chief constable

Chief Constable Morgan sends letters to vulnerable pensioners

Chief Constable Morgan sends letters to vulnerable pensioners

Chief Constable Morgan of Staffordshire Police today sent a letter to former police officers, all of whom are disabled, either mentally or physically.

These pensioners have been under review for a considerable amount of time and have to date fully complied with The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 which govern them.

They have been sent this letter by Mr Morgan who has given them a week to comply.

Our advice is that these vulnerable and injured pensioners should politely decline his offer.

 

Morgan_letter

 

Watch out for a more detailed blog on this letter shortly.

The only way is not Essex

The only way is not Essex

What we’ve got here is failure to communicate.
 Cool Hand Luke (1967)

It seems there has been a rush of blood to the heads of certain people in the higher echelons of Essex Police. For reasons as yet unknown to the Police Pension Authority, which is an office vested in none other than the sole personage of the Chief Constable, Steven Kavanagh (pictured), has decided to commence a programme of reviews.


For anyone who has not kept up with ongoing events in the long drawn out and sorry saga of police injury pension maladministration which has blighted the lives of far too many disabled former officers, here is a brief recap.

A ‘review’ is shorthand for what happens when a Police Pension Authority (PPA) exercises a power of discretion conferred on it by Regulation 37 of The Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. A PPA decides to check whether the degree of disablement of an officer, retired with an injury pension, has altered.

It sounds simple, and it is simple. All a PPA has to do is follow the Regulations and be familiar with the ample case law which provides clarity should explanation be needed. Or, if they fancy a lighter but no less helpful read, HR managers could do no better than study the blogs which IODPA has thoughtfully provided to help educate them.

Yet despite this ready access to information PPAs have consistently managed to muck things up. You would think they were doing it deliberately.

In Essex, it is almost as though everyone who has had a hand in setting up this programme of reviews has been secured in a bubble, kept separate from the rest of the world, so they have no idea whatsoever about recent events.

Events such as the disaster in Avon and Somerset, where much public money was wasted in attempting to hold a review programme, which in our opinion was unlawful.

Events such as the Information Commissioner’s advising that Avon and Somerset and Northumbria had no right to continue to hold excessive historical personal information about retired officers.

Events such as the binding opinion of the Honourable Mr Justice Supperstone in the 2012 case of Simpson v. Northumbria Police Authority and others, where he made it very clear that,

‘The statutory scheme requires an assessment as to whether there has been an alteration in the degree of disablement first. A further quantum decision on the present degree of disablement is only permissible if the police authority, acting by the SMP, have first decided that there is a substantial alteration in the former officer’s degree of disablement.’

So, what is going on in Essex? What has prompted the idea to review batches of injured pensioners? And why has nobody – absolutely nobody – in management had the common sense and nous to look at the regulations and case law to see why their plan is likely to spectacularly fail.

It is indeed a failure to communicate on an epic scale.

More than a failure of communication, it is a failure of awareness, a failure of reason, a failure of professional competence, a failure of decency, a failure of knowledge and a total failure to treat disabled former officers with respect and consideration. There is so much wrong with what Essex is doing that in the space of this blog it won’t be possible to cover all aspects. We can, however, focus on a few elements which demand special attention due to their sheer crassness.

Let’s look at the letter and questionnaire which Kevin Kirby, Head of Pension Governance & Compliance has sent to the first of the injury pensioners who have been selected to undergo a ‘review’. Just who does he think he is, and just who does he think he is talking to?

He writes,

‘We will require a full update on your medical status since your retirement which requires you giving consent for release of your GP records.’

No, you can’t do that Mr Kirby. A review must only determine if there has been any alteration in the specific disabling effect of the recorded duty injury or injuries. One’s ‘medical status’ does not come into it. And neither does the record of a pensioner’s health since retirement.

He writes,

‘Please observe that the pension authority has full powers under the above regulations to undertake this review. It requires openness and transparency concerning your requirement to provide the pension authority with your consent and accurate information.’

