But what would the same person think if they knew that the doctors these handful of police forces use for these reviews almost always refuse to accept a letter from the pensioners doctor as proof of their current condition?! What has happened to the doctors code of conduct? Does the police doctor think every other doctor is a liar? Is it not insane to even imagine your own GP would ever lie on your behalf about your state of health? Why would they want to do that? Risk their professional reputation and career to lie for a patient?! I don’t think so.
So this then takes us back into the mindset of the police doctor, the selected medical practitioner who has been hired by the police to ‘review’ the payment made to the disabled retired pensioner.
Who knows us best, our GP, or a hired doctor who may only ever spend 15 minutes with us? A hired doctor who refuses to accept a letter about us from our own GP because he/she prefers to look back over years and years of medical notes to see if your spinal injury can possibly be connected to when you fell off your rocking horse when you were 5 years old. This is the truth of matter, this is only a part of the corruption and deception and this is why the current obsession with ‘reviews’ by Essex Police will only end up with costly legal challenges.
So we know for sure that this may not be a fraud, but its one hell of a fiddle and everyone knows it, not least by those involved in pushing this within Essex Police.
Maybe the most surprising part of all of this is they think they haven’t been rumbled. They think the pensioners will ‘roll over’ and they believe we will trust and respect ‘the good doctor?!’
Well dream on Kirby and Co, you’ve had a good run but the game is up!
Turn over a new leaf and copy my suggested letter and send that out. Go on see if you can play fair. If not then please make it known why not? Explain what you’re afraid off. Talk to us nicely and as private citizens we might just decide to afford you the same courtesy. Up to you!!
I wonder how many IOD pensioners are aware that, if their injury condition worsens, they can apply for a re-assessment themselves.
I didn’t know anything about IOD awards when I was retired back in December 1983 with ‘confusion and anxiety disorder’. I was insulted that I had been retired on ‘ill health’ when it was because I had been battered, not just ill, and wrote to my force and said so! Then I got the IOD award straight away. On Band 1 at 25%. After twenty odd years I got a notice of ‘review’. I didn’t know anything about those either, but it seems my force realised I was Band 1 and so didn’t go any further. Meanwhile I discovered that it’s the condition that decides the Banding, not the length of service, which I had assumed back then. So I then DEMANDED a ‘review’! heh heh! (I hope Essex ‘top-cops’ are reading this! ) It took 3 more years to get one! I was re-assessed at 15.25%! I was furious! In 2008 I had seen a Neuro-Psychologist and been diagnosed with dis-executive syndrome (look it up?) as a result of severe brain damage during the assault on me. I was put on Band 4. So it had taken 5 years to get to that point. Unfortunately my force would only backdate it to the 2007 re-assessment, (which in MY opinion was BS. They had IGNORED every Medical report! Just the same as Cheng does!!) So I applied for a 32 (2)! It’s amazing the things you discover about the Regs 🙂
My force fought tooth and nail to refuse the 32 (2) but they lost. It took a further 9 years to get it but in 2018 the SMP wrote: ” Conclusion and Decision: In my opinion, based on the assessment carried out today as well as the evidence to hand, it is my opinion that at the time of the original decision in January 1984, a band 4 degree of disablement was appropriate.”
So my force, WYP by the way, had to backdate to my date of retirement but they had no intention of PAYING it! That took a further 12 months to get on appeal. Basically MY review took from 2004 to 2019! My backpay was over £200,000. (I do hope the Essex force is still reading this!!)
I know this maybe not have been appropriate to place here, but I am hoping that it triggers IOD pensioners to take a good look at their Banding and decide if it is appropriate, or if your injury condition has worsened you will ask to be re-assessed. Maybe if the Forces receive requests for re-assessments to every notice of review they sent out to pensioners they would think twice about mass-reviews procedure, which I think is unlawful, imho, anyway.
Well Done Rosie. Really glad you stuck at it when many would have given up. . All the best for the future.
This is without doubt, yet another shameful, disgraceful and morally corrupt act from a police organisation that has no regard whatsoever for the officers who have suffered in the course of carrying out their duties to society and this police organisation.
A police organisation amongst many police organisations that, when it suits the purpose of these police organisations, glibly rolls out the phrase ‘LOOKING AFTER OUR POLICE FAMILY’, to the TV, press and similar, usually after an officer has been injured, and when politicians, promotions, knighthoods and the mention of upcoming posts within HM Inspector of Constabulary abound, police organisations that have no idea what such a phrase actually means, and have no intention of providing such a service to its injured and retired members.
