Personal injury news roundup: 7 days ended 30 Sept 2014:
Police officers in Northern Ireland have been making waves by bringing an absolutely incredible number of personal injury claims over the last three years.
A recent investigation into the costs incurred by PSNI has found that an eye watering 51.8 million in personal injury compensation payouts have been made from 2011/12. While some fo the claims were for instances such as unfair dismissal, property damage and discrimination, the most of the costs incurred by PSNI – a full £49.5 million – went directly to cops that were injured in the line of duty.
Officials and policymakers have come out of the woodwork to express their surprise and dismay at the new figures, including SDLP Policing Board member Dolores Kelly who said she was quite disturbed by how many payouts there had been over just three short years. Kelly immediately pointed the finger at both cops and personal injury solicitors, claiming that it was obvious that there was a rising ‘compensation culture’ at work in Northern Ireland.
For what it’s worth, I don’t know if Kelly has been perhaps keeping track of the kinds of things that have been going on in Northern Ireland over the last few years. Cops have been getting injured left and right in the civil unrest borne out of parade marches lately, and with police funding already dangerously low and in danger of being slashed even further I’m sure it’s a safe bet that both the training and the equipment PSNI gives their officers is more than a bit shoddy and lacklustre.
All I’m saying is that it seems like poor form to blame police officers injured in the line of duty for needing to be compensated for their injuries. Maybe a better, more effective strategy would be to ensure that the nation’s police forces are well funded enough to keep their employees and staff safe and sound. It’s not like these men and women aren’t out there putting their lives on the line every day or anything, you know; perhaps a bit less finger pointing and recrimination and a little more concern for the thin blue line that stands between order and chaos would be more appropriate from the powers that be, don’t you think?