Wrong again Mr Kirby. What are you talking about? The PPA has ‘full powers’? What do you think the PPA is – the dictator of some backward country bogged down in the Middle Ages? The only, very limited, power a PPA has, under regulation 37, is to ‘consider whether the degree of the pensioner’s disablement has altered.’ Where is the individual consideration in your sending out of letters and questionnaires to multiple recipients, all of whom are in the highest bands and thus represent the best prospect for the PPA to make reductions?

You can’t have your SMP make any assessment until you have carefully considered, in each individual case, whether a suitable interval has passed which will give good reason for the PPA to think a review is appropriate. You have not done that. Instead, you have gone straight to a process which is obviously intended to allow an unspecified someone to decide whether there has been an alteration in degree of disablement, largely on evidence of employment and earnings.

We do not think you have an inkling what degree of disablement is, or how any alteration is to be determined. Here is a clue for you. It is a medical matter, not a financial matter.

IODPA suspects that pensioners will be all too familiar with the authoritarian tone of a man who thinks he is in a position to order people to do his bidding. Pensioners, however, will know that he has no such authority. He has no power whatsoever to require anything of any private citizen, which is what all former officers are. He can ‘draw attention’ to the police pension regulations as much as he likes but even the most detailed reading of the regulations will not reveal anything which confers on a PPA the power to ‘require’ a single thing from any injury pensioner.

The questionnaire runs to six pages. IODPA will return to this most ill-intentioned document in full later. But for now, be amazed at how misguided the man is who thinks it is his business, his right, to ask you for details of your earnings, and then, astoundingly, requires you to sign consent to let him have HM Revenue hand over all details of your tax position, earnings and employment – since the date you retired.

To bolster up his empty demands for information, Mr Kirby then sees fit to issue what is an all too familiar nasty, and equally empty threat. He provides an Appendix A with his letter in which he seeks to tie his demands for information with a blatant but totally erroneous indication that failure to comply with all of his requirements will result in your pension being dropped to band one.

So, let’s round this up. We know that we are wasting our breath in trying to shock Mr Kirby into realising that he is just so very wrong in so many respects. He will, like all his colleagues across the country who have trodden this rocky road, go automatically into full defensive intransigent position at the first signs of any questioning of his plans. The only thing which will move Mr Kirby is when the PPA and SMP are ‘required’ to attend as respondents in a judicial review. And as sure as eggs are eggs that’s where Mr Kirby is taking his PPA and SMP.

Instead of trying to educate those who are deaf to reason and blind to accurate information, let’s close this by advising all injury on duty pensioners in Essex to file away Mr Kirby’s letter, questionnaire, and Appendix A for future reference. On no account complete the questionnaire. On no account give signed permission for the PPA to obtain medical or financial information.

Chief Constable Morgan’s open letter

Chief Constable Morgan’s open letter

Today Chief Constable Gareth Morgan, the Staffordshire Chief Constable placed an open letter on his website regarding the forces recent Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 reviews under Section 37(1), and the recent resignation of his Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) – Dr Vivian, who informed us last week that performing the role of a SMP in relation to these reviews had, “been a major burden”.

It was our intention to seek permission to reproduce the open letter here, but as Mr Morgan who is a prolific Twitter user, has previously blocked us, we were unable to ask. The article has been marked as an open letter, and so we will reproduce it here in it’s entirety, and also provide a link to the original so you may read it in all it’s glory.

Open letter

21.12.2017

Pension review of retired Injured on Duty (IoD) officers

On 26 April 2017 Staffordshire Police began a pension review of retired Injured on Duty (IoD) officers in accordance with Reg. 37 (1) of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 which places a duty upon the Police Pension Authority (the Chief Constable) to review whether the degree of the pensioners’ disablement has altered. Injury Benefit pensions (commonly known as Injury Awards) are granted to retired officers who have been medically assessed as being between Band 1 (slight disablement) to Band 4 (very severe disablement). By law a review cannot result in an injury pensioner being reduced to less than Band 1 so they are never removed in their entirety.

