Heather Brooke, author of the must have book “Your Right To Know”, has looked at misconduct issues within police forces in England. Brooke’s findings have been outlined in today’s Time’s, and the results are pretty entertaining.
Police forces have paid out more than £44 million in compensation and damages in the last 5 years
From 2002 to 2007, 55 police forces received 31,000 claims
The Police Service of Northern Ireland received 150 claims every 100,000 people in the province, and paid out £9.5 million in court judgements, settlements and compensation.
More than half of the countries police forces do not keep accessible records of claims, complaints or court cases.
There were 1825 court actions over 5 years, but only 24% reached court, the remainder were settled out of court or paid off.
Pay out league table;
NORTHERN IRELAND - £597,801 PER 100,000
CLEVELAND POLICE - £597,169 PER 100,000
GREATER MANCHESTER - £394,703 PER 100,000
Figures include all money paid out, including compensation or lawyers legal fees.
That’s a lot of money and a lot of claims. So should we be up in arms about the incompetence of our police forces? The short answer is no. With the American influence of litigation, society is now a legal claims paradise. Putting that to one side, it still isn’t that impressive. It looks like the good old English police force has joined the ranks of the NHS, social services and teaching professions; poorly paid, under resourced and over stretched. The result, under performance and bad practise prevails. Whilst there will be some just cases, the only people who really gain are the lawyers.