UK

Injury Lawyers Defend Police Officer Kelly Jones Suing Petrol Station After Attending Suspected Break-In

06/04/2013 13:39 BST | Updated 06/06/2013 10:12 BST

Lawyers representing the police officer suing a petrol station owner after tripping on a kerb while attending a suspected break-in have argued that "a 999 call does not mean anything goes in terms of public safety"

They claim garage owner Steve Jones, 50, was at fault for failing to ensure the police officer was "reasonably safe", making no attempt to light the area or warn her about the step when she went to the incident in August last year. PC Jones is attempting to claim £50,000 in damages after breaking her wrist and injuring her knee, reported the Great Yarmouth Mercury.

In a statement defending Pc Kelly Jones, accident and injury firm Pattinson and Brewer said "simply because her job is inherently dangerous doesn't mean public places are absolved from ensuring that their premises are safe to visit."

"If negligent behaviour can make service stations, supermarkets, garden centres or sports grounds unsafe to go to then it is unsafe for everyone. We cannot say that public servants should just trust to luck when the law is there to protect us all," they added.

Claiming PC Kelly Jones may have lost the chance of a promotion and damaged her career prospects by taking time off to recover, they argued: "The injuries PC Kelly Jones sustained in August 2012 required medical treatment and she was on sick leave for some 6 weeks. She is still receiving on going treatment to bring about her full recovery. This incident follows on from a knee injury Kelly suffered in a road traffic collision, again while on duty. Liability for that incident was admitted by Norfolk Police Constabulary.

"It is not well understood that a Police Officer can lose pay, promotion and career prospects, by being injured while working. That is a price that most people would not expect to pay simply by going to work. Kelly loves her job and accepts the many risks she faces like any other public servant carrying out potentially risky tasks. But she does not accept that simply because her job is inherently dangerous that public places are absolved from ensuring that their premises are safe to visit."

Earlier in March Chief Constable Phil Gormley spoke of his "disappointment" over the matter.

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."