Since this time, and after confirming my intention to continue the reviews after my arrival as Chief Constable, there has been misinformation and misrepresentation of facts in what appears to be an attempt to besmirch the professional reputation of independent medical practitioners and Staffordshire Police. A small number of individuals have set out to campaign against these reviews in a manner which my staff have described as akin to harassment and intimidation – much of it on line and in the public domain.

I have always recognised that these reviews can cause concern and we have committed to expediting the process for that reason. I recognise that everyone is entitled to a view and are allowed to express it. However, the conduct of individuals is such that the independent Senior Medical Practitioner (SMP) no longer wishes to conduct injury assessments for retired officers at this time. The assertion circulating that the SMP left because he was being required to follow the instructions of the force and act unethically is entirely without foundation.

Every care is taken to ensure the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 and related case law are adhered to. I reviewed the process and sought legal and HR advice before confirming my intention to continue the reviews. I am entirely confident that the procedures comply with the regulations and are lawful, both in the way Staffordshire Police conducts itself and in the actions of the SMP.

So far, reviews have commenced for 34 people. To date, 13 have been completed and have reached outcomes, of which four IoD pensioners have had their banding reduced to Band 1. To date, three of these pensioners have stated their intention to appeal as is their right in accordance with the Regulations. Appeals are conducted by the Police Medical Appeal Board, which is independent of Staffordshire Police.

The pension benefit review has not been held in the interests of money saving and no savings are assumed in our forecast budget plans. In fact, the total cost to Staffordshire Police for IoD pensioners amounts to £3 million per annum.

The review is to ensure we are ethical and proportionate in the way that we use public money and to ensure there is a fair and consistent approach to all. The review will ensure that the pensioners continue to receive the appropriate level of award.

I acknowledge we have a duty of care to support IoD pensioners and we are fully committed to providing that support to the most professional of standards. This covers all 360 IoD pensioners we have in Staffordshire. I also have a duty of care to my staff which is why I am writing this letter to iterate that I will not tolerate the treatment they have recently received.

I would ask that everyone reads the information that clearly outlines the review process on our website pages. Appeals, complaints and concerns should be submitted through formal channels and not aired in such a way that discredits the working practices of my colleagues who are simply carrying out their lawful and legal duties.

Gareth Morgan

Chief Constable, Staffordshire Police

21 Dec 2017 17:00:08 GMT

https://www.staffordshire.police.uk/article/8802/Pension-review-of-retired-Injured-on-Duty-IoD-officers

He has stated that reviews are not being conducted to save money.

He has also stated that no-one can be reduced below a band one, despite Staffordshire Police clearly threatening to suspend awards if the IOD does not comply with their demands. (here is the before and after).

What saddens us is the need to blame extremely poorly pensioners for the reason for Dr Vivian to withdraw from the process.

We wonder how the Regulations and case law is being adhered to when we read there are at least three pensioners who are appealing.

Also, what was the end result of the other nine pensioners?

We notice that Mr Morgan has blocked any comments being placed after the article on the Staffordshire Police website, which sort of makes his rant one way. Never mind, we’ll be happy to accept your comments! As always, please make them constructive.

Finally we have to ask, is a “Senior Medical Practitioner”, a SMP who is somehow superior in position or authority to an ordinary “Selected Medical Practitioner”? Answers on a postcard.

Eggs

Eggs

‘Put all your eggs in one basket and you get a basket full of rotten eggs’

(Anon)

 

With acknowledgements to P. G. Wodehouse.

“I say, Jeeves! This egg smells rather whiffy,” said Bertie, wrinkling his nose in a way which the delightful Hermione Berkley-Houndstooth, current object of his affections, had admitted she found desperately appealing.

Jeeves paused momentarily from his accustomed daily task of ironing the morning edition of The Middleshire Racing Bugle to comment wryly, ‘In my experience sir, if something smells whiffy, then it is indeed usually whiffy. Perhaps you might care to refrain from consuming that particular egg sir.’

“Spot on, Jeeves. I say, you are a dashed clever fellow. What would a chap do without you, what?”

“Shall I select another egg for your consumption sir?” enquired the redoubtable Jeeves.

