The ‘Injury On Duty Pensioners Association’ – (IODPA) was born out of necessity, following the Avon and Somerset Constabulary who embarked upon a program of reviewing police injury awards in 2014. The force initially selected sixteen people, all of whom were band four – the highest banding, and were all under fifty- the youngest age group. It quickly became clear that the reason for the review program was purely to save money, and nothing to do with ensuring that the pensioners were receiving the correct award for their injury under the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006.
Informal, but regular meetings started to take place in a pub beer garden between seven of those that were subject of the review process. They researched the legalities of the reviews, and then swapped notes. None of the individual pensioners objected to being reviewed as long as it was done fairly, lawfully, and in line with the regulations and relevant case law.
That philosophy remains today with IODPA.
The initial group made contact with others who were being reviewed, or may have been at risk of being reviewed. It was discovered there were a number of other forces in the country who were actively reviewing, or had a history of reviewing. It became apparent that many pensioners had been treated unfairly, and unlawfully. There was significant case law in existence which confirmed that wholesale abuse of the regulations had been going on for some time. In short, the regulations which were put in place to compensate for loss of earnings due to an injury were not being adhered to, or were being deliberately circumvented.
As well as receiving messages from those actively under review, the group were also answering queries for those who were going through the ill health retirement (IHR) process, were applying for an injury award, or had previously been given an award.
Poor support, lack of advice, or maladministration of their injury awards was a common theme.
IODPA took up the mantle and campaigns on behalf of IOD award recipients, to educate and encourage Police Pension Authorities to lawfully abide by the legislation, statutory regulations and case-law that defines how IOD awards should be administered and to treat disabled former officers with the respect they deserve.The association aims to work alongside other similar organisations, to further support our boys and girls in blue.