News and Comment 2020
23rd September 2020.
The Staffordshire case has clarified, at least for now, some areas of disclosure of personal information such as medical records. Some forces may now feel justified to proceed with injury 'reviews' and require compliance with their demands for all personal information backed by the threat of Reg 33. Anyone unfamiliar with the recent IOD history may not see the relevance of disclosures and also why pensioners had to have this issue examined in the courts.
The IOD process used to be conducted in a considerate, compassionate and sensitive way. The process, administration and SMP were generally trusted by pensioners. Following HOC46/2004 this all changed and attitudes of many forces became much more aggressive towards IOD pensioners with intimidating demands for unnecessary and unwarranted personal information. The Staffordshire case brought this to a head with pensioners considering that demands for all their medical records to be disclosed were excessive and not supported by regulations or were necessary for the SMP who was making a decision on a specific time period i.e., since the last review, when records would have been provided for the preceding period. It is the opinion of pensioners that the provision of such historic records was not necessary and would be used by the SMP to delve back to try and find some aspect of the pensioners health record that could be used to reassess the IOD pension to a lower level. The regulations require the SMP to consider only if there has been a substantial change since the last review. This is why this issue formed part of the Staffordshire case.
The issue is being considered for appeal, so it could run for some time yet. In the meantime, forces may wish to conduct reviews and make demands for personal information and data that they are not entitled to. Pensioners should not be intimidated but can seek advice from IODPA, who will coordinate defence of our pensions with advice from our legal team.
IOD pensioners who are reviewed and are unhappy with the result can benefit from the advice of our legal team who will provide support in appealing decisions, either through Reg 32(2) reconsideration, PMAB or Judicial Review.
17th September 2020.
Following the publication of the 'Staffordshire' judgement, the force have now issued an update on the force website: Injury Pension Payments - High Court Ruling 16th September 2020.
It cannot be right that IOD pensioners should be forced to continue in lengthy, stressful and expensive court challenges in order to protect their pensions - however, it should be clear to all concerned that they will continue to challenge any unfair or unlawful decisions for as long as necessary - any doubters should look at our history over the last fifteen years or so. Maybe this a naive view but things could be improved if PA's and Authorities took a step back and reassessed their approach with a view to regaining trust and resolving issues by negotiation and 'cross force' agreement which, if that can be achieved, would be to the benefit of all parties, although measures are needed to prevent such agreements being reneged upon when it suits, as had occured in the past. It is of paramount importance that any negotiation is conducted by IOD's through their own charitable organisation IODPA. IOD's are unlikely to have confidence in other 'representative' organisations but their input should be included. Is such a scenario possible? If not, it will be more of the same old story. Surely some of the more enlightened forces could exert some influence to restore trust and bring the whole IOD issue to an even keel once again.
16th September 2020.
It is with great sadness that we report that the long awaited judgement in the Staffordshire case has now been released with our colleagues losing on each count. This judgement has clarified the situation regarding medical records etc, (please see the judgement) and will no doubt have an immediate influence on the way our forces wish to conduct IOD reviews. It is a personal opinion that this is an issue that should never have arisen but became necessary because of the way our forces wish to impose their will upon us. It is probably true to say that in many operational areas they will tread lightly and act with excessive sensitivity, yet in dealing with their own injured ex officers, they will act with a pugnacious heavy hand. So much of the strife of the last decade and a half could have been avoided if our forces and their appointed SMP's had acted in a more reasonable and sensitive manner. Of course it was motivated by the lure of making financial savings and thereore is likely to continue in the same vein. Our legal representatives will not allow this to lie and will be looking very carefully at the grounds for an appeal.
IT should be remembered that this case is but one aspect of the whole IOD dispute and other aspects will continue to be examined, where necessary in the Courts. Members should also remember just how successful we have been in so many judgements.
Should we be concerned about the security of our personal information with staff working from home? We would expect that some HR etc staff are currently working from home. The way some of our sensitive personal data has been handled previously has been inept or negligent (and worse) and the opportunities for unauthorised access to our data must increase significantly when handled in an insecure (home) environment.
22nd July 2020.
In todays Daily Mail, we have another detailed article from Ben Wilkinson. This item brings into focus the impact of injury on duty and the way we have been treated by some of our forces.
The Daily Mail - "Last week we exposed how pensions paid to injured police are under threat. Now retired officers tell how they've been spied on and accused of lying"
20th July 2020.
Hot on the heels of the 'Mail' article, this morning we have an IOD report in 'The Times'
The Times - "Police ‘try to cut payouts’ for officers with PTSD"
15th July 2020.
Today marks the start of the long awaited Judicial Review Into the situation in Staffordshire. This is an important case and our thoughts are with our Staffordshire colleagues who are represented by our legal team.
