May steps into row over WPC suing garage owner for trip by calling for review on PC compensation
Mrs May fears that the risk of officers suing will deter victims from reporting crime, sources sayShe 'believes it is unreasonable for police to demand compensation for minor injuries in their line of duty'
21:24 GMT, 6 April 2013
23:19 GMT, 6 April 2013
Demand: Theresa May has ordered a review of police compensation cases
Theresa May stepped into the Kelly Jones row yesterday by ordering a review of police compensation cases.
Sources say the Home Secretary fears that the trend for officers to sue could deter victims from reporting crimes.
Mrs May’s action follows not only the Jones case but an incident where a policeman is suing a burglary victim for 10,000 after allegedly falling into a drain while investigating a break-in at West Horsley, Surrey.
PC Richard Seymour is claiming against shop-owner Stuart Lambley for ‘loss of overtime’ despite being on full pay throughout.
Mrs May will ask for a review of such cases when she returns to work from holiday tomorrow.
She is said to believe it is unreasonable for police to demand compensation for minor injuries in their normal line of duty, and their right to sue burglary victims for injuries sustained while chasing criminals may now be curbed.
A Home Office source said: ‘It seems wrong that a PC should sue someone who reports a crime for a minor injury. There would be serious concerns if it deterred people from reporting crimes.
‘Similarly, common sense tells you that owing to the nature of their work, police may suffer a few cuts and bruises. It would be wrong for them to put in a claim for compensation every time this happens.
‘The victims of crime have the right to be treated as such, not turned into criminals themselves.’
Suing for a trip: WPC Kelly Jones with her father Danny Harle on her first day as a police officer. She is suing a garage owner after tripping on a kerb while responding to a 999 call