Suffolk Constabulary pays compensation bill of £260,000 in the last five years

Stock image of a police officer making an arrest. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Stock image of a police officer making an arrest. Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN - Credit: Archant

Suffolk police have forked out more than £260,000 for 132 compensation claims in the last five years.

A Freedom of Information request has revealed the constabulary paid out on 132 occasions on 303 claims since 2012 for reasons including wrongful arrest, injury to the person, property damage, false entry, negligence and claims under the Human Rights Act.

However, the compensation figure has reduced year by year, from £116,919.38 in 2012/13 to £8,121.24 last year.

The figures are also inflated in previous years with big one-off payments – including £38,225 and £23,485.30 injury claims in 2012/13, an £18,035.23 false entry claim in 2013/14 and a £47,704.50 human rights claim in 2014/15.

Suffolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Tim Passmore, said: “Like any large organisation, the Constabulary receives claims for compensation and these claims reflect the varied and complex nature of policing.

“To protect the public purse, all claims are fully investigated and in many cases the claim is not successful, but when the Constabulary is found to be liable I believe it is fair for claims for compensation to be settled as appropriate.”

A spokeswoman for Suffolk police said: “Suffolk police do receive claims for compensation and each one is logged as a civil claim, reviewed and dealt with appropriately.

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“Compensation claims may be submitted in a variety of circumstances – for example forced entry by officers due to a welfare call or through the application of a warrant, where damage can be caused.

“The individual circumstances will be robustly investigated, to consider the details surrounding the claim, the involvement of the officers, use of police powers and where liability rests.

“As you will be aware from the request for information, civil claims can vary from property damage, personal injury, arrest incidents to claims under [the] Human Rights Act.

“As can be seen by the data provided under the FOI, not all claims are paid.

“If the investigations reveal that the Constabulary is not liable then no settlement will be awarded.

“All claims are handled fairly.

“The compensation payments listed in the FOI include compensation, legal fees and expert fees.”

Suffolk police has paid compensation on 132 claims since 2012/13

2012/13: 37 successful claims - £116,919.38 paid

2013/14: 23 successful claims – £39,676.36 paid

2014/15: 26 successful claims - £95,671.82 paid

2015/16: 32 successful claims - £8,347.04 paid

2016/17: 14 successful claims - £8,121.24 paid

The total paid out by Suffolk police in the last five years is £268,735.84

Six single payouts of more than £10,000 have been made.

2012/13: Claim for injury - £38,225.20

2012/13: Arrest incident/wrongful arrest - £18,146.30

2012/13: Claim for injury - £23,485.30

2013/14: Property damage/forced entry - £18,035.23

2014/15: Human rights - £47,704.50

2014/15: Financial loss only - £19,970