Compensation from garage owner after attending call
9th Sep 2016
PC Kelly Jones, 33, tripped over an 6 inch curbstone sustained injury, and is seeking damages from the garage owner via The Occupiers Liability Act 1957. The allegation is that the garage owner failed to ensure that a lawful visitors were ‘reasonably safe’, in this case the police officer who was on duty to a suspected burglary enquiry at his garage.
This incident, unsurprisingly, has attracted a considerable amount of public criticism and debates on the ‘compensation culture.’ Norfolk police chief constable, Phil Gormley, has expressed his ‘disappointment’ at this incident but stated that ‘majority of officers are proud of what they do and would not consider making a compensation claim against a victim of crime’; Home secretary Theresa May has now ordered a review of police compensation cases.
It is generally accepted in the public eye that in certain situations (e.g. when an officer is assaulted on duty and loses earrings as result), they should have access to injuries compensation along with everyone else. Nonetheless, this case has caused controversy and the Chief Constable of Staffordshire Police was quoted as saying that, ‘ … it is wholly inappropriate that police officers claim compensation against victims of crime, people to whom we have responded in order to help them’. This is a matter of personal opinion, but the fact remains that technically police officers are not precluded from seeking damages in such circumstances.