Shame on all the chief constables who allow and permit such callous vindictive acts of betrayal and who, like all of a similar ilk, have others carry out such shameful acts in their name, quoting regulations as the reason for carrying out such shameful acts, regulations that have been proven to be out of date and criticised by the courts, and who hide behind regulations and legal appeals, wasting, between all of these police organisations hundreds of millions of pounds in appealing judgments of the courts, for one purpose, in an attempt to save face, justify the immense costs paid out in legal fees on these morally corrupt actions.
Will someone please tell the Chief Constable of Essex that he is being poorly advised on the matter of ‘reviews’.
He needs to understand that conducting a mass review programme will result in no financial savings whatever.
He needs to understand that he is being used by certain individuals who have an agenda. If he is a willing participant then he will be revealed to be as disgusting a human being as they are.
He needs to be told that Dr Cheng is a disaster on two legs, who will drag him into endless appeals and court cases. It won’t be Cheng’s name on the court docket – it will be his.
He needs to realise that his mass review programme will damage the morale of serving officers.
He should take a moment to contemplate that his actions amount to an abuse of the police injury benefit regulations and an abuse of disabled people.
Shameful behaviour, Chief Constable.
Apparently NARPO have been “engaged” in this process and are mentioned as in some form of legitimacy. NARPO for this force should engage and send their own opinion to all the pensioners who have received letters offering their full support after engaging with the local Federation.
Having just received my latest copy of NARPO magazine and having read it from cover to cover, I see no reference whatsoever to ‘Injury non Duty Pension Reviews’.
Are the PFEW involved at all?? Who knows and if they are, what are they doing about it?
I find the whole situation extremely confusing and very unsettling (being an IOD Pensioner myself).
Time and again, action by the IODPA has shown that the ‘Review’ system is being manipulated in order, it seems, to save money but time and again, decisions made by courts have proved that these manipulations are unlawful.
This being the case, why is it that the only organisation defending these Injured Officers is the IODPA.
I always looked on the PFEW and NARPO as organisations which existed in order to act in the best interests of serving and retired Police Officers.
Why is it that a completely separate organisation had to be devised in order that Officers being ‘Reviewed’, could be helped and advised to combat the ‘Unlawful Manipulations’ of the Review Process. Sadly, for some, it is already too late!!
Having seen this process start many years ago, I aware of many (but not all) of the various methods employed by ‘The Pension Controllers’ to try to achieve their objectives . Exactly how much extra cost the various forces have had to digest as a result of their ‘Unlawful Manipulations’ and ensuing court costs , goodness only knows.
Whilst it is not surprising that most if not all, IOD Pensioners, are fully aware of what is happening, it seems that the vast majority of Serving Officers know little or nothing about it. Why? Surely it is their best interests to know what they may face in the future, be that near or far .
There are many other facets of this which I find disturbing but it seems that others who know more, are not saying!!
The real problem here is a question of fairness, integrity, transparency and consistency.
Pretty much everyone involved in the process of injury reviews knows the system is corrupt. It is the unspeakable truth, always denied by those trying to save money, but well and truly known by those on the receiving end.
How can a system be fair when you have an organisation like Essex Police deciding they will now carry out mass reviews? A review of an injury pension is supposed to be an individual consideration, not a massive fishing expedition?! How can it be fair when mostly everywhere else in the Country disabled former Police Officers are left alone.They are only reviewed if they or their former police force consider it necessary or appropriate. So it’s a postcode lottery, is that a fair system? And how is it fair to only review those of a certain age? What has age alone got to do with it? Is this age discrimination or not?!
Finally why do Essex Police expect their disabled former officers, all of whom were injured in the course of their duty, ie, protecting the public, to believe in a system which employs a doctor who has had numerous complaints made against him and has had countless appeals go against him?
If anyone can provide reasonable explanations to any of the above then please go ahead.
In the meantime Mr Kirby please don’t expect any of us to believe a word you say and don’t expect compliance without a fight. Remember you have created this lack of trust by previously sending out illegal questionnaires together with inaccurate and misleading quotes from the relevant regulations.
So as stated above, there are very real problems with all of this and none of it can be blamed on those disabled ex officers who are having their lives disrupted yet again.
Play fair, try and restore confidence, be kind, be considerate, build bridges and you will experience a different reaction, but for now you are kidding no one.
Why mention that the reviews are nothing to do with saving money? They are clearly about saving money. The SMP is none other than Dr Cheng so will those officers being reviewed be asked to complete a satisfaction questionnaire after the visit? I hope not as that is one of his favourite tricks.
The trauma that these reviews bring can have devastating affects on the health of Iod’s and this is never taken into consideration by any forces who so often spout about mental health issues and how well they deal with it.