“Not bally likely, Jeeves old snort. Once whiffed, once shy, and that sort of thing. Chuck ’em all in the jolly old bin and toddle out and get some fresh ones, there’s a good chap.”

Jeeves sighed inaudibly, and put down the iron.

“And, Jeeves, when you toddle, be sure to toddle in a novel direction and obtain the said eggs from a different merchant.”

“Very good sir. Discretion would seem to dictate the wisdom of using a different purveyor, but I regret to venture that the results may be no different.”


 

 

Here at IODPA HQ we know a lot about rotten eggs, having seen them in the form of various HR managers, bean-counters and SMPs.

There is not much good to be said about a rotten egg. Once rotten, they tend to stay rotten. Their only saving grace is that they are scattered, thankfully fairly thinly at present, throughout the 43 police forces of England and Wales.

Police forces are so numerous because a wise Government, in the days when Government actually was wise, decided that policing was a local job to be done by local citizens, responsible only to the Crown, the law of the land, and the local elected members of the police authority.

Police injury pensions are the law of the land – they are the same for each force – but the administration of these pensions is in the hands, and at the mercy of, local administrators. Due to a change in the law, police authorities, who nominally at least were supposed to exercise some oversight and discretion have been disbanded, and all matters concerning injury pensions have been handed to a new office. Namely, the police pension authority.

Who, jaw-droppingly, is now the Chief Constable of each force. (Other than the City of London)

A moment’s pause for thought brings the name Robert Maxwell to mind. You may well remember that he was the disgraced media proprietor and one-time Member of Parliament, who used hundreds of millions of pounds from his companies’ pension funds to shore up the shares of the Mirror Group, intending to save his companies from bankruptcy.

Chief Constables have been taking a leaf from Maxwell’s book, and have been hungrily eyeing-up the sums of money they have to fork out from their budgets to pay the pensions of former officers who were permanently disabled in the line of duty. They see this money, not as just recompense for injury, but as a potential way of meeting the demands to trim their spending and to deliver more efficient policing.

Instead of selling off luxury cars fitted with discrete blue lights as a tax dodge and bunged to civilians to swan around in. Instead of culling the wasted hours and expense of membership of the largely useless private limited company which is the Association of Chief Constables. Instead of joining together to all buy standard computer systems which allows each force to more easily deal with crime. Instead of using combined purchasing power to secure a lower price on everything from uniforms, equipment and vehicles, to services such as accountancy and public relations, they have targeted the pensions of disabled folk.

“Wait a moment!” I hear the cry from some forces, ‘We are looking to make savings across the board, and injury pensions are just a part of the exercise.”

Sorry, Chiefs, but that just does not wash.

You have come upon this from entirely the wrong direction. IODPA accepts that no person should receive a higher rate of injury pension than appropriate. We also, and we may surprise you here, actually agree that the provision to hold reviews of degree of disablement – at appropriate intervals – is a sensible and necessary provision of the Regulations. You, Chiefs, however, think that all injury pensions are fair game, and that by devious and unlawful manipulations of reviews of degree of disablement your tame HR managers and SMPs will achieve reductions.

Your approach is wrong on all levels. Not least morally, and certainly financially. Parliament, representing the will, and blessing of the people, agreed that officers injured in the line of duty so badly that they could no longer perform the ordinary duties of a constable could be pensioned off. The pension was to be paid at a level which reflected each individual’s loss of capacity to work, and thus earn.

You, Chiefs, see fit to dishonour the sacrifices of the men and women who gave up their health whilst doing a job which is acknowledged as dangerous.

The fact is, Chiefs, that you have taken your eye off the ball. You have been listening to the warped whisperings of the bean-counters and the HR managers. The bean-counters know little, and care less, about injured officers. HR managers know nothing and care nothing about the Regulations which govern injury awards. They, at least, have excuses of misplaced objectives and ignorance.

You, Chiefs, have no such excuses.

