The police injury benefit scheme provides ongoing and one-off payments to former police officers who have been injured or disabled in the line of duty.
I was recently shocked to discover that police officers are entitled to official compensation only if they are injured while taking an exceptional risk, and a risk is considered exceptional only if it would not normally be expected. That sounds strange, does it not? With more than 40,000 assaults against police in the past year, and many officers ineligible for injury compensation because of that rule, does the Home Secretary agree that these guidelines effectively normalise violence against police and must be changed?
We certainly do not want to see violence against police normalised. That is why we legislated to double the maximum sentence for assaults against emergency workers just a year or two ago. My understanding is that the payments under the police injury benefit scheme can go up to 85% of salary, but since the hon. Lady has raised the point, I will take a look at it.
Over recent years, a number of police officers have tragically died in the line of duty, and I acknowledge the service of PC Nicola Hughes, PC Fiona Bone and Sergeant Graham Saville. Labour has supported calls for a posthumous medal for fallen officers. Why will the Minister not do the right thing and acknowledge those who gave their lives to keep us safe?
We do acknowledge that, and it may well be that posthumous awards are made. We obviously do not comment on individual cases and potential awards prior to their being made, but if I say that I strongly sympathise with what the hon. Lady just said, I think she will understand what I mean.