Also today, the Daily Mail have an item written by Ben Wilkinson drawing attention to the plight of IOD pensioners with particularly reference to those in Staffordshire. The story does, however, state that our pensions have been under attack since 2010 when many of us will be only too aware that this actually started much earlier with the infamous guidance from 2004 which targeted those pensioners of compulsory retirement age and particularly those of state retirement age and above who had their IOD pensions reduced to the lowest level - guidance and actions which were later proved to be unlawful.
Daily Mail item by Ben Wilkinson
IOD pensions are likely to be under attack for a long time to come. Pensioners need to stand ready to defend their pensions, like our Staffordshire colleagues, either individually or collectively , through the courts or by other appropriate channels. Our legal team are always there, ready to advise and help.
10th June 2020.
Landmark Chambers have launched an extremely useful resource page entitled "Guide to the law on police pensions" -
"This resource provides information on the law relating to police pensions and will explain the essentials of the complex legal scheme. The website is designed to assist:
Serving and retired police officers who want to know whether they are entitled to an ill-health or injury pension .
Police Federation staff and representatives.
Staff employed by Chief Constables who have to provide advice to and make decisions on behalf of Chief Constables in their capacity as Police Pension Authorities.
Doctors who are working as a Selected Medical Practitioner or as members of the Police Medical Appeal Board. 7
Solicitors and counsel working for either pension claimants or for Police Forces.
The site is edited by David Lock QC and Samantha Broadfoot QC, both of whom are specialist practitioners in the law relating to police pensions.
This resource page will include eight chapters and eight associated podcasts. "
22nd April 2020.
IODPA report another important success for Solicitor Ron Thompson and David Lock QC.
This important case involves Regulation 12 of the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006. Please see the press release below:
16th March 2020.
Most IODs will be only too aware of the terrible position that some Staffordshire IOD pensioners are presently in owing to the polices of Chief Constable Gareth Morgan. Colleagues are reminded that IODs in Avon and Somerset were also subjected to an aggressive assault on their pensions when Mr Morgan was DCC - we note that a complete change in that forces polices coincided with Mr Morgan's departure from that force!
This morning we have this report from the Times:
"A chief constable broke down and wept as he described the weight of responsibility of running a force struggling to keep the public safe amid severe budget cuts. Gareth Morgan, the head of Staffordshire police, said that he had found it hard to decide how to best serve the public with diminishing resources"
The Times - 16th March 2020
Injury Pensions are provided under Regulations and are essential to a profession whose members face constant danger. The policies of this person have resulted in much great anxiety, trauma and more than a few tears for injured ex police officers.
Perhaps things would be different for our Staffordshire friends under a different Chief Constable?
8th February 2020.
The protracted South Yorkshire case of ex Sgt Lloyd Kelly has resulted in success for the ex officer at Appeal. The ex officer only became aware of his entitlement to an IOD pension some eleven years after he retired. He applied and was granted an IOD pension, however the Chief Constable refused to backdate the IOD pension to the date of retirement contrary to the Regulations. More on this from Landmark Chambers. The Chief Constable appealed the decision last year and the result is a success for the ex officer who will have his IOD pension backdated to the date of his ill health retirement. The only point which did not result in success was that of the payment of interest. This is an important decision for so many of our colleagues and once again we must express our gratitude to David Lock QC.
Lloyd Kelly case establishes injured police pensioner’s right to a police injury pension from the date of retirement.
1st January 2020.
The start of 2020 looks remarkably like 2019 with the situation in Staffordshire still dominant. An application for judicial review was denied but last month an appeal was successful and there are two important issues that will go to JR probably in the Spring. The way IOD's have been treated over the last 15 years is not just a matter of National interest, it is a national disgrace.
People who are not aware of the treatment of IOD's by their forces often find it difficult to believe. Pipin website was the catalyst for opposition to the unlawful policies triggered by HOC46/2004 and our News and Brief History pages record the details and the timeline of the events that brought about the demise of that dreadful 'guidance'. The evidence is there for anyone who doubts – the Court judgements and the determinations of the Pensions Ombudsman are there for all to see. Pipin has now been eclipsed by IODPA (our own fast growing charitable IOD organisation) which is able to encompass the increasing complexity of the issues facing us backed by our expert legal advisers. Pipin will continue for the time being as a record of this 'David and Goliath' struggle by IOD's for justice.
Pipin has argued for a major review, along the lines of the Scoffield Report in Northern Ireland, into all aspects of Police injury on duty retirement but it seems that most police forces are content to continue in the same rut, relying on the same flawed old policies, perhaps warmed up here and there. It really does reflect badly on our forces and we deserve better. Surely there are some people in positions of authority who have the sense and foresight to see that the IOD situation can and should be put right and a resolution is long overdue. It will happen, eventually, but IOD's should not hold their breath. It may be some time before good sense prevails and the kind of reasoning that we have been subjected to is consigned to the past. In the meantime we have to continue, where necessary, to test the policies and decisions of our forces and, in so doing, clarify the law and Regulations piece by piece and decision by decision.
We wish all IOD's a happy and successful 2020.