We in IODPA hear that some nasty little twerps who frequent the meetings of the National Attendance Management Forum have been lobbying, on the grounds of cost-saving and rationalisation, that all services and administration of police injury pensions should be placed in the hands of a commercial company.

The arguments for this, which you will no doubt be asked to consider, mask the real intentions of the twerps. What they want to achieve is centralised control, by elements within the Home Office or their nominees, of the selection and training of the ”duly qualified medical practitioners’ who will be tasked with conducting their part in the reviews of individual’s degree of disablement. The twerps want to see SMPs become nothing more than the tools of a for-profit company. The twerps want to see degree of disablement calculated not by reference to medical condition, but to a theoretical figure derived by comparing theoretical wages. The twerps also want to see all injury pensions reviewed on a regular basis, regardless of the absence of any evidence of change in circumstances. The twerps, Chiefs, are doing a Maxwell.

We in IODPA say to you, Chiefs, clean up your HR Departments and sack the incompetent or train the ill-trained. You will save money as a result. Do not listen to your ignorant bean-counters and HR managers who have no concept of the reason, or true value, for there being in place a pension scheme for officers injured in the line of duty. Do not for a moment be fooled by these pygmies into thinking that a centralised administration of injury pensions will save your force money. It will not.

What will result is all the rotten eggs being put in one basket.

And that will create such a stink that you will never be rid of it.

The Disgrace is National

The Disgrace is National

control

“Divide and rule, the politician cries;
Unite and lead, is watchword of the wise.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Gedichte

An objective reader might assume that many of the posts on this blog are Bristol-centric.  There is no doubt that Avon & Somerset wins the prize for most maladministration at the moment, but this should not deflect attention from other Police Pension Authorities, some of whom who are keeping their powder dry, ready to  attack their own IOD pensioners once they think the coast is clear. Also let’s not forget the individual battles some IODs are fighting, and have been for many years, against forces that have never been dormant in their abuse of the Regulations.

The posts and pages on site are of concern to every IOD pensioner, and to serving officers too, as they touch all areas of the Regulations irrespective of those abusing them.

IODPA has heard of the shameful actions of some forces who deliberate target the same individuals repeatedly, and of the cases decided by the Pension Ombudsman in the IOD’s favour only for the forces concerned to repeat the maladministration. We have noted well the use by some forces of a particular couple of SMPs who have the distinction of managing to combine shameful ignorance of the Regulations with obvious disregard of the ethics of their profession, and who are nothing less than hired guns whose purpose is solely to reduce injury pension payments.

It is a disgrace that disabled former officers are being compelled to spend the twilight of their lives fighting continuous legal battles to just keep the injury pension they are entitled to after being injured on duty. Like all of us, they never gave much thought to the possibility or consequences of injury, and certainly never in their wildest nightmares anticipated that they would face determined attempts by corrupt and spiteful administrators to unlawfully reduce their pension entitlements

We have heard some of the stories of individuals, but we also need to hear about systematic institutional abuses.  Isolated victimisation is the weapon of choice by some HR managers and legal services – divide and conquer.  But when all these narratives are viewed as a whole, the picture changes to that of misfeasance in a public office – an offence at common law triable only on indictment. It carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment.

The tort of Misfeasance in Public Office was designed to target ‘the deliberate and dishonest abuse of power’ in the event of a person suffering loss or damage as a result of administrative action known to be unlawful or carried out with reckless disregard or indifference to the consequences.

The offence of ‘Malfeasance’ takes the reckless element a stage further and is when a public official intentionally does something either legally or morally wrong which he had no right to do. It always involves dishonesty, illegality, or knowingly exceeding authority for improper reasons. It is conduct in violation of the law.

Here is an example of how those administrating injury awards think:

appeals

…as of now I believe Carole and I are clear about what to do.  They’ll be an awful lot of appeals though.

Yes, you read it right.  They heard that the Home Office guidance was withdrawn in full but they plan to continue with their ‘plan’ anyway.

They know their actions are unlawful as they fully expect appeals.  Why would they expect appeals if they were doing the right thing?  Obviously they know their continued actions are illegal – but still they go on.

