Policing: ill Health versus Capability Dismissal

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As a Federation rep I have had the responsibility of representing and advising officers on ill health retirement and appeals processes. My usual advice to officers wanting to seek ill health retirement is this;

Your chances of success are low. Around about 25% presently. There is little point trying for an ill health retirement pension unless you have tried every possible treatment available for your condition, in order to be considered as permanently disabled,even if your own GP or Consultant hasn’t recommended or even offered the treatment. Because you can guarantee the SMP or Appeal board will deny you are permanently disabled without having tried it. 

Even having exhausted every possible pill, experimental therapy and ancient tribal medicine from the far reaches of Peru, your chances of being deemed as having a permanent disability and therefore eligible for ill health retirement, are still only as good as a flutter on a roulette wheel.

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Capability Dismissal is now being pitched as a tool that will be used on the ‘minority of officers’, to plug a gap that exists where officers are not eligible for ill health retirement. It is being claimed that only a mere fraction of disabled officers will be affected.

This I am sure, is said with absolute belief in this statement, however, unless the ill health pension implications above are fully understood, reviewed and rectified, this will absolutely not be the case. In fact, there is potential in the future for this to apply to the ‘vast majority’ of disabled officers.

If ill health retirement rates remain at approximately 25% success rate (PFEW estimations), the other 75% of officers who are unsuccessful will surely be walking the lonely trail into the deep dark depths of dismissal from the Police service. It is not inconceivable that 100% of those officers will be disabled.

Our focus must now turn to the second half of the Limited Duties regulations, Capability Dismissal.

This is where the real threat lies to Disabled Officers. At least with an ‘X factor’ pay reduction, ‘they’ only manage to chew off a small piece, but you still manage to get away to fight another day. You will still have a job. It may require some very tough lifestyle changes, but for most it will be achievable.

Capability Dismissal on the other hand would see you dismissed from your force on the grounds of your ‘capability’ to perform the role of the office of Constable, having not been eligible for ill health retirement.

If ill health retirement isn’t addressed soon, Capability dismissal won’t just chew a piece off, it will swallow you whole.

Extracted in part from a blog posted by the Disabled Police Association National Secretary

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The Psychopath Test

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Poor John McDonnell MP, for being short sighted enough to make an ill-judged joke, during a serious adult presentation, of the many wonderful ways in which the governments beneficence, has ensured abundant prosperity for all.

Mr McDonnell, the MP for Hayes & Harlington (that’s right, he’s a Labour politician who actually did win his seat back at the May 2015 election) mentioned Mao Zedong’s ‘bible’ then symbolically proffered it to the current Chancellor of the Exchequer, and was met with derisory and mocking laughter, poor, poor, man. Would calling the Chancellor -whose total absence of compassion toward the mentally ill and the disabled, has caused many to lose their lives -a self-serving psychopath, have been met with the same mocking response? These days, in this England, possibly.

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He at least has never been imprisoned, made subject to unwarranted operations, or had his internal organs sold on the black market by the Chinese Police. It is a pity that the Falung Gong, a religious sect that has been persecuted, imprisoned, and had it’s members die in prison as a result of illegal transplant operations, cannot say the same. The manner in which the Chinese treat their own religious dissenters can outstrip the horror of Kazuo Ishiguro’s ‘Never Let Me Go’ in his dystopic world human beings are ‘bred to be butchered’. In Chinese Society you’re okay so long as you toe the line, the instant you get religion you risk losing your job, family and internal organs. You may even find that your right to procreate has been cancelled. Strange then, that the same government that wants to crush it’s heel upon the ‘pious head’ of ISIS, is avidly doing business with a despotic government.

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But then how strange is it that the government utilising a legislative program in order to crush our few trade union rights, and all other forms of dissent via the abolition of the Human Rights Act, should choose to do business with a government that hasn’t merely closed churches, but has also taken the extreme step of demolishing them.

John McDonnell’s joke may have been perceived by some to have been poorly timed but then by the 251,000 people who voted for Mr Corbyn, MP for Islington North, returned seven times (that’s how many general elections he’s won?), would very likely have considered his comments to be very prescient.

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