A price worth paying? care of Stan Still.
Like the vast majority of us, PC Geoff King joined West Midlands Police “to reduce crime and disorder and make our communities feel safer”
PC King was patrolling an area of Wolverhampton that had been hit by a spate of car thefts. He was doing his duty and being the diligent officer that he is, he approached a man who he believed was acting suspiciously.
This man, not wanting to be troubled by an officer doing what the public expects of its police force, pulled out a handgun and shot PC King twice at point blank range. PC King lost over six pints of blood. He was minutes from death. He still hasn’t returned to full duties.
The man responsible for attempting to murder PC King was found, tried, convicted and sentenced.
The Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority has put a price on this traumatic incident, which has left PC King with permanent scars and ongoing psychological problems.
The value of having a couple of bullets pumped into you while doing your duty? £4,000. I’ll put that in words, in case you think some zeros might have dropped off. That’s Four Thousand Pounds.
Let’s put that into perspective. If you watch the ads for those ambulance chasing compensation grabbing legal firms, you will have seen the woman who can’t walk over a slightly damp floor without crashing to the ground. She got £4,000. Some bloke who was too busy eyeing up schoolgirls at a bus stop to notice a car pulling out of a drive got several thousand pounds. Another woman who wasn’t looking where she was going tripped up over some parcel binding and gets a huge payout.
These people, who are apparently genuine, get paid out despite the fact that their own lack of attention contributed to their downfall. PC King was doing his job and probably had no expectation or anticipation that he would be shot at, yet he receives less compensation than people who were victims of their own lack of awareness.
There is a limit to how much the CICA can pay out. After all, it’s funded by tax-payers. PC King is one of those tax-payers. It does not appear that there is any limit to how much comfort and how many perks his attacker will get in prison. The man responsible for putting PC King in this position will never have to pay a penny in compensation.
I don’t know PC King personally, but I do know officers like him who have been injured in the course of their duty. Each one of them will say that they were doing the job they love and would do the same again in the circumstances. None of them demand or expect financial compensation for injuries received, but they deserve some recognition for the unique nature of the job that they do.
I don’t think the price that PC King has paid has been anywhere near reimbursed.
I do wonder how much would have been paid in compensation if the roles had been reversed and the man had been shot by Police. You can bet your ass it would have been a lot more than £4,000.
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