Belfast Telegraph

PSNI has paid out almost £30m in compensation

By Staff Reporter

DUP MLA Jonathan Craig has blasted the millions being paid out every year as “an awful lot of money”.

The PSNI has paid out millions over the last three years settling thousands of claims, it has been reported.

The compensation claims were paid were officers, civilian staff and members of the public.

Figures obtained by UTV via the Freedom of Information Act have revealed that in 2013 around 2,257 claims were settled costing the police £16.6m.

That figure fell in 2014 when 1,367 claims were dealt with at a cost of £6.6m.

While last year the cost of compensation was just over £5m

No further details of the nature of the claims has been made public.

The PSNI told UTV that “a considerable volume of litigation in this period relates to hearing loss”.

DUP MLA Jonathan Craig welcomed the fact that the pay outs were significantly lower last year.

"There were ongoing claims which were part of a settlement with Westminster around people who have been trained in firearms but had no devices to protect their hearing," he said.

"That was the last year of that pay-out and as you can see the figure accounts for more than half of these claim levels.

"It’s good that these claim levels are going down but I think we must be realistic around policing, it is a very physical job so there are claims that will come in every year through people claiming against the police but also police officers who themselves have been injured in the line of duty."

In a statement to UTV this evening a PSNI spokeman said: "In the last three years PSNI has paid out over £28m compensation to a range of claimants, including members of the public, police officers and police staff. Each claim received is thoroughly investigated and if liability is established the Chief Constable's lawyers will work diligently to achieve the best possible outcome for PSNI.”

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