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12 September 2013, 12:42
A Norfolk policewoman who planned to sue the owner of a petrol station after tripping on a kerb while investigating a break-in has dropped her claim for damages.
The Police Federation, which represents rank-and-file officers, said today that Pc Kelly Jones had withdrawn her civil claim.
It released a statement to say: "Pc Kelly Jones has today withdrawn her civil claim for injuries sustained on duty.
"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.
"This case raised a very real issue in that police officers find themselves financially disadvantaged when injured at work, with no other option other than to seek financial redress just as any other employee in any other industry would in the same circumstances.''
Earlier this year it emerged that Ms Jones was pursuing a claim against Steve Jones, the owner of Nuns' Bridges Filling Station in Thetford, Norfolk, for allegedly failing to ensure she was ''reasonably safe'' when she attended a suspected break-in during August 2012.
Mr Jones and the officer were checking the outside of the building after an alarm had gone off, when she was alleged to have fallen and hurt her leg and wrist.
Today Mr Jones said that the decision was "a victory for common sense''.
He said: "I welcome the news of the decision. It seems that we have a victory for common sense. I now wish to move on and concentrate on running my business.''
Norfolk Police Temporary Chief Constable Simon Bailey 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."
The Police Federation, which represents 124,000 police officers up to the rank of chief inspector in England and Wales, funded the officer's legal costs.
In May Home Secretary Theresa May told the Federation's annual conference that she wanted to see an end to "frivolous'' legal claims.
She told delegates: "I know that the vast majority of you are dedicated public servants of the best kind.
''But when a police officer sues a member of the public because they slipped on private property - that is simply not the sort of attitude police officers should exhibit.
''I want to work with the Federation to make sure police officers don't make frivolous claims. Not least because it would be quite wrong if people become reluctant to call the police for fear of being sued.''