Compensation for Injuries received

Compensation for Injuries received

“Confidence is ignorance. If you’re feeling cocky, it’s because there’s something you don’t know.”
Eoin Colfer, Artemis Fowl

Police pension authorities often have difficulty in grasping the concept of an Injury on Duty award.  Sly words are used to try to dilute the actual purpose of an IOD – if a falsehood is repeated often enough the truth gets left behind

Sue Mountstevens, the PCC of Avon & Somerset has opinioned often in her replies to that an IOD award an ‘enhancement’ and, according to her is  is ‘therefore not a compensation payment for the injury received’.

She is wrong on both counts.  More likely the subordinate she instructed to write the reply is wrong and the ‘expert’ from the constabulary that advised the subordinate is wrong.

Lets examine the Explanatory Memorandum to the  Police Injury (Benefit) Regulations 2006  legislative instrument :

Policy background 7.1 Police injury awards do not depend on membership of the Police Pension Scheme, but are in effect compensation for work-related injuries

So an IOD is compensation for work-related injuries.  The regulations say so.  Regulations that no-one within any administrative role in the management of injury awards seem to bother reading.

Is an IOD an ‘enhancement’?  No.  As the memorandum says, an injury on duty award is not part of the police pension scheme.  If a former officer opted out then they would not receive a medical pension, they would just receive the award if they were unfortunate enough to be injured on duty.

So they are mutually exclusive – one does not depend on the other.  Looking at it this way (and this is the only way it can be looked at) , you can see that an IOD isn’t an enhancement to a medical pension – it is a standalone device.

Often an injured former officer had the foresight to pay a percentage of their salary into the police pension scheme so they receive both the award and the pension but the former is not an ‘enhancement’ of the latter.  In fact there is a deduction from the overall injury pension’s guaranteed ceiling level given by the band  – the award amount actually paid is proportionally lessened the higher the medical pension.

There is no duplication of payment, no double jeopardy, the medical pension doesn’t advantage the pensioner – someone with no medical pension and just an IOD award gets the same remuneration as someone on the same banding and final salary who has a medical pension and an IOD.  It’s just that the former is paid wholly out the constabulary’s budget and the latter has the medical pension paid by the pension scheme.

In other words, with the medical pension the police pension authority is exposed less to the IOD award.  Without the medical pension all of the money paid to the former officer will be in the form of the IOD award.  In a way you can view the medical pension as a deductible ‘payment’ from the IOD award. So definitely not an enhancement – quite the reverse.

Take note Mounstevens, all PCCs, SMPs and Directors of HR !

The case of Simpson, heard at Leeds High Court in February 2012, clearly shows Mountstevens is wrong:

Simpson 32.

I also reject Mr Sanders’ submission that the purpose of an injury pension is to make up for the financial consequences of an enforced inability to continue operating as a member of a police force’

And so the defining character of an IOD award is primarily an award for life in compensation for an injury sustained.  It is not a temporary facility to off-set a loss of earnings.

IODPA has had insight of several people inside Avon & Somerset stating in writing that ‘various organisations have been misdirecting their members’.  Comments like this deserve a triple face palm

The only purpose of these ‘various organisations’ is to evangelise the correct application of the regulations and the case law built up around it.  All the legion of pension ombudsman decisions and high court rulings would not exist if there wasn’t a concerted and directed campaign by police pension authorities to undermine the regulations.

IODPA would just love to hear Mounstevens and her ilk  riposte to the things we have written. The difference between her and IODPA is that we know what we are talking about, we live day to day with an IOD award.  Our careers were cut short and our lives thrown upside down. We have seen the injustice inflicted on our fellow former officers in receipt of an IOD. Consequently we have been compelled to become experts on the Regulations and their application.

We know exactly what little people like Mountstevens know about these things, the ignorance of what they are doing and their lack of comprehension of the damage that they cause.

Ignorance can be forgiven, and it can be corrected. But deliberate flouting of the Regulations and case law and a complete lack of willingness to admit mistakes, and to continue making, them will attract nothing but contempt and determined resistance.

Nothing to do with us

Nothing to do with us

“The ‘Somebody Else’s Problem’ field is much simpler and more effective, and what’s more can be run for over a hundred years on a single torch battery. This is because it relies on people’s natural disposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain.”

Douglas Adams, Life, the Universe and Everything

Our “friends” at Avon and Somerset HR have declared they have to review injury pensions because the Home Office (HO) told them to do it.  A well-placed and always reliable source within the force tells us that certain people who should know better have stated the Home Office has directed forces to re-start reviews.

The reality is that after the PCC’s infamous letter, in which she tacitly declared that that former A&S officers with an Injury On Duty award were of no benefit to the people of Avon and Somerset, Carol Wood (the HR business manager) had a meeting with members of the HO Police Pension Team who effectively told her that case-law could not be superseded, that the pension regulations have to be followed and that the regulations do allow for a review, but only if a suitable interval has elapsed and with the belief  that the pensioners level of disability has altered. This all has to be considered on a case by case basis.

So what did A&S do? They chose 16 band fours all under 55 years of age. Let’s, for a moment, look at the figures and see whether the selection of the sixteen could have been on a case by case basis.

Of the 490 disabled former officers with an IOD award from A&S 347 are above 55 years of age, so 143 are under 55. For simplicity, just say the distribution between the 4 bands is uniform. Thus it could be said that 36 of those under 55 are band fours.

