Policeman's £430,000 compensation over viral video


Video footage of the incident

PC Mike Baillon has been awarded £430,000, after being forced to leave Gwent Police over a video of him that went viral in 2009. The video shows him chasing a car down country road, then stopping and attacking it with his truncheon.

After it was leaked on the web he said he became a laughing stock at work and couldn't carry on in the job.

The Range Rover had been stopped because the driver wasn't wearing a seatbelt. Before the officers had finished dealing with him, he drove off, and Baillon gave chase for 17 minutes. According to the Daily Mail, after the car pulled over, he immediately ran to the vehicle and attacked it with his truncheon, breaking a window, and then hauling the driver out. The driver was a 71-year-old disabled man.

The BBC reported that Baillon was removed from front-line duties because his mental state could have affected him during car chases, but was reinstated after being cleared of misconduct. He later filed a complaint against Gwent Police for undermining him in his role. Shortly after that he was relocated to a local policing unit.

Meanwhile, colleagues never let him forget it. According to The Telegraph, the tribunal heard that they referred to it as 'The Whatley Incident' after the driver of the car, constantly teased him over it, and defaced his locker.

He eventually left the force and sued them for unfair dismissal, and was awarded £430,000 to account for lost earnings and pension.

Compensation culture?

It's the latest in a long line of police compensation payments to hit the headlines. In 2012 UK officers received payouts totaling £19.8 million, and there have been some high profile stories.

There was the fact that Suffolk Police had paid £13,600 to an officer who had hurt a toe at a health and safety training session. Then there was the officer who got £130,000 after breaking a hip after falling over in a store room.

More weirdly there was the detective who won £7,000 after claiming exposure to cannabis fumes made him snore and caused problems in his marriage. There was the £108,000 awarded to the PC injured by handcuffs, and the PC awarded £200,000 after slipping on a banana skin.

It's worth highlighting that the majority of these payouts are not in the form of compensation - but to pay for medical treatment for the individuals concerned. However, it hasn't stopped talk of a compensation culture in the police force, and Theresa May ordering a review of compensation in the police last May.

But what do you think? Are the police entitled to the same rights at work as everyone else - including the right to medical treatment if they are injured at work? Or should there be different rules for a job like policing?