Norfolk police chief's disappointment over trip legal claim

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Media captionChief Constable Phil Gormley: "This doesn't typify the normal behaviour of police officers"

A chief constable has said he is disappointed one of his officers is suing a petrol station owner after she tripped on a kerb while attending 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.

Norfolk Chief Constable Phil Gormley said he did not support his officer's claim.

PC Jones was unavailable for comment.

Mr Gormley said: "This type of claim does not represent the approach and attitude of the overwhelming majority of our staff who understand and accept the risks inherent in policing and which they willingly confront to keep the public they serve safe.

'Tripped and fell'

"It is a disappointment that this is potentially undermined by a private compensation claim."

South West Norfolk MP Elizabeth Truss said: "I have met a number of Norfolk Constabulary's police officers and I know they do an excellent job.

"I would not want this particular case to cast a shadow over their professionalism and ability to do their work."

A letter to the petrol station from solicitor Pattinson Brewer states PC Jones went to the Nunns Bridges garage at 00:20 BST.

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.

Image caption Garage owner Steve Jones, with the offending kerb, said the case was shocking

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.

On Sunday petrol station owner Steve Jones told the BBC 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."

Paul Ridgway, chairman of the Norfolk Police Federation, said: "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."

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