Thetford Pc drops compensation claim against petrol station owner

Petrol station owner Steve Jones next to the kerb which PC Jones tripped on.

Petrol station owner Steve Jones next to the kerb which PC Jones tripped on. - Credit: Archant

The police officer who was injured on a 999 call has dropped a civil claim against the owner of a filling station.

Pc Kelly Jones, from Thetford Police, sparked a media storm when it was revealed in April that she was making a claim against Steve Jones, owner of Nun's Bridges Filling Station.

Pc Jones was attending a call to a suspected break-in on August 25 last year when she tripped on a kerb at the petrol station, injuring her left leg and right wrist.

She took six weeks off work due to the injuries and put a claim into the Police Federation, who passed it on to solicitors, Pattinson Brewer.

Mr Jones received a letter on March 26 informing him of the civil claim, with Pc Jones saying he had failed to ensure she was 'reasonably safe'.

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The claim said the area was not sufficiently lit and that Mr Jones had made no attempt to warn Pc Jones about the kerb.

Reports at the time said she could claim up to £50,000 from the case.

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Soon after it was revealed that Pc Jones was also making a second claim after she was involved in a car crash while on a high-speed pursuit near Garboldisham in January of last year.

Her solicitors said she had injured her knee in the incident and that Norfolk Police had accepted liability for the crash.

Despite criticism from MPs, her own chief constable, Phil Gormley, and Norfolk Police and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Bett, Pc Jones stood by the claim, with the Police Federation also backing her decision.

But yesterday she decided to withdraw the claim, with the Police Federation stating that the case raised wider issues about the police.

A spokesman said: 'Contrary to media reports at the time Pc Jones was not seeking a vast compensation payment, rather she was seeking monies that covered the income she had lost as a result of her injury.

'She will bear the financial loss with a hope that the wider concerns the public might have can be resolved by government and the police service for the future.'

Mr Bett said he was relieved that the claim had been scrapped.

'I am very pleased that she has decided to withdraw the claim, I think it's a wise move.

'We understand the pressure she has been under but I think this is a good day for Norfolk Police.

'There are instances where police officers put their lives at risk and get injured and they need compensating because they are there to protect the public and take risks and that's not to be forgotten,' he said.

He added that bringing in legislation to prevent future claims was 'very difficult' because of the knock-on effects it could have.

A statement from Norfolk Police said Pc Jones' move was 'the right decision'.

It said: 'Policing, by its nature, can put officers and staff in hazardous situations. The Constabulary has a responsibility to seek to manage these risks, but nevertheless officers will at times be exposed to some risks in the interests of protecting the public.

'We acknowledge that individuals, police officers included, have the right to seek compensation for loss of earnings as a result of a work-related injury. The Constabulary has no direct influence over such litigation brought privately by a member of our staff, however, we do believe the right decision has now been made in this case to withdraw this particular claim.

'We recognise the public debate that has been generated by this matter, but would not wish this to detract from the overwhelming hard work and genuine commitment of our officers and staff on behalf of the people of Norfolk.'

Pattinson Brewer said it had nothing further to add to the comments of the Police Federation.

Mr Jones was unavailable for comment.

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