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Police officers receive millions in personal injury claims

Police officers receive millions in personal injury claims

New figures from the Police Federation suggest that police officers are receiving about £20m a year from personal injury claims.

A total of £42m has been paid out in the last two years alone on claims ranging from slips and trips to attacks by animals. The issue of officers claiming for injuries has been thrust into the spotlight by the case of Pc Kelly Jones, who sued Norfolk petrol station owner Steve Jones when she hurt herself tripping over a kerb while attending a possible break-in at the property.

Mr Jones said he thought nothing of the incident until he received a letter from the officer’s solicitor alleging that he was at fault for the injuries she sustained to her leg and wrist. The letter said that he had failed to ensure that Pc Jones was “reasonably safe” as the area was not well lit and he had not warned the officer about the kerb.

The garage owner said he was “dismayed” to receive the letter, especially as she did not appear to be badly hurt and continued searching after she had tripped. The actions of Pc Jones were even condemned by her own chief constable of the Norfolk Constabulary and provoked widespread anger amongst the public who saw an officer seemingly adding to the compensation culture.

The Police Federation is funding the legal costs of Pc Jones and runs a hotline which is accused by some of encouraging officers to make claims. The Federation said that civil claims made by officers had to be treated on their own merits, but that the safety of its members came behind public service.

It later emerged that Pc Jones had made another claim, this time against the Norfolk force, when a police car in which she was a passenger, left the road and ended up on its side when chasing a suspect. A spokesman for the Norfolk Police said it was important that the controversy surrounding one officer did not detract from the hard work and commitment to public protection from police officers in Norfolk and elsewhere in the country.