Norfolk police officer sues garage after trip on 999 call
- 31 March 2013
- From the section Norfolk
A police officer is suing a petrol station owner after apparently tripping on a kerb on his property when called to reports of a suspected break-in.
PC Kelly Jones, 33, says she injured her leg and wrist at the filling station in Thetford, Norfolk, on 25 August last year.
She was not available for comment. Petrol station owner Steve Jones said he found the case "shocking".
Police said the claim appeared to be "instigated privately" by the officer.
Mr Jones said PC Jones tripped and fell and that he helped her up, but did not think she was hurt.
A letter to the business from solicitor Pattinson Brewer states PC Jones went to the Nunns Bridges garage at 00:20 BST.
'Unaware of step'
It said she went towards a gap in the fencing near a jet wash area in order to access the rear of the premises.
She did not know there was a section of high kerbing and tripped and fell.
PC Jones injured her left leg and right wrist and went to the West Suffolk Hospital, the letter added.
The claim alleges the petrol station was at fault for failing to ensure PC Jones was "reasonably safe", making no attempt to light the area or warn her about the step.
The letter also alleges the business failed to display any warning signs or carry out a risk assessment.
Mr Jones said he did not think he could have done any more to make things safe for the officer.
"I think the kerb was fairly visible - as visible as any kerbs on the road she had already walked over to get here," he said.
"When I got this letter I was anxious and worried.
"It's left a sour taste in my mouth.
"Times are quite hard for the industry and it seems everywhere we turn someone wants a piece of us - whether it's rates people, credit card companies, shoplifters, or people driving off without paying.
"This is the final straw."
Paul Ridgway, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, said it had been made aware of the incident soon after it happened.
He said regardless of the federation's view on any member's claim, a claim is forwarded to a solicitor to see whether there is any merit in it.
He added: "All members of the public, regardless of what profession, can claim litigation against people and against private firms - that's why everyone has insurance.
"It's not common, I appreciate that, but the claim has come in and we've honoured the officer's wishes by putting it through to the solicitor."
Norfolk Police said it had been unaware of the claim, adding: "We have a duty of care to any officer injured whilst on duty, to support their continued health and well-being and fitness to return to work.
"Officers can, in addition, receive further support from their staff association, as well as pursuing private treatment."