Paragraph 10.20 of the Patten Report recommended that a substantial fund be set up to help Police officers and ex officers injured as a result of terrorist violence and their families, as well as widows of officers murdered in terrorist attacks.
Subsequently John Steele, a former senior civil servant, was asked to review the Patten recommendation and come forward with practical recommendations on how a Fund could be implemented. His report was published on 7th November 2000 and the Government accepted his recommendations as the initial basis upon which the Fund would operate. The report is available as a download on this page.
Role of the Fund
Its role extends widely to cover all aspects of the care of Police officers in Northern Ireland, and their families, who have been directly affected by terrorist violence. The Fund is also be expected to work with other bodies operating in this field, such as the RUC Benevolent Fund, Police Federation, Memorial Fund etc, and as far as possible avoid duplication of effort.
The Fund is overseen by a group of Directors possessing relevant skills and background. While the Board was initially appointed by the Secretary of State subsequent appointments to the Board are solely a matter for the Board of Directors. Directors are not paid, but do receive expenses. The Fund is located at Maryfield.
As not all the skills or experience which Directors may wish to call upon may be readily available from among the Board, contacts with various individuals/groups has been established to provide advice and assistance to the Fund, when required, including:
- RUC Welfare Branch and RUC Pensions Branch
- Police Rehabilitation and Retraining Trust
- Police Federation
- Inland Revenue
- Social Services
Directors keep in contact with representatives of those whom the Fund is being set up to help. While any assistance provided will be on an individual case by case basis, a group of ‘stakeholders’ or Care forum as it has become known acts as one element for the exchange of information, though not all those seeking or receiving assistance will necessarily be represented. The Care Forum includes:
- Police Federation
- RUC Widows Association
- Disabled Police Officers Association
- Parents Association
- NI Retired Police Officers Association
- RUC Benevolent Fund
- RUC GC Foundation
- Carers Association
- Forgotten families
Structure of Fund
The Fund is set up as a Company Limited by Guarantee. It comprises
- A Chief Executive, general administrators and support staff as required
- Assessment staff
- Occupational Therapist(s)
The Fund is supported by funding from central Government.