testimonial

Adam

Adam

Adam’s story

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!

Jim

Jim

Jim’s story

I was pensioned out of the police a few years ago, after being diagnosed with PTSD as a result of a prior injury . I was awarded a band 3 IOD pension, as the SMP’s decision was to reduce my percentage for reasons of a perceived failure to engage with treatment, and because my psychological reaction to my specific injury may not happen to others.

I queried the justification of these reductions at the time and I was advised not to appeal.

I was made aware of IODPA by a serving officer and made initial contact, mainly venting my frustration at how my force dealt with my mental illness over the five years before ill health retirement but also the pension decision.

At the time, I remember being surprised to hear that I was far from the only person to have been treated in this way. As a serving cop, you never get to hear these stories, and in a disappointing way, it was reassuring to hear that I was not alone.

IODPA did give me the advice to challenge the pension when I first contacted them, but it wasn’t until late last year that I felt strong enough mentally to go through the process.

I spoke with Mark Botham at Haven solicitors who then dealt with my case.

It was all a paperwork exercise so thankfully I didn’t need to go back in front of the SMP.

The challenge was around unlawful actions by the SMP, which Mark documented. The SMP made no effort to dispute the challenge, his reply stated that he had been picked up on doing the same unlawful actions on previous cases.

The result is that I am now being put on band 4 and also receiving the relevant back pay.

I would like to thank the great work by IODPA and for all their help and advice, I would not have gone through with this challenge, and been successful, without your knowledge and recommendation.

I am very grateful for all that you do.

Ray

Ray

Ray is 56 years old, married and father to two adult children.

Following two duty motorcycle collisions in the late 1990’s, he required emergency spinal surgery and was eventually medically retired from the Police due to these injuries in June 2000.

His injuries were assessed to reduce his earning potential by 32% and he was given an injury pension based on that.

In 2002, his injury pension was reviewed and as there was no change in his condition it was left unaltered.

In 2004, his injury pension was reviewed again. This time, although it was stated that there was no medical change in his injury, his assessed earning potential disablement was reduced to 0% and his injury pension reduced to the lowest possible level.

Since his pension was reduced to the lowest possible level, he has not been called back to be reviewed again.

The justification given for the injury pension reduction was that, since medical retirement, he had been fully employed in a new career which made use of his engineering qualifications and knowledge, qualifications and experience as a traffic patrol officer.

He did well in his new career quickly progressing into a management position.

As his actual earnings had risen to a similar level to his previous police salary, it was decided that his earnings were no longer adversely affected by his injury.

In about 2016, he found out about the Injured On Duty Pensioners Association (IODPA).

Having studied their blogs and discussed his situation with other members he soon realised that the justification for his pension reduction was based on an incorrect interpretation of the Police Injury Pension Regulations.

The regulations require an assessment of uninjured earning potential based on ALL of the individual’s qualifications and experience which must be compared to realistic injured earning potential.

The 2004 review did not look at his skills and qualifications gained before and during his police career or make any comparison between his injured and uninjured earning potential, but merely showed his actual earnings were comparable to his old police pay.

The Police Federation funded a specialist solicitor to write to his former police employer, detailing judicial reviews which demonstrated that the 2004 review was contrary to the regulations.

A few months later, he received over 13 years worth of injury pension underpayment with interest and was reinstated at his previous level of injury award.

Unfortunately his back has now deteriorated to a point where he cannot walk up or down stairs, he can only walk short distances slowly using crutches and cannot sit upright for more than about an hour.

As a result of this deterioration in his duty injury his new employer ended his career last year, following a report from an Occupational Physician who found that as a result of his spinal injury that he is now unfit for any work of any description.

This doctors report renders him unemployable, so effectively his earnings disablement should now be 100%.

He knows that being unemployed and on the lowest level of injury pension, he would have struggled to pay his bills and so is very grateful that IODPA were able to provide him with knowledge and support, so that he received what he is entitled to.

He hopes that this article will help to spread the message to injured officers and those who know injured officers, that IODPA may be able to help those who are unaware of their rights under the injury pension regulations.

He would also like to express his thanks to the Police Federation for funding a solicitor with specialist knowledge of the judicial reviews and regulations governing police pensions who were able resolve the situation for him.

Sue

Sue

Sue’s story

“I devotedly served in  my chosen vocation for twenty years.  Entering it as a strong and enthusiastic young woman, but leaving it as a broken and lost soul. I was so ill, I couldn’t even resolve my retirement effectively –  as is often the case with mental health affected retirees.  After years of trying to help myself,  I was encouraged by another grateful user to trust and contact IODPA.

Suffering with PTSD means having real difficulties with trust and dealing with matters to do with previous illness related issues that have to be resurrected.  Letting go of control and handing it to someone you may have never met – and have to share the most personal situations with.  It’s painful.

I was taken in hand by one of the wonderful members of the charity.  Their method of communication, dedication to the task, courage and persistence in the face of challenging times for police pensioners, is admirable, inspiring and most of all, a breath of fresh air.  Anyone who can handle a panic attack via email, deserves a gold medal!

