Sussex Police compensation claims revealed

Police compensation claims revealed

Police compensation claims revealed

First published in News by , Crime reporter

A police officer received £9,000 of taxpayers' money after getting her foot trapped in a pothole in a station car park.

The unnamed female officer is just one of a number of officers who sued Sussex Police for compensation.

Sussex Police agreed to an out-of-court settlement after it was accepted the woman had suffered an ankle injury following the trip in February 2011 in Eastbourne.

Now the TaxPayers' Alliance has said the details will make people's “blood boil” and infuriate officers who do not make such claims.


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Another officer is suing after tumbling on a damp floor in Crawley's custody suite in March 2011.

A Freedom of Information request said the man was seeking damages for twisting his right knee despite there being a “wet floor” sign.

A third sought damages after being given a right-handed shield when he is left-handed, which led to him damaging his tooth as he had to use it “the wrong way up”.

In this case in Midhurst in February 2011 the force did not accept liability.

Another officer received money after a window fell on him as he opened it.

He received £1,588 in March 2013 following the incident in Worthing - apparently he suffered an injury to his left hand.

In July 2011 an officer was walking through a door when shutter fell off and hit him.

He suffered a cut to his forward and received £2,000.

A third officer received £500 after a police dog bit his bottom in Seaford in September 2012 and a fourth received the same amount after being injured during firearms training at Gatwick in January 2013.

On this occasion the police officer suffered “significant burns to the neck” after a shell casing was ejected from a gun.

In total Sussex Police has paid out £21,088 in out-of-court settlements between January 2011 and December 2013.

A number of cases are still open although “reserve values” - how much has been set aside to potentially payout - have been agreed.

Three of these values are set at £100,000.

The £100,000 values have been set following an incident in December 2011 in Sussex House, Crowhurst Road, Brighton, after a police officer slipped on ice at the car park on the site.

A second £100,000 value has been set following an incident in Brighton in June 2012 when a police officer, acting as a “stooge” in dog training was bitten.

The third dates from 1998 and relates to an officer carrying out undercover work who reportedly suffered post-traumatic stress disorder.

A Sussex Police statement said: “Our Civil Claims Unit looks to make sure that any claims are dealt with fairly, professionally and in accordance with the Civil Procedure Rules and Protocols.

“The nature of police work means that it is unpredictable and officers and staff can, unfortunately, occasionally get injured during operations, daily duty or training exercises. All the claims are assessed on the severity of the injuries, the circumstances in which they were received and the question of liability is always fully investigated objectively.

“Where liability exists, compensation is paid to minimise the impact of the injury and feedback is given to ensure that any lessons that can be learnt.”

Jonathan Isaby, chief executive of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said: “These claims will make people's blood boil, and also wind up officers on the front line who don't make such ludicrous claims.

“The police do a difficult job and those hurt in the line of duty deserve support, but clearly some of these cases and the amounts involved are spurious to the extreme.

“Its time police chiefs stamped out the compensation culture that has crept into parts of the police station.”

What Sussex Police have paid out:

  • July 2011, Hastings: Claimant walked through a door and shutter fell and hit him, paid £2,000 out-of-court
  • July 2011, Lewes HQ,: A colleague used too much force and bent an officer's thumb back towards his wrist paid £6,000 out-of-court
  • May 2012, Brighton: Claimant bitten by dog. Received £500 out-of-court
  • February 2011, Eastbourne: Claimant slips on pothole, paid £9,000 out-of-court
  • August 2012, Hassocks: Claimant bitten by dog, paid £1,200 out-of-court
  • January 2013, Gatwick: Shell casing from gun ejected and injured claimant, paid £500 out-of-court
  • March 2013, Worthing: Claimant opened window which then fell on him, paid £1,588 out-of-court
  • September 2012, Seaford: Claimant bitten by dog, paid £500 out-of-court

Cases which are still open:

  • December 2011, Sussex House, Brighton: Claimant slipped on ice in car park
  • No date, Brighton: Bullying and harassment
  • June 2012, no location:  Bitten by police dog
  • November 2011, Hove: Claimant trapped between moving police vehicle and crowd at riot
  • November 1998, force-wide: Claimant suffers PTSD from undercover work.

