A former police officer, who was forced to retire on ill health grounds following ‘excessive’ riot control training, is to claim £500,000 in damages from the Police Force.
Thirty five year old Louise McGarva claims she has been left with post-traumatic stress disorder and is now frightened by the sound of police sirens, following her riot training which she claims spiralled out of control.
Ms McGarva said that she was among a group of twenty one trainees, who were told to ‘control and restrain’ nine police instructors, who were posing as rioters inside a disused hospital, which was being used for the training exercise.
However once inside the hospital Ms McGarva claims that the group were ambushed by the instructors who were armed with long batons and baseball bats and used martial arts techniques with excessive force against the students, who quickly fell into disarray.
In the resulting confusion Ms McGarva states that she was lifted into the air by the crush of bodies and her wind pipe was restricted by her helmet strap, which had been forced up during the melee, causing her to black out several times.
Ms McGarva, who had been a police officer for eleven years, has now launched a claim for personal injury compensation, claiming that senior officers on the course had been negligent.
A police spokesperson stated that as the compensation claim was ongoing, it would be inappropriate to comment.