Police union seeks compo scheme

IT is tough enough.

That was the message the WA Police Union (WAPU) sent to the community and levelled at the State Government, urging them to establish a workers compensation scheme for WA police.

The five-minute film centres on a civilian ride-along that turns nasty when an angry man at a ‘drug house’ assaults police.

The emotive video ends by revealing the events were a hoax to the unsuspecting civilians.

WAPU president George Tilbury said he hoped the campaign would expose the public to some of the realities of policing.

The video was welcomed by campaigners for medically retired police who have been seeking retrospective workers compensation for officers injured or damaged through the course of their work.

Parkwood-based online petitioner and brother of an ex-police officer who was brain damaged in an attack, Rick Smith, said he was glad to see coverage for the issue.

“The objective is two-fold – getting workers compensation and making it retrospective,” he said.

A workers compensation scheme for WA Police would require legislative changes and while the introduction of a scheme has been lobbied, the form it would take has not been outlined.

Police Minister Liza Harvey said she had met with medically retired police about the issue.

“WA Police is looking at issues around the establishment of a workers compensation scheme,” she said.

“The Liberal-National Government looks after its police officers – it was this Government that introduced the retired officers medical expenses scheme; mandatory sentencing for assaulting a police officer; mandatory blood testing of offenders who bite and spit at police.”

In WA, injured police have all medical expenses covered by the State Government, receive 168 paid sick days a year and have access to a team of mental health professionals.

Opposition police spokeswoman Michelle Roberts said the State Government should introduce a scheme for medically retired police.