NARPO – The voice of retired police officers
NARPO – The voice of retired police officers

The Claimants are former police officers who retired from the Staffordshire police force (“the Force”) as a result of injuries which they sustained in the course of their duties. For many years they have been in receipt of injury awards pursuant to the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 SI 2006/932 (“the 2006 Regulations”), having each been found to be permanently disabled as a result of their injuries and consequently to have suffered a reduction in their earning capacity.

The Defendant is the Police Pensions Authority (“the PPA”) in relation to members and retired members of the Force for the purposes of the 2006 Regulations.

On 2 March 2008, the Defendant’s statutory predecessor entered into an agreement with the Police Federation and the National Association of Retired Police Officers (“NARPO”) as to how the 2006 Regulations would be applied in certain categories of case (“the NARPO Agreement”). Pursuant to the NARPO Agreement a number of award holders, including a number of the Claimants, were then given guarantees that their then current assessment of loss of earning capacity, and therefore pension, would remain at the same level for the rest of their lives. They were also told that there would be no review of their injury award unless they requested one following a significant change in their condition.

Following a series of announcements, and consultation with NARPO, by letters dated 18 April 2017 each of the Claimants was notified by the Defendant that their award would be reviewed as part of a reassessment programme which would apply to all award holders save for certain exempted categories. This step was said to be in accordance with Regulation 37 of the 2006 Regulations. Award holders were told that, in accordance with the Regulations, they would be assessed by a qualified medical practitioner. The selected medical practitioner (“the SMP”) would determine whether their degree of disablement had substantially altered, for better or for worse, since they were last assessed. Their awards would then be adjusted accordingly if appropriate.

The case was heard in the High Court of Justice Queen’s Bench Division Administrative Court and a judgment made on 16th September 2020 which dismissed the claims