So the probability of  selecting a single band 4 who is under 55 is  7.35%
Therefore, the probability of randomly selecting 16 individuals who are each  on a band four and aged under 55 from the population of 490 is


By way of contrast, the probability to win the national lottery is 1 / 14million or 0.000000071429 !

Enough of the maths – the figures indicate very clearly that it was deliberate decision and not a fluke that the younger band fours were chosen. The probability of randomly selecting 16 individuals of the same banding and age group is so slim as to be practically impossible.

It seems obvious they were selected solely because they stand to be paid a band four pension for longer than older pensioners. Therefore, HR have targeted them because they represent the best opportunity to save money.

The recent letter from the Home Office, below, tells us that the HO office have not directed any force to review.


It categorically declares that their position is:

  • reviews must be done on a case by case basis,
  • reviews at specific age points was declared unlawful,
  • Reviews must consider each case on its merits and take into account the circumstances of the individual.

The conclusion is clear: Avon & Somerset – and any force which targets a narrow selection – is acting contrary to the advice of the HO. And is breaking the law. The HO knows that such a targeted campaign is unlawful. The HO got a severe kicking in the High Court over its unlawful guidance in Annex C to HO circular 46/2004, which they allude to in the above letter. They are not willing to take any more flak so are saying in a roundabout way, that if the police pension authority cocks things up then its on them.

So A&S … it’s all on you. Don’t take injury pensioners for fools. Don’t pretend that the Home Office has told you to conduct reviews, or has encouraged you to hold reviews. It didn’t. You alone made the decision to hold reviews because you thought that disabled former officers would be a soft target for your money-saving ambitions. You deliberately picked on the most severely disabled, the most vulnerable and have treated them with contempt.

The PCC said they were of no worth to the citizens of Avon and Somerset, but you thought they were worth something, but only in terms of saving money by reducing their pensions.

Maybe Its finally sinking in

Maybe Its finally sinking in

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Albert Einstein



“The question was raised that in some instances Police Regs over-ruled HR Policies, consideration should be given to align HR Policies to Police Regs”

The above was recorded in the minutes of the AVON AND SOMERSET POLICE AND CRIME COMMISSIONER HR PORTFOLIO UPDATE MEETING 27th March, 2015

ATTENDEES: Sue Mountstevens, Police and Crime Commissioner (SM) Mark Simmonds, CFO, OPCC (MOS) Julian Kern, CFO, OCC (JK) Catherine Dodsworth, Head of People Development (CD) Joanne Drewe, Executive Assistant to CFO & Director of Resources (JD)

Apparently their HR policies (in only ‘some’ instances!) are over-ruled by police regulations.   This is exactly the point IODPA has been trying to get them to understand for the past 12 months. Hurrah !

The delicious irony in mentioning that there is concern about the length of time taken to complete reviews is obviously lost on them as it’s now June still nothing has been done about it.  Obviously not too concerned then.  Boo !

Excuse the given that those in charge of the asylum have but a basic knowledge of the law and how to run a company but isn’t it pretty basic stuff that your HR Policies should align with your Employees’ Employment Regulations (in this case the Police Regulations / relevant case-law)?

Surely otherwise your HR Policies aren’t worth the paper they are written on?  The Human Resources department of a police force have polices that are contrary to the law?

Who’d a thought that would be a ‘thing’ ?

Who Pays?

Who Pays?

“Follow the money.  Allways follow the money”

Deepthroat.  All the President’s Men

“You follow drugs, you get drug addicts and drug dealers. But you start to follow the money, and you don’t know where the **** it’s gonna take you”  “The Wire: Game Day (#1.9)” (2002)  Det. Lester Freamon:

There isn’t going to be too much written in this blog post.  Just the weighing of a matter.

Strange that the invoice Dr Johnson submits, under the name of his own private limited company, Sarum Occupational Health Limited,  goes to the office of Police & Crime Commissioner Mountstevens when in fact it is the Constabulary which is the Police Pension Authority. It couldn’t be the case, could it, that this huge expense wouldn’t look good on the Constabulary’s accounts, but the PCC can swallow it up in her petty cash fund. Is it simply a case of joining the dots from this letter to this invoice? :


A&S want to cut IOD awards

A&S want to cut IOD awards


So that is what IODPA has to deal with … it all comes down to money.  The PCC seems to have forgotten that IOD awards are granted under very rigid statutory requirements and are governed by comprehensive regulations and case-law.  There is the possibility that the PCC didn’t actually author the letter – perhaps it was signed by her but actually written by the Chief Finance Officer for the Police & Crime Commissioner (Salary – £70,929 – http://www.avonandsomerset-pcc.gov.uk/Document-Library/2014/Job-Description-CFO.pdf)

The PCC, ever the u-turntable politician, had a climb down:

I truly value the bravery and dedication of officers who place themselves in harm’s way

I would like to apologise if the tone and content of a letter I wrote to the former Policing Minister Damian Green MP in 2013 regarding injury on duty payments has caused any offence or distress to officers within Avon and Somerset and indeed any officer in the country who has been injured in the line of duty.

But then a few weeks on from the faux ‘I’m sorry’, her Chief Finance Officer reverses the apology by deciding that they meant it after all:

FOI 1231 one year on