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For some, saying the word seems to be the hardest thing. ...
For some, saying the word seems to be the hardest thing.

But experts believe saying 'sorry' could save police forces millions of pounds in compensation claims.

A total of 131 employment tribunals were held in the UK last year to examine claims made by police officers that they had been badly or unfairly treated.

With each hearing costing around£117,000, that's a staggering£15m a year spent on sorting out internal police wrangles.

Today, expert risk managers urged senior police officers to adopt more effective management strategies to settle such claims before they reach court.

And ALARM - the National Forum for Risk Management in the Public Sector - says one such strategy is simply admitting fault.

ALARM's chairman Bob Cope said: 'Employment tribunals involving police forces cost millions of pounds, much of which could be saved if risks were being identified and dealt with much earlier.

'Dealing with risks before they explode and reach the stage where an employee takes industrial action would save time, money and resources. And in some situations, a simple 'sorry' from a senior manager could have resolved the problem without further action.

'Sometimes senior officers believe - or are advised - that an apology is not appropriate. When it is, non-one should be afraid to say sorry'.

Employment tribunals usually occur when someone is unhappy with the treatment they have received, and seek recompense for the 'offence' committed against them.

Mr Cope added: 'Clearly there are times when a force - or any other organisation - decides it will and must defend an action brought against it and goes on to defeat such claims.

'But there are undoubtedly occasions when all the disgruntled employee wants is a straight-forward apology, and that really would be the end of the matter, ensuring limited budgets are spent where they are most needed - on vital front-line policing services.'


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