Where Sussex Police has rejected liability:

  • November 2009, Lewes HQ: Claimant fell when contact was made with another officer whilst practicing a two-handed strike during safety training
  • July 2010, Polegate: Claimant said he had developed what was believed to be Hepatitis A due to sewage problems
  • March 2011, Crawley: Claimant said he slipped on a wet floor and suffered a knee injury
  • February 2011, Midhurst: Claimant was provided with wrong shield and suffered tooth injury
  • December 2011, Worthing: Claimant was a dog trainer and whilst in the process of training a novice handler he was bitten by a police dog
  • April 2011, Surrey: Claimant was carrying out search and was stabbed by needle
  • August 2011, Kingstanding: While undergoing staff safety training the claimant was taken to the ground by other officers and they landed on him
  • April 2012, Brighton: Claimant injured while detaining violent offender
  • May 2012, Worthing: Claimant injured during staff training

Comments (6)

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7:51am Sat 19 Apr 14

NathanAdler says...

Police Officers should sign something at the start of their career barring them from such silly claims.

If I made a claim every time I was injured in the army, and we are not talking in battle here, I would be a millionaire.

To all officers who claim for nonsense - GROW SOME BALLS
Police Officers should sign something at the start of their career barring them from such silly claims. If I made a claim every time I was injured in the army, and we are not talking in battle here, I would be a millionaire. To all officers who claim for nonsense - GROW SOME BALLS NathanAdler
  • Score: 6

1:30pm Sat 19 Apr 14

markiemark2013 says...

The very nature of the work means sometimes things happen. The country as a whole is so wrong in these pathetic claims. Just accept sometimes things happen in life.
The very nature of the work means sometimes things happen. The country as a whole is so wrong in these pathetic claims. Just accept sometimes things happen in life. markiemark2013
  • Score: 1

4:54pm Sat 19 Apr 14

getThisCoalitionOut says...

Ridiculous amounts being claimed and paid out. To think the police are wasting tax payers money like this is criminal. This should all be stopped.
Ridiculous amounts being claimed and paid out. To think the police are wasting tax payers money like this is criminal. This should all be stopped. getThisCoalitionOut
  • Score: -1

5:07pm Sat 19 Apr 14

holly1977 says...

considering that there are about 20 claims since 2009, for an organisation that employs about 5000 people, perhaps that is not too bad, and for some of them, perhaps the employer has failed to maintain buildings etc (at the expense of the tax payer??) I wonder how many claims there are registered at similar public authorities, ie BHCC, or RSCH?? would provide a useful comparison to see if there really is a 'compensation culture' or details of how many incidents are recorded in the workplace versus actual claims?
considering that there are about 20 claims since 2009, for an organisation that employs about 5000 people, perhaps that is not too bad, and for some of them, perhaps the employer has failed to maintain buildings etc (at the expense of the tax payer??) I wonder how many claims there are registered at similar public authorities, ie BHCC, or RSCH?? would provide a useful comparison to see if there really is a 'compensation culture' or details of how many incidents are recorded in the workplace versus actual claims? holly1977
  • Score: 3

9:11pm Sat 19 Apr 14

John Steed says...

the public purse is a trough to some and we all know who feeds from a trough!
the public purse is a trough to some and we all know who feeds from a trough! John Steed
  • Score: -1

5:51am Sun 20 Apr 14

Dave At Home says...

He suffered a cut to his forward and received £2,000.... that must have been painful but really the whole organisation is corrupt from the top down. You have the ACPO doing personal checks for money, on machines paid for by the State or us. Coppers using the company credit card for personal use, walking out of shops with bottles of wine, selling drugs from the store room, taking money from the safe, using company vehicles for personal use.... the list goes on. But if this happened in any other company, the offender would be arrested and have charges laid against them by the company and then dismissed.
We hear stories about other corrupt police officers in poorer countries like Mexico or Peru or Nigeria and how they are dealt with but when it goes on here it is OK..... no it is not, it is no different but they do get treated differently here.... it not what you know, that old adage of the old boys network is alive and well.
He suffered a cut to his forward and received £2,000.... that must have been painful but really the whole organisation is corrupt from the top down. You have the ACPO doing personal checks for money, on machines paid for by the State or us. Coppers using the company credit card for personal use, walking out of shops with bottles of wine, selling drugs from the store room, taking money from the safe, using company vehicles for personal use.... the list goes on. But if this happened in any other company, the offender would be arrested and have charges laid against them by the company and then dismissed. We hear stories about other corrupt police officers in poorer countries like Mexico or Peru or Nigeria and how they are dealt with but when it goes on here it is OK..... no it is not, it is no different but they do get treated differently here.... it not what you know, that old adage of the old boys network is alive and well. Dave At Home
  • Score: -1

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