The head of the Police Federation has denounced the ‘vilifying’ of a Thetford Pc who made a civil claim against a service station after being injured on a 999 call.
Steve Williams, chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, also admitted the staff body had ‘failed’ Pc Kelly Jones in preparing her for the reaction to the news that she had made a claim against the Nuns Bridges Service Station on Bury Road.
Pc Jones was hurt last August when she tripped on a kerb at the station after answering a call after dark.
Mr Williams said the case’s impact was ‘understandable’ and described Pc Jones as an ‘easy target’.
“I appreciate that this has unfortunately impacted on the wider reputation of British police officers who respond with no thought to their personal safety - day in, day out.
“However, it is important that the public understand that police officers are not financially compensated by their own forces for injuries received on duty and in fact can lose money through half pay and reduction in allowances.
“It may also affect their future prospects concerning promotion, specialisation and in some cases their continuation in their job.”
He added: “Let me be clear - to vilify this female officer is wrong.
“She took legal advice as to how she could claim back some of her lost earnings as a result of the injury, and at this stage no formal proceedings have taken place.
“In my view it is actually we that should be looking at our processes and structures in terms of how we provide advice - she is our member and I feel that our organisation has failed to prepare her for the wider personal impact that might arise from such a claim.”
The federation confirmed today that Pc Jones will be continuing with her claim, despite reports to the contrary.