POA News

6 | 12.01.2018

LEGAL ASSAULTS AT WORK

It has been drawn to my attention that more and more members are failing to report being assaulted at work to the police in line with Conference Policy and more so in their own interest.

Whilst establishments have Police Liaison Officers (PLO’s) and they may or may not report the assault, the member must ensure this is done and a crime reference number obtained to ensure the member can claim compensation from the CICA and the prisoner dealt with appropriately.

Members also have the right to place individuals on Report in custodial settings and this must also be done as a fail-safe, should the case not proceed to Court.

Even if members place a prisoner on Report, but do not report the assault to the police, the CICA often refuse compensation, remember the CICA is always the first route for victims of crime to claim compensation.

PROCESS

If a member is assaulted they should place the prisoner on Report or get a colleague to do this immediately if in a custodial setting.

All members should ensure the assault is reported to the police in every circumstance.

In custodial settings, the Governor should open the adjudication and advise the prisoner that this will be held until the police have concluded their enquiries.

Once the police have fully investigated the incident in line with Policy and any protocols, they will decide whether or not to refer this to the CPS.

If the police do not refer the assault to the CPS and the member is content, the adjudication can then proceed.

If the matter is referred to the CPS and they decide not to prosecute and the member is content, the adjudication can also proceed.

If a member is not happy with the actions of the police and or CPS not to prosecute a prisoner, they must seek legal advice on whether the decision was right as soon as possible, time is always of the essence in these matters.

If the member is seeking legal advice they must inform the Governor not to proceed with the adjudication until they have been provided with the advice and options.

APPLICATIONS FOR COMPENSATION

Following any assault, a member must complete an application to the CICA on line, they should also advise the CICA that the POA is their representative and all future correspondence should be addressed to the Legal Department at Cronin House.

Once the claim has been lodged, a copy of the application form must be sent to Cronin House so that a file can be opened.

Members who are assaulted will need to report the injuries to the hospital and or GP, ensuring they retain any medical records, medication prescribed and a note of how long the symptoms lasted. It is important not to wait until you fully recover from the injuries, as all applications must be made to the CICA within two years of the assault. Following any assault, the CICA will want to know how long members suffered from their injuries as this is one of the criteria for compensation.

Once the claim is lodged the POA can assist members.

The POA also encourage members to register a PI claim with our retained solicitors Thompsons to see if there is a civil claim.

Members can do this by simply telephoning the freephone number 0800 587 7515.

These types of claims are often difficult to win and members and Branch Officials will need to put forward strong evidence to support Thompsons.

The first hurdle is always trying to get the employer to admit liability. Some of the key areas to assist Thompsons in gathering evidence will be on staffing at the time of the incident, the risk the prisoner/ patient posed to staff, regime in place at the time of the assault, risk assessments, safe systems of work and any other local Policy or procedures.

Remember we are all trying to improve the safety of your workplace and maximise compensation for members who are the victims of crime.

Again, applications for PI claims are time bound and they must be registered within three years from the date of incident. However, to allow our Solicitors time to investigate, the POA state claims must be lodged within two years and six months at Cronin House.

Please forward this Circular to all members and ask them to consider the contents and ramifications of not following due process.

Thanking you in anticipation of your support and co-operation.

Yours sincerely

STEVE GILLAN
General Secretary