But this appalling behaviour isn’t confined to those at Portishead (A&S’s HQ) – similar emails exposing maladministration exist in numerous police forces throughout the country.  Dr Bulpitt, the author of the above email, used to be the force medical officer (FMA) of Cambridgeshire.  Before Bulpitt became the FMA he was the director of Premier Occupational Healthcare Limited (again there’s another story here with how the director of the contractor eventually became the substantive FMA of the client).  Under his stewardship this company provided a SMP by the name of Dr Roberts to Cambs.  This force then fanatically, zealously and unlawfully set out to place all those receiving a band four pension, and who were over 65 years of age, onto a band one. Every single one of these IODs eventually had their rightful band restored. But the people who abused the Regulations and foisted such distress on vulnerable disabled former officers never suffered any censure or punishment.

Bulpitt’s Chief Constable around this time was a former A&S senior officer named Julie Spence.  This Chief Constable’s extraordinary claim was that the guidance in HOC 46/2004 was mandatory.  In March 2010 she announced her retirement following repeated challenges over her claim and a matter of days after the Home Office advised all forces to suspend reviews – a clear signal of admission that the guidance she insisted was ‘mandatory’ was in fact unlawful. Julie Spence was an accomplished self-publicist, and was undoubtedly ambitious. She had even chosen to suggest, to a reporter from the Guardian newspaper in November 2008, that she might be interested in being considered for selection to the post of Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police. Instead, at the age of 54 she decided to quit policing in order, as reported, ‘to spend more time with her husband, John’.

We may never hear the full truth behind her departure, but the evidence we have seen may shed some light on her very individual approach to the Home Office Guidance. You might care to bear in mind that Julie Spence has a law degree, which would lead one to presume she should have known full well the true status of Home Office guidance, and if she was in any doubt about the status of HO guidance she had a telephone on her desk which she could have used to call the HO for clarification. Perhaps she did make that call? And perhaps she received encouragement and offers of support for her extra-regulatory adventure.

Isn’t it indicative of the web of corruption at senior levels that Bulpitt, who was at the heart of Spence’s unlawful attack on injury pensions, was still, in 2014, writing inflammatory emails, and is still  allowed to be employed today, when his main raison d’être seems to be to manipulate SMP Johnson into breaking the law?

All these degrees of separation are being diligently joined up.

We intend to collate a true census of the abuses and then make the transgression public knowledge. If you think your battle with your former force is isolated local malfeasance, think again.  From our experience, confirmed by a recent shot-in-foot survey by the College of Policing, there is widespread ignorance, incompetence, indifference, lack of training and underfunding of injury pension administration. Add to that the morally reprehensible attitudes and actions of the likes of Bulpitt, Wirz, Broome, Kern, Johnson, Cheng and others, we should not wonder there are so many instances of unlawful application of the Regulations. It is a sobering thought that there is more than likely an IOD living within a short distance from you who is a victim of pension injustice.

Please email admin@iodpa.org with your news and anything you want given a public platform concerning your force.

Open Letters to Those in Power

Open Letters to Those in Power

“Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.”
Theodore RooseveltTheodore Roosevelt

A brave serving officer has opened his heart, risked the vilification, wrath and bullying of Avon & Somerset’s chief officers, and told the truth about what it is to be a PC in the constabulary. The same constabulary that targets its retired officers on IODs in the same manner it abuses its serving ones.
https://www.facebook.com/bullshirepolicefederation/posts/859634284118913:0

A FORCE FOR GOOD_ A serving police officer..

The twitter response from DCC Gareth Morgan  suggested he doesn’t recognise the picture ‘PC B Standard’ paints (hardly surprising as the DCC types his twitter feed whilst sitting in his ivory tower) and to cheerfully put forward a gleeful invite to meet up ‘in a place of PC Standard’s choosing’

Notwithstanding if PC ‘Standard’ ever takes the DCC up on his invite that his career will be over (an interesting statistic would be how many serving officers in A&S are off on long term sick due to management bullying induced stress), it is the lack of prescient of the DCC that he himself can not see that he and his chief officer colleagues are the problem cause.

