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Police officer in compensation claim after petrol station trip

April 16 2013

A female police officer is seeking damages from a petrol station owner after tripping on a kerb while attending reports of a break-in.

PC Kelly Jones’ lawyers claim the property owner is at fault after she injured her leg and wrist when she was called to Nuns’ Bridges Filling Station in Thetford, Norfolk.

It is claimed PC Jones went towards a gap in some fencing to access the rear of the premises but was unaware there was a section of high kerbing and tripped.

Norfolk Police’s chief constable Phil Gormley said he was “disappointed” by the legal claim.

Petrol station owner Steve Jones, 50, said he was “dismayed” to have received the letter seven months after the incident.

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 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.

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

The Police Federation confirmed it is funding the legal costs of PC Jones and said civil claims made by officers must be treated “on their own merits”.

It is believed police officers are awarded about £20 million in personal injury claims each year.

Many are instructing lawyers to sue over slips, trips and animal attacks.