Police Compensation Culture

Wednesday, 19 June, 2013

According to Harrogate News a recent survey has illustrated the dangers that police officers in North Yorkshire face, according to the report over 50% have suffered a personal injury as a result of an assault whilst on duty.(1)

The North Yorkshire Police conducted an online officer safety service, out of the 372 officers that responded; (1)

  •     52.1% of respondents have felt their life was in serious danger
  •     56.7% of respondents had suffered a personal injury at least once in the past two years
  •     41.5% of respondents have been threatened with a weapon in the last two years
  •     52.2% of respondents said there should be mandatory wearing of body armour

The results of the survey compared to the results of an identical questionnaire submitted in 1995, 2003 and 2006, demonstrated an overall increase in the risks to officer safety, and a dramatic increase in personal injury claims.(1)

When compared with the results of a Health and Wellbeing survey undertaken by the North Yorkshire Police Federation in 2012, these statics seem to emphasise a difficult working environment and a lack of officer support.(1)

The Health and Wellbeing survey found that 65.1% of respondents have used a rest day / time off / annual leave instead of going sick. And that 25.3% of respondents were unsure how to report a personal injury on duty.(1)

However Home Secretary Theresa May has ordered an investigation into these frequent payouts, in attempt to rectify the nationwide concern that the frequent personal injury claims are damaging police reputation. (1)

Suzanne Yates of Asons Solicitors stated that;

'While some incidents may seem to be trivial, the consequences which may follow can be very significant. It is vital that these claims are carefully scrutinised and that compensation is only provided when absolutely necessary.’

In total, around 2,000 officers received payouts worth £19.8million last year, and 6,600 officers shared £47.3million in the previous three years, Police Federation figures show.(1)

A freedom of information request revealed West Midlands Police has been sued by 51 serving officers and 16 civilian staff in the past three years.(1)

West Midlands Police said: ‘Details of injuries and payments are often more complex than statistics or brief detail suggest.’(1)

Asons Solicitors suggest that if someone would like to learn more about the personal injury compensation process that information is available at http://www.asons.co.uk, or via an expert helpline on 0844 850 1062

(1)    North Yorkshire Police personal injury statistics - http://www.harrogate-news.co.uk/2013/06/02/north-yorkshire-police-personal-injury-statistics/ - June 2013

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