Request for financial assistance for representation in inquest

Reference code: 
PCD 585
Date signed: 
10 June 2019
Authorisation name: 
Sophie Linden, Deputy Mayor, Policing and Crime

Executive summary

This report contains an application for financial assistance made by the Applicant for separate representation in inquest proceedings.    

Recommendation

The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime is asked to consider an application for funding in the sum of £94,282.50 (excl VAT), for serving officers in respect of separate representation at an inquest. The Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime has the discretion to authorise financial assistance for police officers/staff where it would be conducive to the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force.
 

Non-confidential facts and advice to the Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime (DMPC)

1.    Introduction and background

1.1.    The counterpart of this report is exempt because it falls within an exemption specified in para 2(2) of the Elected Local Policing Bodies (Specified Information) Order 2011 and/or under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 e.g. because the information amounts to personal data, is confidential or commercially sensitive.  
  
1.2.    These proceedings concern the representation of MPS officers at an inquest.  This is the 1st application.     

1.3.    The Applicants represents that they satisfy the criteria for entitlement to financial assistance namely: that they were performing their official duties; that they were acting in good faith and there was no neglect or wilful default on their part; and that they exercised reasonable judgement.  The facts provided by the Applicant in support of their representation for financial assistance are set out in the exempt report.  
 
1.4.    The Commissioner’s position in relation to the Applicant’s representations for financial assistance are set out in the exempt report.  

1.5.    There is a conflict of interest between the position of the Commissioner and the Applicant(s) and accordingly the Applicant(s) requires separate legal representation and financial assistance.  

2.    Issues for consideration

2.1.    For the DMPC to consider whether there is a conflict of interest requiring separate representation and financial assistance and whether the financial assistance will secure an efficient and effective Police Service.   

3.    Financial Comments

 3.1.    The cost of these legal fees, if authorised, will be met from the 1996 Police Act Expenditure budget within the MPS Directorate of Legal Services’ budget.    

4.    Legal Comments

4.1.    The DMPC has a discretion under Section 3(6) and para. 7 of Schedule 3 of the 
Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011 to fund police officers’ legal expenses in proceedings if they consider that providing the funding secures the maintenance of an efficient and effective police force.  The Deputy Mayor has delegated authority, under para. 4.10 of the Scheme of Delegation, to consider the current application for financial assistance.  

4.2.    A conflict of interest arises between the Commissioner and the Police Officers which gives rise to the need for separate representation and financial assistance for the reasons set out above.    

4.3.    Home Office Circular 010/2017 provides guidance which applies to MOPAC. In conclusion it states:

4.4.     “…police officers and staff must be confident that local policing bodies will provide financial assistance, whether in full or part, for officers facing legal proceedings where they have acted in good faith and have exercised their judgement reasonably”.     

5.    GDPR and Data Privacy 

5.1.    The processing of personal data has been minimised as part of this decision and is held within Part 2 of the report.

6.    Equality Comments

6.1.    To continue policing with the consent of the population it serves, the police will always seek to treat everyone fairly and openly.  Race or equality issues do not appear to have an impact in this matter.  

7.    Background/supporting papers

7.1.    Refer to Part 2 of the report.