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Thu Feb 08, 2018 10:51 am by Beachcomber

March 2018

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SMP Withdraws From Review Programme.

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SMP Withdraws From Review Programme.

Post by Beachcomber on Thu Dec 14, 2017 7:51 am

IODPA have informed members that an SMP who has been involved in the mass IOD review programme in Staffordshire has decided to withdraw from conducting IOD reviews with immediate effect. The SMP gives his reasons as stress and the contentious nature of the work,

It has been clear for some time that recruitment of SMP's has been difficult and prospective candidates are avoiding the role. The Scoffield Report in Northern Ireland included concerns of SMP's.

On my last review, the SMP openly stated that he was very unhappy with what he was being asked to do and left shortly afterwards. The role of SMP requires independence and impartiality and, as we are well aware, these essential elements have been sacrificed by the application by some forces of policies that are severely biased towards cost savings. We know from disclosures elsewhere that some forces are paying out very large sums of money in SMP fees to attract doctors who are willing to carry out the wishes of these forces.

IOD pensioners have been forced to defend their IOD pensions. The cause of the problems is not the IOD pensioner, it is the manipulation of the review process that has resulted in this situation and, in this case, the force has pushed ahead with a badly thought out review programme which was inevitably going to result in many appeals and ultimately going to be decided in the High Court.

The SMP has an important and sometimes difficult role. An SMP who is not impartial and independent sets him/herself up for their actions to be scrutinised at the highest level. Some forces may still be able to persuade SMP's to do their bidding at the expense of pensioners but prostituting your calling for high fees is not attractive to most, especially when your decisions will be thoroughly questioned at a later date.

IOD pensioners are not the problem. Reviews are not the problem. It is unfair, unjust or unlawful manipulation of the review process that is the problem and there can be no doubt that certain SMP's have made themselves part of the problem.

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Re: SMP Withdraws From Review Programme.

Post by Mercury on Thu Dec 14, 2017 1:15 pm

This is an unexpected development and it will be interesting to see what happens next.

SMP's aren't employed because any sympathy with the recipients of their reviews and one has to wonder what has prompted this particular SMP to withdraw his services. I would like to think that he has made a judgement on what has been required of him and brought his moral compass to bear, deciding that continuance is not morally justified. If that is so, I think that would show that decency still exists within the system and there are limits to what is professionally or morally acceptable.

I do not think for one instant that the force will cease their efforts to continue the review programme and I am sure they will be already seeking alternative SMP services, whether it be from an agency or maybe one of the more notorious SMP's who have worked so hard to bring the system into disrepute.

Professional Independence and impartiality will have a completely different meaning to these people but one thing is sure, when their actions are put to the question, their forces will insist that the SMP is completely independent and the decisions of the SMP are detached from force influence and the SMP will be hung out to dry!

I think this SMP has had some guts to make this decision.


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Re: SMP Withdraws From Review Programme.

Post by Beachcomber on Fri Dec 15, 2017 9:16 am

It seems that another batch of review letters were received yesterday by Staffordshire IOD's. As the SMP has withdrawn from the process, it remains to be seen what happens next.

I have no doubt that the force will already have been seeking an alternative provider of SMP services. There may be a postponement of the schedule but I think it is a safe bet that the force will be pushing on with their reviews. Another safe bet would be the probability that the SMP will be compliant to the forces desires and any prospective SMP who embodies independence is unlikely to be successful in this appointment.

Given the stance that this force has taken in this current wave of reviews, I do worry that they may embark on some radical venture which ignores the Regs and they will use to justify mass reductions. It will be then up to the pensioners to challenge the decisions and the official hope will be that the pensioners will not wish to appeal etc. - that, as we all know, would be a disastrous error on their part! This, of course, has happened previously with HOC46/2004 but there is no discouraging some of these police forces who seem have resources to waste and there seems to be no constraints to prevent abuse of the system.

Whatever happens, I think that the force will continue along this path but, as we all know, there is a powerful opposition waiting......

Each and everyone of us is an ex police officer and we know about justice and principles, its just a pity that those principles are no longer embodied in some of the very sleazy police forces we have been unfortunate to have worked for.

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