RUC Officers claim Compensation

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by jonwilly, Nov 2, 2005.

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  1. Like they didn't know it was going to be stressful when they joined?

    Agreed, if work related stress not handled or treated correctly then you have a point. But if being in a stressful job is worth money in its own right where will it all end?
     
  2. There were some RUC barracks where 24 hour overtime was applied if guys lived in. (New Barnsley up by the 'murph) plus some country shops. Where do we get forms to sign up for some of this gravy on our chips? (As in 'you've had your chips)
     
  3. Please can we have some more moronic replies from people who obviously fail to understand the exact nature of this case?

    I find this particular brand of ignorant pontificating to be not only helpful in understanding this issue, but highly amusing and in no way predictable.

    I suggest those who wish to say more focus on the following highly original aspects of their ignorance-overtime, "when I was" etc etc, what did they expect or a particular favourite of mine, an eye rolling "what next?" followed by some ridiculous speculation and the relating of fith hand anecdotes and stories being passed off as fact or first hand knowledge.
     
  4. Auld-Yin

    Auld-Yin LE Reviewer Book Reviewer Reviews Editor

    BBR - you seem to be having a bit of a bad period lately with many negative posts. Your post above, while giving your point of view quite succinctly, does not exactly add to the debate. If you disagree with the comments of other posters, and they are entitled to theirs as much as you, then you have to say why to put over a credible POV. If you accuse people of 'ignorance' then you have to enlighten them in order that their ignorance may be addressed.

    You will have to be careful that people don't start thinking you are the 'Percy' named in your signature :wink:
     
  5. Percy is even more insufferable than Oldredcap, although at times he runs him close.

    I could put forward an alternative point of view, but frankly cannot be bothered to explain these issues to these people who are probably not the slightest bit interested in understanding them, and only post as they like their idiotic big timing.

    This is a serious issue regarding untreated mental illness, and the shite the likes of flash to bang spout should have been binned when we stopped executing 17 year olds for cowardice.

    The saddest aspect is that it takes me to challenge this morons love in, and that no one else would do it.

    Perhaps I am the only one here who does not think PTSD is a matter for a few predictable, boring, cheap jokes.
     
  6. It was precisely that kind of attitude which led to braver men than many of the members on this site being strapped to a chair and shot. It is the fear of stigma generated by our fellow soldiers that prevents some very traumatised lads from seeking help in the first place. It's only too easy to mask the symptoms for a while but sooner or later something has got to give. Until we ordinary soldiers accept that a psychological injury is as likely to kill you as a physical injury and every bit as honourable, and then treat ALL the wounded with the respect they deserve then we are doomed to repeat the mistakes of WW1. Once more the biggest piss takers are usually those who haven't seen much snot. Those who have seen the snot and have got through it unscathed should consider themselves lucky.
     
  7. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    You miss the point. Lots of jobs are stressful, in different ways, and training helps individuals to deal with stress. However, in the type of incident which can result in PTSD (or other traumatic stress related injury), there are two important factors:

    Firstly, it is the individual's perception of the event that matters. In other words, what may be routine to one person may have a significant effect on another - for example, a trained paramedic is likely to be able to manage his response to attendance at a serious road accident better than an untrained bystander.

    Secondly, traumatic stress is described as a normal reaction to an abnormal event. Sometimes things happen which are outside an individuals usual experience - this is why traumatic stress reactions can be expected in emergency service personnel after major incidents with much loss of life. One of the commonest symptoms reported is a feeling of utter helplessness - and being trained and expecting to be able to cope can make it worse.

    In the case in question here, remember that PTSD has to be diagnosed by a doctor according to a clear definition. It is not some imagined condition which is handy for claiming compensation.

    We have had several PTSD threads on ARRSE before; those ignorant of its causes, signs and syptoms and effects should perhaps do a search before posting comments which demonstrate an old-fashioned and thoroughly discredited attitude to a recognised injury. I mean 'didn't they know it was going to be stressful before they joined?' - well, yes, but soldiers know they might get wounded when they join - does this mean they should not be compensated if it happens?

    Lastly, I would be willing to bet that any of the former RUC officers involved would much rather have their old lives back than any amount of money.
     
  8. They deserve every single penny.

    They served with honour and distinction; above and way beyond the call of duty.

    PS: the title should be RUC GC officers.
     
  9. Good luck to them.

    I have served with many good ex-RUC officers that have suffered from PTSD, although this wasnt recognised until very recently. This led to other problems and career wrecker such as alcoholism. Tragically, many officers have also taken their own lives.

    They deserve every penny they get for serving their country in very difficult and dangerous circumstances.
     
  10. Another factor you might wish to consider is that some RUC officers were in the Troubles before the onset and had to adapt to the stress without there being any precedent, any comprehension and any backup for them. Add to that the fact that some, if not all will have had to endure that stress for years, decades, the whole of their careers - unlike those of us who have served in the Province in 6 month emergency tours or two year residential ones and who can get away from the NI atmosphere. Ignoring the cynical approach to the RUC/PONI - which is unlike me, I know, these are police officers not soldiers. They have taken the brunt - in an operation in which the Army has always been in support rather than leading - and as such have fought not a police action but a small scale guerilla war. I hope they get both the money and the time to enjoy what it may bring.
     
  11. An interesting fact, more Falklands vets are dead from suicide than enemy action. maybe they were just pretending to kill themselves in order to get compensation? Another interesting fact, only 2% of soldiers are not prone to stress related illness. They are the ones with a psycopathic personality disorder..... Who would you rather work with?
     
