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Policeman launches legal action against a shop owner after 'falling in a drain during burglary call-out' just days after a policewoman sues for tripping over a kerb
PC claims he tore Achilles tendon in fall at Maidenhead Aquatics in SurreyHe wants compensation for six months' worth of lost overtime earningsClaim emerges days after WPC sued petrol station for tripping over a kerb
Olympic Games in London.
Lawsuit: Maidenhead Aquatics in Horsley, Surrey, is being sued by a policeman who claims he tore his Achilles tendon while investigating a break-in there. The officer wants compensation for six months lost overtime
The legal action emerged just days after it was revealed that a Norfolk policewoman who tripped over a kerb while investigating a burglary in a petrol station was suing for 50,000.
WPC Kelly Jones sparked widespread outrage after claiming the owner of a petrol staion failed to keep her safe as she investigated a possible break-in.
Another lawsuit: WPC Kelly Jones is suing the owner of a petrol station after she tripped over a kerb while investigating a possible break-in at that business
Now PC Seymour is likely to provoke a
similarly angry response with his lawsuit against Stuart Lambley, owner
of Maidenhead Aquatics in Horsley.
He wants to be compensated for six months
of lost overtime – a figure expected to top 10,000 – after claiming
his ripped Achilles tendon was caused by falling in a drain on Mr
Mr Lambley, 36, who met PC Seymour and other officers outside the shop on March 28 last year after a 4am raid set off alarms, says he is baffled by the claim – not least, he claims, because he doesn't know where the drain is.
He also says that the police officer never mentioned any injury to him at the time.
He told The Sun: 'I had a safe stolen and thousands of pounds worth of damage to pay for and now I'm being sued by the cops.
'I'll think twice before calling police out in future.'
The claim comes just days after WPC Jones eared the condemnation of her senior officer for suing the owner of a petrol station in Thetford, Norfolk, following a trip over a 6in kerb as she investigated a possible break-in.
The 33-year-old hired a top firm of London solicitors specialising in personal injury lawsuits to fight her claim that answering the midnight 999 call exposed her to 'an unnecessary risk of injury.'
The officer hurt her wrist and leg and hopes to receive compensation after her lawyers accused owner Steve Jones of failing to ensure his premises was ‘reasonably safe’.
Incredulous: Steve Jones, pictured at the scene of the incident, was told: 'You are vicariously liable for the negligent action(s) of your servant, agent or employee that caused our client to suffer personal injury'
The document made a total of 11
allegations against him – including that he failed to turn the lights on
or warn her of the kerb.
The businessman, who is not related to
her, has passed her claim to his insurers and fears his premium may
rise as a result.
He said earlier this week: 'I am incredulous that I am
being sued by a police officer whose duty is to protect the public.
'How can anyone feel safe calling the cops if they size you up for compensation while they’re fighting crime
Senior officer: Chief Constable Phil Gormley spoke of his 'disappointment' at WPC Jones's decision to take legal action over the incident
policing has elements of both public service and risk. Isn’t that what
officers sign up for when they put on the uniform – chasing villains and
keeping us safe'
Norfolk chief Phil Gormley, WPC Jones's own chief constable, said her actions had undermined the public’s trust in the police. Her claim is a ‘disappointment’, he insisted, and does not represent the attitude of the ‘vast majority’ of officers.
PC Seymour's claim is along similar lines. A letter from his lawyers, London-based Slater & Gordon, claims Mr Lambley's business was to blame for exposing the policeman to a 'foreseeable risk'.
PC Seymour confirmed he was taking legal action and said he was waiting to hear back from his lawyers about the claim.
Asked whether his ankle had recovered, he said: 'It's getting there.'
Surrey Police distanced itself from the legal action. Chief Constable Lynne Owens said: 'This is a private claim that has been made by an officer and is not supported or funded by the Force.
'Every day Surrey Police officers face potentially dangerous situations and willingly put themselves in harms way for the benefit of the public.
'Whenever an officer is injured on duty, the Force will always seek to support them fully in their recovery.
'Policing, by its very nature, carries an element of risk and the vast majority of our officers accept that this comes as part of the job. They are rightly proud of what they do and would never consider making a private compensation claim against a victim of crime.
'It is really important to us that the public have confidence in the service we provide and we are currently looking into the circumstances of this case.'