MORE than £72,000 in compensation has been paid out to staff at Essex Police who have lodged claims against their own force.

Officers who have been attacked by dogs, shot during a terrorist training exercise and left with post traumatic stress disorder after responding to the death of a toddler are among more than 1,900 police employees to have lodged compensation claims across the UK.

Data has been collated from responses to a Freedom of Information request submitted to 44 police forces by Newsquest’s special Data Investigations Unit.

The forces were asked to provide figures relating to amounts paid and claims lodged between 2015 and September 2019.

Essex Police revealed the total amount awarded during this time was £72,488.

The force has dealt with 46 claims, 13 of which are still active.

It has cost the force more than £81,000 in legal fees to deal with the cases.

Essex Police was not able to provide details of individual cases.

Police Federation health and safety spokesman Clive Knight said: “It is a legal requirement our members are provided with safe systems of work to ensure a safe and healthy working environment.

“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.

“We continue to push for improved health and safety practices across all forces, investing in training our local health and safety leads so they can work with their chief officers to ensure risk is reduced to a minimum.”

No one at Essex Police was available for comment.