Essex Police Injury On Duty Pensions
Last year letters were sent by Essex Police to our members in receipt of injury on duty pensions requesting excessive amounts of personal data as part of a review process. Such demands for personal information were disproportionate and unnecessary for the purpose of collecting data for the review process.
Within the letter there were covert threats and the excessive request for personal data breached the ‘Data Protection Act’. In addition to this, Essex Police only sent the request to Band Four Injury on Duty Pension recipients which are the most disabled and this would also breach the ‘Disability Discrimination Act’.
I wrote a letter of complaint the then Chief Constable of Essex Police, Stephen Kavanagh and also reported it to the Police and Crime Commissioner. I received a letter of apology from the Chief Constable stating that all members who had received a letter would be contacted again by letter and advised to ignore the previous letter whilst Essex Police assess the process.
Unfortunately, this is not the end of this business. On Tuesday 8th January 2019 I was invited to a meeting with the Essex Police Federation Secretary, Paul Squire, to discuss Essex Police’s next move.
Essex Police are determined to reduce their costs in relation to ‘Injury On Duty’ (IOD) pensions as this cost comes directly from their budget with no help from the Government. It is believed that Essex Police will again be writing to our colleagues in receipt of an IOD Pension, probably sometime this year.
However, Essex Police seem to have heeded my warnings of breaching both the Data Protection and the Disability Discrimination Acts and will be adhering to the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006.
This means that they will not be asking for excessive information just whether the pensioners disablement has altered since the last review. If the disablement has substantially altered then the pension can be revised accordingly. Don’t forget the pension can be increased as well as decreased and there is an independent review process. I believe the independent review costs in the region of £10,000 each, so Essex Police need to be confident before revising any pensions.
I am currently considering with Paul Squire writing a joint letter from both NARPO and The Essex Police Federation which will accompany every letter sent out by Essex Police.
My initial advice to any one of our members who receive such a letter is either contact me or Paul Squire. I personally would then visit my local practitioner and request a letter stating that your condition leading to an IOD pension is the same or worse than when you retired. This would then be sent with your reply to Essex Police.
I will continue to monitor the situation.
Secretary and Treasurer