It seems this force preys on serving officers just the same as it sucks the life force from those that it has retired.

DCC Morgan – you say you don’t recognise the description, but the 490 people retired on an IOD recognise it all too well.

Here is an accompanying polemic  to PC B Standard’s brave stand.

A FORCE FOR EVIL?

When I was told that I  would  be retired on an injury pension I thought the force had my best interests in heart.  I  didn’t understand the regulations – I’d never read or even heard of them.  I just thought this was what a happened when you could no longer work as an operational police officer.  I tried to get on with my life, and the constabulary seemingly stepped away and gave me space as I never heard from them for years.

Then I came across the Mountsteven’s letter that compared the expense of fulfilling the force’s duty to pay injury pensions to replacing the fleet of police vehicles.  I then found other IODs similarly shocked and then the reviews of others started.  Reviews motivated by greed  Reviews not individual to the circumstances of the retired officer.  Reviews initiated with the tacit approval of the force’s chief officers.

It became clear that we had not been reviewed because the force was allowing us to rebuild our lives – we were never reviewed as it suited them not to review.  They hadn’t left us alone by any notion of displaying kindness and concern, they had left us alone because they had forgotten, and it had suited them to forget.

The force cannot proclaim they have a duty to review when they themselves have never reviewed.  A suitable interval isn’t ‘their‘ suitable ‘we have no money‘ interval.  It is an interval suitable to the individual.

But it is the falsity, the subterfuge and treacherous guile that the force engages against those who dare speak out against it .  PC Standard shows the true colours of those in charge at A&S.  If current officers are being told mistruths to lure them into a false way of thinking as PC Standard put it ‘they are to sell the lies that all is well to the officers on the ground’, it is nothing compared to when the force sees you as an enemy to be crushed.  The freedom of information team have been told by the chief officers to breach the act by giving false answers and to claim subjects are vexatious and therefore out-of-bounds.  Never do they think if they told the truth to start with then no-one would seek disclosure of the real truth through freedom of information.  It is the lies that need to be unmasked

And the duplicity continues.  Under instruction from higher powers the HR managers do not tell the federation nor narpo the truth.  Letters to the Temporary Chief Constable go unanswered.  Internal Dispute Resolution Procedures go ignored.  Any communication asking for updates and answers go to the black hole of Legal Services.  Concerns raised by Members of Parliament are bounced back with glib half-truths that do not match and therefore blatantly contradict the letters and emails given to the IODs that are being reviewed – vapid answers to the MPs given purely with the intent to throw the enquirer off the scent and to get them off their back.

A&S chief officers run a police service and the bar is set high for professional standards. If the police service fails to be ethically and morally sound in the decisions of it’s leaders then it loses it’s position of authority on all counts.

Misconduct of an individual is one thing – a culture of lying and masking the truth is group think.  Endemic to A&S HQ.  This group think has infected and poisoned Portishead HQ.

PC Standard wrote

“Their tactics work. I’m typing this, nervous that I should ever be found out. If they ever found out who I was I would be shown the door via a reg 15 for gross misconduct for bringing the force into disrepute, my reputation destroyed and vilified for being a trouble maker

That is exactly how those with an A&S IOD feel.  Magnified due to the vulnerability of being disabled.

How can this scandal hit force be allowed to continue with its current leaders?  It is no coincidence that the current abuse of IODs is simultaneously occurring with all the other  morally and legally wrong  decisions of A&S.

It is how this force rolls …

So yes, DCC Morgan, it seems you and your close friends are the only ones that don’t know.

Apologies to Taylor Swift for the following misquote

“If you’re horrible to me, I’m going to write a song blog about it, and you won’t like it. That’s how I operate.”
Taylor Swift

Patient Zero

Patient Zero
ACPO colluded with the Home Office to introduce unlawful procedures
into injury pension reviews. We present the evidence

“Evil isn’t the real threat to the world. Stupid is just as destructive as Evil, maybe more so, and it’s a hell of a lot more common. What we really need is a crusade against Stupid. That might actually make a difference.”
Jim Butcher, Vignette

IODPA has often referred to Home Office circular 46/2004 as being the start of the rot and the beginning of the end for justice in applying the injury Regulations in the manner they were intended.  We have laid the blame mostly on ‘The Bureaucratium’ of the civil servants’ desire to save the ‘public purse’ by trampling on the rights of disabled former officers. The following years clearly evidenced that the more massive a ‘Bureaucratium’ becomes; it only becomes less caring and more potent.