  12. An interesting fact, more Falklands vets are dead from suicide than enemy action. maybe they were just pretending to kill themselves in order to get compensation? Another interesting fact, only 2% of soldiers are not prone to stress related illness. They are the ones with a psycopathic personality disorder..... Who would you rather work with?
     
  13. http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/ld199899/ldjudgmt/jd981203/white01.htm
    The whole appeal is interesting. It refers to 4 police officers who claimed for what happened to them when dealing with aftermath of Hillsborough. The main points comnmence as under:

    LORD STEYN

    My Lords,

    In my view the claims of the four police officers were rightly dismissed by Waller J. (now Lord Justice Waller) and the majority in the Court of Appeal erred in reversing him: Frost v. Chief Constable of South Yorkshire Police [1997] 3 W.L.R. 1194. Different kinds of harm

    The horrific events of 15 April 1989 at the Hillsborough Football Stadium in Sheffield resulted in the death of 96 spectators and physical injuries to more than 700. It also scarred many others for life by emotional harm. It is admitted by the Chief Constable that the events were caused by the negligence of the police in allowing the overcrowding of two spectator pens. In an ideal world all those who have suffered as a result of the negligence ought to be compensated. But we do not live in Utopia: we live in a practical world where the tort system imposes limits to the classes of claims that rank for consideration as well as to the heads of recoverable damages. This results, of course, in imperfect justice but it is by and large the best that the common law can do. The application of the requirement of reasonable foreseeability was sufficient for the disposal of the resulting claims for death and physical injury. But the common law regards reasonable foreseeability as an inadequate tool for the disposal of claims in respect of emotional injury.

    The law divides those who were mentally scarred by the events of Hillsborough in different categories. There are those whose mental suffering was a concomitant of physical injury. This type of mental suffering is routinely recovered as "pain and suffering". Next, there are those who did not suffer any physical injuries but sustained mental suffering. For present purposes this category must be subdivided into two groups. First, there are those who suffered from extreme grief. This category may include cases where the condition of the sufferer is debilitating. Secondly, there are those whose suffering amounts to a recognizable psychiatric illness. Diagnosing a case as falling within the first or second category is often difficult. The symptoms can be substantially similar and equally severe. The difference is a matter of aetiology: see the explanation in Munkman, Damages for Personal Injuries and Death, 10th ed., 118, note 6. Yet the law denies redress in the former case: see Hinz v. Berry [1970] 2 Q.B. 40, at 42 but compare the observations of Thorpe L.J. in Vernon v. Bosley [1997] 1 All E.R. 577, at 610, that grief constituting pathological grief disorder is a recognizable psychiatric illness and is recoverable. Only recognizable psychiatric harm ranks for consideration. Where the line is to be drawn is a matter for expert psychiatric evidence. This distinction serves to demonstrate how the law cannot compensate for all emotional suffering even if it is acute and truly debilitating.

    The four police officers were actively helping to deal with the human consequences of the tragedy and as a result suffered from post traumatic stress disorder. The police officers put in the forefront of their case that they suffered harm as a result of a tort and that justice demands that they should be compensated. A constant theme of the argument of counsel for the police officers was that there is no justification for regarding physical and psychiatric injury as different kinds of damage, and in so arguing he was repeating an observation of Lord Lloyd of Berwick in Page v. Smith [1996] A.C. 155, at 197G. It is of some importance to examine this proposition. Courts of law must act on the best medical insight of the day. Nowadays courts accept that there is no rigid distinction between body and mind. Courts accept that a recognizable psychiatric illness results from an impact on the central nervous system. In this sense therefore there is no qualitative difference between physical harm and psychiatric harm. And psychiatric harm may be far more debilitating than physical harm.

    My other comment is that anyone who joins a police force knows what sort of event he will have to deal with. If not at attestation, then during training. It is unreasonable to expect that they will deal with serious and fatal events wearing blindfolds. They chose to enter the work. They chose to stay in it. We do not know whether any of them sought medical/pstchiatric help in the course of their service. To compare them with military personnel is mixing apples with pears. The soldier has no choice in his involvement and no way of opting out after first experience of trauma. The scale of death and destruction on a basis repeatedly daily does not compare with that experienced by the average RUC officer. Yes - they had a worrying time but it went with the territory. This is a class action and there must, by the law of averages, be a few with a get money for it attitude.
     
  14. ViroBono

    ViroBono LE Moderator

    ORC:

    Your stance on this issue is clear from your first post. Your second consists of a cut and paste of a Law Lord's pontification on a subject he clearly has no in-depth knowledge of (you have that in common, it seems).

    The most relevant thing in Lord Steyn's speech is this:

    Current 'best medical insight' recognises that no amount of training and expectation can prevent an individual from suffering psychiatric injury following a critical incident, in the same way that no amount of protective clothing can prevent physical injury if the mechanism of injury is too great.

    He then goes on to say:

    This is palpable nonsense, and illustrates well the kind of blinkered ignorance typical of many who do not understand traumatic stress. Whilst it may not be unreasonable to know in general what type of event a policeman may have to deal with, no-one can predict exactly what form those events will take, what may constitute a critical incident, or, importantly, how any individual will react to them (remember that it is the individual's perception of an event that matters).

    I have met both soldiers and police officers who put forward the 'they knew what to expect so should just get on with it' theory; they tend to fall into two categories: those who cannot acknowledge that they too may have a problem, and those who were never exposed to a critical incident.

    For Lord Steyn to say that the RUC had 'a worrying time' is an understatement of breathtaking proportions and probably insulting to the RUC. It's a bit like saying the Jews had a slightly difficult time during WW2.

    Finally, I note that this speech was made in 1998. Proving his point about best medical insight, more recent cases (such as that of the soldier who won his PTSD case) have shown the Courts taking a different attitude to PTSD .