Sajid Javid orders research into ethnic origin of sex grooming gangs

This is the headline in The Times 26th July 26th 2018

Sindy, author of Sindy in Real Life, found a similar pattern in false claims for whiplash compensation while she was a no-win no-fee legal executive.

Sindy in Real Life is widely available in two formats

UK edition Paperback ISBN 9780993408175

Worldwide All formats eBook ISBN 9780993408151

More information at sindyinreallife.com

Dodgy Compensation Claims and Criminal Gangs

Extract from Sindy in Real Life

The greater the risks and costs associated with pursuing a claim, especially a complex one, the less chance did potential claimants have of being accepted by firms which applied a 50% or more chance of success in court test to take on clients. Big business could always afford expert testimony to raise doubt about the validity of a claim. I’m sure there are a lot of genuine potential claimants who never get compensated in complex circumstances as a result. We are failing those people as a profession, and so is government. Big business and insurance companies may not want to harm, but they welcome any measure that protects their profits.

The second inconvenient truth is that the structure that is in place encourages masses of minor claims for which burdens of proof are far less important and out-of-court settlement is routine. It also allows the unscrupulous to lodge bogus or exaggerated claims, for example some of those involving whiplash, as a numbers game. Accept that a percentage will be lost and so some costs will not be covered but keep going with the bluff and prevail enough times to make a lot of money. The introducers of these cases mix them with legitimate minor cases and distribute them thinly around law firms to prevent them being tracked back to source. This situation is one that becomes a niche market for criminal gangs.

The third inconvenient truth concerns the racial identity of the dubious cases that I had to deal with as a result of Godfrey’s new work. I am not claiming anything beyond the evidence of my own caseload. I believe that there are other law firms similarly affected, but belief is dangerous territory.

When it comes to racial stereotyping and racism in general, there is a belief, strongly held by many, that if you’re not part of the solution, you are part of the problem. When I state my inconvenient truth in terms of identity, I am aware that it can be cited as an example in racist circles, and in that I have to admit to being part of the problem.

There seems to be another belief in wide circulation now, that facts that might be used to reinforce racial stereotyping must not be accepted in print, or in social media. That the truth must be hidden for the sake of harmony. But in my opinion that doesn’t work. Those who resent people whose cultures they know little or nothing of, realise what is going on and their resentment grows at this conspiracy of silence. They are more likely to empathise with racists.

How do I know this? Because I’m one of them. I have never lived in a multi-racial community and I have never travelled beyond pool and bar tourist hotels in resorts popular with the British. I have never experienced inter-cultural friendships. I’m neither proud, nor ashamed of this.

Any tendency I have towards racism, which I deny in principle, is limited to and the result of my experiences as a legal executive specialising in accident compensation, mainly at Bradley’s. A very high proportion of the dubious CFA claims involved members of the British Pakistani community. I believe that the vast majority of that community are people who go about their ordinary hard-working lives and wish to live in harmony with their neighbours and fellow citizens whilst maintaining their cultural heritage. I can understand, in theory at least, the difficulties that a clash of cultures involves.

Many of the clients with dubious claims, I believe, were working under the influence or control of criminal gangs that were intent on fabricating cases. I am not suggesting that all or the majority of bogus claims for whiplash or any other conditions arise from this community. But I am reasonably certain my experience isn’t the only one. I asked a sociologist friend to examine postcode clusters of claims against ethnic populations in those postcodes to see if I was being prejudiced and racist. He took a very brief look, told me I seemed to be close to the facts, said he was backing away from it and urged me to do the same.

I can’t do that. I need to fight for respect for all. But respect has to be earned and based on truth.

This is what it felt like to me at the time.

There followed a stream of claims where cars were filled with at least two passengers if not a full car load, all with names I couldn’t pronounce, most of which had no jobs or if they did have a job they were taxi drivers, or any plausible explanation as to why they were all in the car at the time, where they were going, other than the shops, which was a favourite destination.

The claims were from different areas of the country, Bradford, Sheffield, Luton, Reading, Birmingham, which made me suspicious of why they were coming to a local solicitor in a town with very few Asian residents.

Maybe I was being too judgemental, I thought. Perhaps it was usual for five members of the same family to go to Morrison’s at the same time and troop up and down the isles together having some family time. Maybe they were just unlucky to always have accidents on the way to the supermarket rather than the way back hence no shopping in the car.

The other scam was a car load of young Asian males ‘out for a drive’, to no particular destination. They liked hiring nice posh cars first then having accidents and just claiming injury and leaving the hire companies to try and claim off their own policies or pursue the third party themselves for the car damage.

It appears that Muslim culture is very different from ours. I was told by a reliable source who I do trust that young Asian males do hire expensive cars and drive around in them, this is normal behaviour. If it is, fine, good luck to them. But not if they are part of a gang using this cultural practice to create claims. The insurers didn’t believe them and their solicitors even less.

To run cases with this sort of shit, you need to be ready to deal with twenty-page defences basically ripping the arse out of the case which you need to reply to, then sometimes the other side would issue Part 18 questions to really put the client’s through their paces. The costs in time rose and the chances of winning diminished.

A lot of the claimants would disappear at this point or back track spectacularly. On the plus side, it was better to do it then rather than wait until the trial and back-track right in front of the judge or change their story beyond reason. Then the case would be dismissed with costs against us and the firm would make a loss.

I wanted to reject one potentially big settlement case, but Godfrey was insistent on taking it to court because of the medical evidence that three of the twelve people in a minibus over a year previously were likely to suffer for the rest of their lives from complications following whiplash. They all had been laid off from well-paying jobs and were in their late twenties.

We complied with all the documentation from the insurers, but still they wouldn’t pay out. I told Godfrey once more that it sounded dodgy and the consequences of going to trial, but he insisted.

We were blasted apart in court. The three claimants with serious problems had all accepted compensation for their conditions under different names and were not members of the same extended family as the rest of the people in the minibus. The case was thrown out with the massive costs of the identity investigation loaded onto us. Godfrey threw up on the court steps. A warning letter about the status of the firm arrived two days later.

I was working for a dodgy firm. And that mattered because I needed to set an example for my baby son Mark, I needed to be proud of myself, of the work I was doing so that Mark could be proud of me. But I needed the money.

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