29/06/2007

Police officers to receive compensation

Many of the 5,000 officers suing the PSNI Chief Constable will be able to receive compensation for trauma.

The total compensation bill is expected to exceed £100 million making it the largest and longest ever running civil compensation action of its type in the UK.

At the High Court Mr Justice Coghlin's ruling on ten test cases said that due to "systematic failures in management of the force" the RUC and PSNI were liable.

The officers had claimed that they were not prepared for the experiences of the violence in Northern Ireland and that there were inadequate support procedures in place.

Giving evidence last year, former RUC Chief Constable Sir Ronnie Flanagan said that a welfare procedure was put in place after the force became aware of post traumatic stress disorder.

However, the case focused on the alleged failure of the authorities to deal properly with the known psychiatric conditions and psychological trauma of the nature of the officers' duties.

(SP/KMcA)

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