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Police Injury Pensions Non-Implemented Policy - Cleveland When Did The Attack On Pensions Begin?

This paper serves to publish a document, below, that illustrates an early attempt to subvert the requirements of the Police Pension Regulations 1987. It also provides a brief summary of the known history of the attack on injury pensions. Former officers in receipt of an injury pension will have been following something of the ongoing challenge to certain forces' unlawful attempts to reduce pension payments at state pension age and at normal force retirement age. Other papers available at www.scribd.comlwdtk address many of the issues arising and the NARPO web site at also has useful information. Several ofthe important Administrative Court cases are there, together with summaries, and the official transcripts can be found on the British and Irish Legal Institute web site at Perhaps the most astonishing, and worrying aspect of the whole sorry saga is that supposedly professional administrators and Chief Constables were prepared to not only allow unlawful administration of police injury pensions to take place, but have been unwilling to the point of complete intransigence, in many cases, to move to correct the errors and to apologise for the distress resulting. The attack on police injury pensions did not simply happen. It was triggered and was a deliberate and considered assault - an assault that was being planned for some years before forces began to conduct unlawful reviews and reductions. It has already come to light that the Association of Chief Police Officers was prepared to endorse unlawful administration. In a letter to the Home Office', the then Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police, John Giffard, CBE QPM DL BA, acting in his capacity as First Vice President of ACPO, said, 'Thank you for sharing the proposals with me on injury awards. 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. ' That damning view was written in May 2004 - a matter of weeks before the Home Office issued its deceitful, manipulative and now thoroughly discredited guidance in Annex C to circular 46/2004. Little wonder then that some Chief Constables felt encouraged to ride roughshod over the rights of disabled former officers and set in motion mass reviews with the sole aim of unlawfully reducing the amount paid. Did Mr Giffard display remarkable ignorance of the Regulations, or was he confidently supporting the Home Office, perhaps believing that the unlawful actions he proposed would not meet with any ~rposition? Bear in mind, he was speaking on behalf of all Chief Officers.
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1;"See ACPO Sold Out Police Injury Pensioners on \

However, the attack on pensions was taking shape some time earlier. There is a letter from Michael Ruff ofthe Police Pensions and Retirement Policy Section at the Home Office'. dated July 2002, it addresses a query from one Myma Banks-Mahoney of West Yorkshire Police: 'As it appears that the Regulations do not currently permit an injury award to be cancelled merely because of the age of the pensioner, we have in the past advised that police authorities may wish to consider using the lowest banding for injury awards from age 60 because of the expectation of lower earnings from this age.' Mr Ruff, in his wisdom, was happy to recommend to West Yorkshire Police that they could reduce injury pensions merely because of a pensioner's age. West Yorkshire has been one ofthe worst offenders (and I use that term in its strictly legalistic sense) and has conducted 268 reviews since January 2005, of which an astounding 82.46% resulted in a reduction in banding'. This high figure would seem to indicate that certain ages of pensioners were being deliberately targeted. A recent case in the Administrative Court has forced West Yorkshire to reinstate pension payments, but they have done so grudgingly. Clint Elliot, Chief Executive ofNARPO has commented": 'Theformer officers have been returned to the level of pension their injuries justify and compensated for the reduced pension paid since the initial decisions were made from 2008 and onwards. The force are refusing to recognise other former officers in exactly the same position and are effectively invitingfurther individual challenges to a policy they have already admitted is illegal. '

One further indicator of a concerted attack on police injury pensions can be seen in the document that is reproduced below. It is a policy document from Cleveland Police and is dated March 2003. This policy was never implemented, but is shows very clearly that there was an intention to reduce injury pensions to the lowest band at age 60. It makes the unfounded and completely erroneous claim that the pension is to compensate for 'loss of earnings rather than the actual injury itself' Perhaps someone in Cleveland will be able to inform us why this policy was never put into action? Recent research (available on www.scribd.comlwdtk) reveals that Cleveland have conducted no reviews of its around 320 police injury pensioners since January 2005. This force, therefore, seems to have fully understood that age-related review and reduction is unlawful, but the question remains - who inspired the author of the policy to believe that the Regulations could so obviously be subverted? The answer seems to be that the one common factor in all this flagrant disregard for the law is the Home Office. How unwise will it be, therefore, for any Chief Constable, or any Police Authority, to place even the slightest degree of confidence in any 'revised' guidance that the Home Office might issue?

