Huhne urges Labour – “Restore hero cops’ pensions”

Thousands of police officers forced to retire after being injured in the line of duty face having their injury pensions cut back to minimum levels, research by the Lib Dems’ home office team has found.

Previously, officers were allocated an additional sum each year to compensate them for the injuries they received, even when they reached retirement age. However, since Home Office guidance was issued in 2004, many forces have reassessed officers when they have reached retirement age and reduced their injury awards to the lowest possible level. The Labour Government’s recent response to a consultation on this subject suggests that this practice is about to become more widespread.

The Lib Dems’ shadow home secretary Chris Huhne has written to his opposite number Alan Johnson to demand that he put an end to the practice of police injury pensions being changed retrospectively:

The thousands of police officers who have been injured in the line of duty are a reminder of what a dangerous and difficult job it can be.

“As a result of Home Office guidance, many have had their injury pensions slashed and even more are at risk after the Government endorsed the policy in a recent consultation. When ill health forced them to retire, they were promised that they would be compensated for the rest of their lives. It is unfair to move the goalposts now.

“There is an exact parallel with the military covenant, and it will prove just as embarrassing to the Home Office as it was to the Ministry of Defence. Hero cops who put their bodies on the line in the name of the public safety deserve to be more than just a victim of budget cuts.

“These brave men and women are now faced with a hefty drop in income once they reach retirement age and a very uncertain future as a result. This is another example of the Government breaking promises to those that choose to serve.”

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  • Joe Taylor Condliffe 7th Oct '09 - 11:46pm

    GREAT campaign. Hope to hear lots more about this.

    Shocking that police injured while protecting the British public would be treated like this!

    Very well done to Huhne and his team!

  • As long as this applies to those officers who were actually injured in the course of their duties, it’s to be fully commended. There was however, and maybe still is, a practice whereby a bent copper would go long term sick and be quietly retired on medical grounds to keep things under the carpet and it would be a pity if these cases got confused with the genuine ones.

  • Agree with joe. Great campaign

  • Nice work. They need to keep campaigning on this, has potential to be a big story and Lib Dems need to be at the front of it first.

  • Cllr Patrick Smith 8th Oct '09 - 10:00pm

    Chris Huhne has launched a very important campaign that defines our ability as a caring society, to honour our most important law enforcement officers,namely the police,so they can be valued with higher pensions, if unable to continue with their public service role due to retirement on medical grounds.

  • Philip Wallace 26th Jan '11 - 9:48am

    Chris had fine words while you were out of power but, now that LibDems are in a position to make a difference, not a word seems to have been said or printed. The threat to police injury pensions is now greater than before, following the briefing of 19th January 2011. LibDems are presently seen as a party who have consistently broken pre-election promises. Now is a time when the party could make a real difference in an area that has a major impact on a relatively small number of injured retired police officers but, in terms of national finances, is less than peanuts. Police Authorities are currently spending more on the review process and legal challenges than they are gaining from the savage cuts to injury pensions, so isn’t it time to call an end to this shameful exercise. Please live up to your promise at least in this area.

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