ASSAULT on duty, defective equipment and bullying are among the claims that have driven Dorset Police employees to seek compensation from the force.

Over the last five years Dorset Police has spent £31,010 on legal fees after 25 claims were lodged by police officers and staff.

With a workforce of 2,276, the figure is equal to around £13.62 per employee, one of the lower spending forces in the UK. However it is still more than enough to pay for a new officer, with money to spare.

Seventeen of the claims relate to injury on duty allegations - including one male employee who sought compensation for being assaulted on duty but lost the case.

Another male employee claimed for harassment or bullying, costing police £1,900 in legal fees.

Two sought damages over 'slips, trips or falls' and there were also two claims relating to 'training injuries' and another for defective equipment.

The most expensive was in 2016, when the force spent £6,888 on legal fees after a female employee won an injury on duty claim.

Others include an injury on duty claim by a male employee in 2015 costing £5,647.

The figures were revealed following a Freedom of Information request to every UK police force.

They do not include the sum received by claimants; compensation is paid by police insurers.

A Dorset Police spokesman said lessons have been learnt as a result of compensation claims.

He said: “Upon the conclusion of a civil claim against the force, the circumstances of each case will be considered to identify if any changes need to be implemented.

"In the event that any particular issues are identified, relevant steps will be taken.

“Dorset Police has a strong commitment to learning from previous incidents and aims to respond openly and positively to claims that have been made against it in order to make improvements for the future.

“The force does not tolerate harassment and bullying and treats and allegations of this nature very seriously."

A National Police Chiefs’ Council spokesman said:“Every day police officers and staff run towards danger and deal with numerous traumatic events whilst assisting the public. Chief officers take their duty to protect their workforce very seriously.

“Forces carry out risk assessments, offer training and work with staff associations to make sure people are as safe as they can be.

"When an employee is injured at work it’s vital they receive appropriate care, support and treatment.”

The Police Federation has called on the Government and chief officers to do all they can to ensure the welfare of officers is protected.

Clive Knight, the Police Federation’s health and safety lead, said:

“If standards fall below what is required, and situations arise where our members are injured or their health affected, they have a legal right to seek compensation."

“Preventing injuries is in the interest of all officers, their colleagues and members of the public to reduce absences on an already stretched service.

“The Government and chief officers must do all they can to ensure the physical and mental welfare of officers is protected to allow them to keep doing their jobs, serving the public to the best of their ability.

“The consequences for officers who suffer an injury on duty are wide-ranging. It can affect their ability to perform their required role, their personal life and in extreme cases it can even end their policing career."

  • The ‘Protect the Protectors’ campaign, launched by the Police Federation seeks to safeguard the physical and mental wellbeing of officers. For information visit
  • Data provided by Joanna Morris at Newsquest Data Investigations Unit