I would only reiterate as previous commentators have said, contact IODPA and get the advice and support they offer. If you are one of the IOD’S then you have a lot of support from within the IOD community. I have been in this position like many others and understand the stress and anger the Essex officers are going through.
This has hurt people. I think this is really going to hurt the people that thought this to be a good idea.
This process really scares me. I can’t believe that such weaponised language is used to start these reviews. I am sad that the Police Service seeks to adjust Ill health retired officers IOD for financial gain which is the only motivation. If it weren’t then they’d leave us alone. I pray these reviews don’t push some of us over the edge
This tactic has Nicholas Wirz written all over it. (Principal solicitor for Northumbria Police)
Essex will hopefully come to see that no savings will be made, as they end up in Court time after time. Please donate to the iodpa appeal to start putting Essex and the rest on their back foot.
It all stinks. No lessons have been learnt from other forces. Without doubt this action will have a significant effect on those involved so please stay strong you can get through these reviews.
I don’t care who from Essex sent out this letter, Kirby has his dirty little paws all over it. Any IOD’s from the Essex force should spread the word to the uninitiated about IODPA and what they do. If you don’t want your pants pulled down by the force under the guise of ‘A Review’ please take advice from those who actually know what the regulations say. Essex are using this as a cost cutting exercise same as all the others who tried it on and got their fingers burned. If they say otherwise they are lying like a cheap watch.
It’s very difficult to determine who has actually authorised and signed this BS letter. Usually it’s signed by the person who wrote it or a ‘PP’ for the sub-serviant who did it on his behalf. It IS interesting that the Chief Constable is stated as Scheme Manager. So they have THREE Scheme Managers? and nobody ABOVE that to take responsibility for what comes as a consequence? Nobody wanting to be the sole sender? heh heh!
Yes charming behaviour by Essex Police, one of only a few forces who like to hound disabled former officers in order to try and save a small amount of money.
But those who need to know are now well briefed, so the likes of Kirby and Cheng won’t get a free ride.
Shame a good Chief Constable who has said he will always support injured officers has now been dragged into this.
But fear not, the story has only just begun.
Am I reading this wrongly, or are Essex Police saying they will be reviewing the IOD award and not just looking for a significant change in an IODP’s physical or mental state?
At one time Notts started to reassess officers in alphabetical order.
I was under the belief that the Police Authority had to have a reason to believe that there had been a significant change in the relevant injury or illness to carry out an examination.
If the officer has a letter from his doctor or specialist clearly stating that there had been no change in his relevant injury/illness would the SNP be entitled to carry out the examination?
If this is a repeat pattern of behaviour by the Essex force and cases are challenged in the courts, then their historic practice and tactics of humiliation of Police Pensioners, should be raised by those defending the pensioners. Any court will see that this repeated intimidation will be proof of repression, and on that basis the Essex force should be reprimanded and warned of the consequences of their future conduct.
The timing was no doubt deliberate, and plain nasty.
In addition, the timescales involved are puzzling – when I were a copper, if I took three years to complete a task id have been dropped on from a great height, but in this case it appears to be an actual aspiration .
Also the layout of the letter, DELIBERATE over use OF EXCESSIVE AMOUNTS OF CAPITAL TYPE seems to be engineered to make it as difficult as possible for those with dyslexia to read. Most forces have some kind of corporate communications policy which advises against this sort of thing, but those in authority from most forces seem to wilfully ignore it.
A poor show all round from an organisation that is supposed to act expeditiously, proportionately, and with regard to equality.
Absolutely shameful, despicable tactics, but not in the least bit surprising.
Forces are doing their very best to demoralise and cause mental stress to the most vulnerable of their pensioners, to whom they have a DUTY OF CARE. The only ‘duty of care’ it would seem is to the balance sheets. Once demoralised, they try to isolate them, hoping that they will be cowed by the procedure. It would appear that there is an expectation that pensioners must still follow orders!
Staffordshire’s debacle was, according to Baker’s letter to his IODs, going to take ‘at least’ 18 months. Four years later it’s still ongoing, in fact some of those affected have since passed away, still unnerved by the force’s egregious conduct.
My thoughts are with the Essex pensioners affected. The one consolation is that IODPA are on the case, let’s hope that everyone will be made aware of the support that IODPA can give to them.
I am one of the officers involved and received mine on friday 30th although dated 16th.
I have since spoken to Federation solicitor who has given great advice and I would advice any other essex officer who also received their letter to make contact with him.
On a similar vein Policing Board for Northern Ireland regularly use terms like we will be in touch ‘by return’ or ‘in due course’ where in reality they mean six months to a year, unless they forget about it all together.
No other section of the community could be treated like this without a backlash against the organisation involved.
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