The Cleveland policy (not implemented) from 2003 follows:

2 3 4 See Police Injury Pensions - Home Office Letter - 2002 available on See Police Injury Pensions - Latest Research Spreadsheet on See the NARPO web site for the full statement -

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Cleveland Police - Corporate Policy Title: Review of Injury Awards and Medical Pensions 50 -------March 2003 March 2005

Reference No: Implemented On: Review Date: Policy Statement

Cleveland Police Officers have a difficult and often dangerous role. Confidence to undertake the duties associated with modern day policinq comes from effective training, information, equipment and organisation whtch is underpinned by terms and conditions which ensure adequate reward and protection for normal hazards of work. In addition, these terms and conditions also provide aqatnst the particular occupational hazards associated with a job which expects an individual to place themselves at physical risk. The provision of these terms and conditions is part of society's reciprocal duty to provide for those who put themselves at risk in this way. For example, where an officer is retired on health grounds, they will receive an immediate indexlinked pension. The pension will have been enhanced to compensate for opportunity lost had the officer been able to work to the date of compulsory retirement - or 30 years service, whichever is the less. Where the PoLice Authority may be liable in law for having caused the permanent disablement, it will be open for officers to seek damages via the civil system, however, in exceptional circumstances an additional injury pension may be awarded where an officer receives an injury in the execution of their duties as a Police Officer. There is also a duty to review the entitlement of Offtcers on an ordinary medical pension as if their condition has improved it may be possible for them to return to the Force. Cleveland Police also must ensure that arrangements are in place for the revision of the Injury Award once an Officer reaches age 60. Strategic Aims This document supports the following Strategic Aims: Reduction and detection of crime Response Policing Reassuring the Public Finance and Commissioning Personnel and Development



Information and Communication


Policy aims and application Aims: The purpose of this policy is to provide guidance in relation to reviewing whether the degree of a retired Officer's disablement has substantially altered, whether a medically retired Officer is fit enough to be reinstated and to introduce a system to lower 100 payments at age 60. Cteve~and Police, to date, has not yet exercised this statutory duty as defined by the Police Pensions Regulations 1987. This policy therefore defines a new procedure relating to the reassessment of injury pensions as required by the above Regulations, the reassessment of ill health pensions and the revision of Injury Awards at age 60.

Application; This policy applies to all Police Officers and Police Staff of Cleveland Police. Procedures: The following are the procedures to be followed in respect of this policy: 50.1 Review of injury Awards. and Medical Pensions Legal and Other References The PoHce Pens~ons Regu~abons 1987 (Regu~at~on K2(1}) requires PoHce Authorities to periodically consider whether the degree of a retired officer's disablement has substantially altered. Cleveland Police Authority has, as it is empowered to do by the Regulations, delegated responsibility for matters relating to Police Pensions to the Chief Constable. If, after such consideration, it is found that the degree of disablement has subsantially altered, then the injury pension shall be reviewed accordingly. Recalling retired officers for reassessment of their drsabHfty fS important both to the individual and to the Force because the impact of disability can intensify or decrease over a period of time and therefore should be reflected in the disability banding. Ln such circumstances it is acknowledged that pensions may increase or decrease accordingly. Officers not in receipt of an Injury on Duty award require reviewing as some may be able to return to the Force if their medical condition has improved. Officers in receipt of an Injury Award are no payment once they reach age 60 as the award earnings rather than the actual injury itself. This procedure in this regard in lowering the award to

longer entitled to the same ~s to compensate for loss of policy documents the Force Band One.

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An documentation

produced in preperation of this policy ,tndudtng compliance assessments and suitability certificates, will be retained by Manual of Guidance Officer, Corporate Planning and Performance The Head of Personnet and Devet,o-pmeittis responsrb'te to for the accuracy and integrity of this Policy. Therefore, objections as to the content of this policy must be directed to Head of Personnel and Development. Thrs section wftt be revrewed and upctated Personnel and Development. Compliance Checking This document has been assessed for: Freedom of Information Act issues Human Rights compliance


an armuat basts by the Head of

~ ~ ~ ~

Diversity, Race and Equality Disability Dlscriminatlon Act Risk management issues, including health and safety

Other identified legal~ethical or moral issues and, is certified suitable for implementation.

Template Revised ~ pOOl8. V:\A-CURRENT FOI REQUESTS\J..

Note: Any person who feels that they can contribute material evidence to the debate on the maladministration of police injury pensions is invited to do so. The author of this paper can be contacted by email at - documents can be attached to emails to the same address. All contacts will be treated in the strictest confidence. Of particular interest is any documentary evidence that illustrates how forces or police authorities debated how to administer police injury pensions - reports, discussion papers, agendas, minutes of meetings, memoranda, email, etc. etc. The author will not publish anything without the express permission of the person providing it and will obey legislation concerning data protection. Also of interest are any documents regarding completed determinations by the Pensions Ombudsman. He routinely publishes selected cases, but does not publish all cases so it would be Useful to see the detail of determinations he has not put up on his web site. Cases can be sent to the auth& suitably redacted to avoid personal identities being revealed.