Elements within the Home Office had built up their own sense of importance to such an extent that they saw nothing wrong in encouraging police authorities and chief officers to trample on the Regulations.  The rampage initiated by HOC 46/2004 was only brought to an end by the few brave individuals who took their individual cases to judicial review and the Pension Ombudsman.

But what if we say that it wasn’t just the Home Office that got us into this mess?  Of course, they lit the fuse.  But who provided the match?

Would you be surprised to hear it was a group of people who once held the office of constable themselves?   Back in the day, before they reached their halcyon career heights, these people could have been injured on duty.  So who were these monkeys to the Home Office’s organ grinder?

ACPO!

The HO asked ACPO for its feedback on the draft of what was to become Annex C to HO circular 46/2004. The Chief Constable of Staffordshire, John Giffard, replied for ACPO. He was the designated lead for ACPO on police pensions. He spoke for all Chief Officers when he told the Home Office:

‘I suspect that my original intention was always to deal with people reaching 65 years of age and that remains the most important part. We continue to think that at that stage anybody in receipt of an injury award should be automatically dropped to the lowest band or possibly even completely dropped.’
You may think it remarkable that such a group of very senior police officers would not understand that the Regulations do not allow an injury award to be ‘automatically dropped’ or ceased, as he suggests. One possibility is that they understood perfectly well, but were prepared to sell IOD pensioners down the river, as the HO appeared to be willing to support a raid on injury pensions.In 2004 this could have all been stopped.  
The dubious practice of manipulating the injury pension Regulations so as to attempt to save money could have been blocked, scuppered before it gathered any momentum. Instead, due in no small part to the ready acquiescence of ACPO, we have seen the rise and spread of corrupt practices where the purpose and intent of the Regulations are disregarded, to the very great detriment of both serving and retired officers.
This is what the Home Office wrote to John Giffard CBE QPM, aforementioned Chief Constable Staffordshire Police, asking for his views concerning the proposed new method of reviewing and thus reducing injury pensions of those reaching 65 years of age.

HO-2004

HO letter to CC John Giffard

Giffard should have replied, “Not on my life.  You are not allowed to do this  – the Regulations forbid it”.  But no. He gave  the Home Office ACPO’s rubber stamp of approval, and even went further. According to Giffard’s outrageous view, expressed on behalf of all Chief Officers across the land, injury pensions should actually be ceased at that age. He was not talking about some future, revision of Regulations, some new diminished injury pension provision. He was talking about subverting the current Regulations.

JG-HO-2004

Reply from CC John Giffard to HO

The line about “expecting, but not concerned with” a challenge from the Staff Associations is a nice touch and tells us something more about the moral bankruptcy of the man and of the organisation he represented. He obviously realised the significance of what he was suggesting but coolly calculated the Federation would be baffled and too impotent to do anything about the planned pension raid.

ACPO were quite willing to throw injured former officers to the wolves and to let the survivors do what they could to  rescue their pension rights by challenging maladministration at judicial review. Instead of supporting and protecting former officers – and serving officers, for they too might become injured on duty and have to retire on a pension – ACPO deliberately chose to side with the Home Office and agree to what it may well have realised was an unlawful abuse of the law.

I will conclude this eye-opening account of the duplicity of one Chief Constable, acting on behalf of all his peers, with the sobering reminder that all Chief Constables are now the Police Pension Authorities.  They have responsibility for the administration of the injury pension scheme.  Frightening isn’t it?  Having this fox in the police pension hen-house set-up is no different from trusting the organ grinder’s monkey to guard the money instead of spending it on bananas.