Police officer received thousands in compensation after falling off a CHAIR

August 18, 2014 | by | 0 Comments
Police have received thousands in compensation claims, with one office being paid off after fell off a chair (file picture)

Police have received thousands in compensation claims, with one office being paid off after fell off a chair (file picture)

A police officer received thousands of pounds in compensation after being injured – falling off a CHAIR, it emerged yesterday.

In scenes more reminiscent of the Keystone Cops, three officers from West Midlands Police were even hurt during personal SAFETY training.

Other officers made claims for a host of injuries including being hurt by a baton, being bitten by a dog and even one who was hit by a car park barrier.

Incredibly, the cash-strapped force forked out almost £600,000 on personal injury claims for just 26 officers between April 2013/14.

A whopping £328,100 was paid out in compensation as well as a staggering £260,900 to lawyers dealing with the cases.

Five officers shared out £173,500 between them after they tripped and fell at premises owned by the force.

Three officers slipped on wet floors, two had problems getting into and out of cars and two suffered injuries after moving furniture.

Other payouts included an officer suffering from an asbestos-related disease, another who suffered stress from being exposed to HIV and three who were injured by colleagues whilst responding to incidents.

Remarkably, the legal costs far outstripped the compensation payouts for some of the claims.

Two officers received just £5,000 for dog bites – with lawyers pocketing £35,600.

Yesterday, former West Midlands Police officer Ray Egan, 75, who served on the force from 1967 to 1993, described the payouts as “embarrassing”.

He said: “It’s all to do with this claim culture, it’s like a disease and people are jumping on the bandwagon.

“I don’t know where it is going end. It is embarrassing.

“I’m surprised the blame culture has spread to the police force. But everybody else is jumping on board, so it’s just human nature.

“It’s costing the country a lot of money, it could be spent on policing and put to much better use.

“It’s crazy really. What we need back is the man on the beat, it’s become an endangered species.

“They can’t stop people claiming, it’s just going to go on and on. I’m just glad I’m retired and out of it.”

Andy Silvester, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, added: “These figures are shocking.

“Either the force is failing to deliver a safe working environment, or they’re paying out on spurious claims, but either way it’s taxpayers that end up footing the bill.

“Every penny spent on compensation is a penny that can’t be spent on fighting crime and anti-social behaviour, and this pay-out culture cannot be allowed to continue.”

But the force have defended the figures which they say reflect improvements after seeing a 7.5 per cent decrease in injuries and accidents.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said: “Police officers face dangerous situations on a daily basis while on duty, protecting people from harm.

“This is a fundamental nature of the job and a reality accepted by West Midlands Police officers and staff, whose health and safety we take extremely seriously.

“The force, together with unions and staff associations, have a robust joint delivery health and safety plan, which has led to a reduction in accidents involving officers of 7.5 per cent over the past year.

“We are responsible for our employees when they are on duty and when we fall short of meeting that responsibility, they are entitled to protection under the law and seek redress through the courts.

“Compensation payouts are only made following the assessment of appropriate medical evidence by our legal team, insurers and solicitors, who then make a recommendation to the force as to what payment should be made.”

* Last year it emerged a West Midlands Police officer received almost £8,000 in compensation after being bitten by FLEAS.

The payout was part of nearly £900,000 of successful claims handed to 51 police officers and 16 civilian staff members in the three years between 2009 and 2012.


POLICE PAYOUTS
Actions of a third party

Number of cases – three
Damages paid – £28,000
Legal costs – £24,400
Total paid out – £52,400

Defective equipment
Number of cases – four
Damages paid – £10,700
Legal costs – £24,100
Total paid out – £34,800

Dog bite
Number of cases – two
Damages paid – £5,100
Legal costs – £35,600
Total paid out – £40,700

Lifting and handling
Number of cases – four
Damages paid – £20,500
Legal costs – £35,700
Total paid out – £56,200

Slip or trip
Number of cases – five
Damages paid – £173,500
Legal costs – £35,500
Total paid out – £209,000

Training
Number of cases – five
Damages paid – £27,800
Legal costs – £72,500
Total paid out – £100,300

Other
Number of cases – three
Damages paid – £62,500
Legal costs – £33,100
Total paid out – £95,600

Total number of cases – 26
Total damages paid – £328,100
Total legal costs – £260,900
Total paid out – £589,000

Category: News

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