Sunday, 22 June 2014

Police scientist wins £500k payout after developing post-traumatic stress disorder from handling bodies in the wake of the Asian tsunami

A police scientist has been awarded almost half a million pounds in compensation after he was left distressed by handling dead bodies after the Asian tsunami a decade ago.

The forensics expert helped identify some of the 230,000 victims of the disaster that engulfed Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand in 2004.

He developed post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after returning to the UK.

He felt let down by the police quango that employed him for not providing him with counselling after his harrowing experience.

The man, who has not been named, has been on sick leave for much of the intervening decade while pursuing his compensation claim.

Now he has received a total of £464,000 as part of a deal that will end his employment contract with the police professional body, now known as the College of Policing.

The compensation payment, one of the biggest made to a police worker, was so large that it had to be listed in the Home Office’s annual accounts, published last week.

In the section on losses and special payments, it stated: ‘A compensation payment of £464,000 was paid by the College of Policing in respect of an employee who suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder.’

The College of Policing, which replaced the man’s former employers, Centrex and the National Policing Improvement Agency, said: ‘In 2005, the Home Office put together a deployment of policing experts to help in the response to the Sri Lankan tsunami.

‘Following a review of the 2005 deployment the College of Policing recognises that there were matters Centrex could have dealt with better, including post-incident support.’

The forensics expert was one of about 60 police officers and civilian staff from the UK who helped out in the aftermath of the earthquake in the Indian Ocean. It is estimated that more than 230,000 people were killed in the Boxing Day disaster.

Sunday 14 June 2014


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