After years of not being able to move anywhere in my thoughts and needs to receive help, in a few months, they convinced me to keep moving forwards, that I was safe and anything I was sharing was in confidence. These are big things for police officers, especially when those things have been disregarded previously and in my case, brazenly so.

If you are feeling, like I was, desperate, flailing and very, very sad and alone in your circumstances, please give IODPA a shout – it might just save your life.  Minimally, you could find peace in your thoughts and move forwards.  I don’t have a result yet, but I am hopeful and feel safe in the hands of IODPA.”

Thank you IODPA.

Rosie Mac

Rosie Mac

Rosie Mac’s Testimonial to IODPA

 

I found a group of people, now named ‘IODPA’

I listened very carefully to what they had to say

This group is full of members sharing research and advice

I’ve found that every single member is very, very nice.

 

They spoke of many cases of the IOD retired

And how a few Police Forces have seemingly conspired

To reduce as many as they could of IOD paid pensions

Their ‘goings on’ so blatant they’ve attracted much attention

 

Some Forces methods of ‘reviews’ unlawful, even tricky

Their intended ‘victims lists’ well show that they’ve been very picky.

High bandings are the ones that they will always, always choose

That’s because they are the ones that have the most to lose

 

Terrific legal help we have with IODPA

And many ‘ripped off’ Pensioners got chance to have their say

Appeals, JR’s and other legal work has now been done

And in almost all of those the IOD pensioner won

 

It seems a little knowledge now can go a long, long way

And those offending Forces are going to have to pay

ALL the DUE IOD pensions, with backdating adding interest

The Forces will soon learn that doing ‘reviews’ is not best

 

As we all know the membership of IODPA is growing

The difference they are making now so large that it is showing

As word gets round about the group and everything they’ve done

All bullying and harassment by the Forces will be gone.

 

It is my fondest hope that one day soon ALL officers will know

That an Injury On Duty has a legal way to go

There are written Regulations about pensions for that cause

And how membership in IODPA will prevent a Forces ‘claws’.

 

 

Karen

Karen

Karen’s story

On 23rd January 2004, at about 8.00 pm, Karen’s life changed forever.

Karen, a police constable, aged just thirty eight, was attacked whilst attempting to arrest a male for robbery. The suspect resisted arrest; he fought with Karen, reigning several blows down on her head.

The struggle continued for some time. Karen made attempts to call for assistance via her personal radio but was unable to make the transmission due to the punches being thrown at her.

Eventually, there was a lull in the fighting where Karen was able to make the urgent call to her colleagues.

The male suspect, knowing that help was on its way, then made his final bid for freedom by catching hold of Karen’s hair and slammed her head against the wall. He was able to make off, leaving Karen crumpled in a heap on the ground.

Within a couple of minutes, Karen’s work colleagues arrived at the scene and immediately administered first aid to Karen. She was conveyed to hospital by ambulance, where she was admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where she remained for three days.

Karen never went back to work following this incident.

Retirement

Karen’s injuries led to her early retirement from the police service on medical grounds. She had just eleven years service.

Karen was awarded an ill health retirement as well as an injury award and she attempted to move on with her life.

Life was never the same again for Karen or her family. Karen had changed beyond all recognition. As well as her physical head injuries, she was also diagnosed with PTSD.

Sadly, her former force has been a constant presence and Karen has undergone a number of (Regulation 37(1)) reviews since she was first awarded an injury pension in 2004, namely in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2016.

In 2016, Karen’s former police force again reviewed her injury award and reduced her to a zero percent (which is still a band one).

The reason why she was reduced?  The Selected Medical Practitioner (SMP) stated that her head injuries were due to a childhood injury.

Contacting IODPA

Karen contacted IODPA via email and asked for help. She was unaware that SMPs are not permitted to go beyond previous reviews nor are they permitted to go back and look at her original ill health retirement decision. A review is a comparative exercise (as per the Belinda Laws v Metropolitan Police & PMAB). Karen was last reviewed in 2011, so the SMP should have been looking at evidence between 2011 and the review date in 2016.

The only question that the SMP should have answered was “Has there been substantial alteration in her degree of disablement?”

IODPA knew that Karen was out of time to formerly appeal the decision and that there was another route to right this potential wrong, which is by using the mechanism of a Regulation 32(2).

The team at IODPA first of all, reassured Karen that there was hope for her and we immediately signposted her to one of our trusted, expert solicitors. We helped her with her funding application, which enabled her to engage the solicitor.

Karen then joined the IODPA support network, where she was able to chat with others who had been through the same process. She was warmly welcomed and received good advice from her peers. Knowing that others had been through the traumatic process and had come out the other side, was comforting.

Karen found the strength to appeal her case, and we are pleased to report that she did indeed win. Her original banding was restored and all monies back paid.

Karen has told us “If it wasn’t for the support of IODPA, I would never have had the courage to take it all the way. I thought I had gone past my twenty eight days to appeal the decision, not knowing that this Regulation called a 32(2) existed. It was the best email I have written in years. Thank you.”