” The public expression of disapproval by the chief constable of Norfolk is a useful benchmark ” – Alban Maginness.
CHIEF Constable Matt Baggott remained silent on Tuesday in the face of appeals to fellow police cchief who branded an officer threatening to sue a victim of a crime ” disappointment “. Norfolk Chief Constable Phil Gormley said the actions of PC Kelly Jones had undermined the public’s trust in police.
She began legal proceedings against a petrol station owner after tripping over a kerb when responding to a burglary report. The high-profile case comes a week after it emerged PSNI/RUCofficers injured when chasing car thrives in North Belfast were suing owners of the stolen vehicles for damages. The civil claims, for injuries suffered when stopping the cars, were made against car owners even though they were not involved in the thefts or crashes. Despite the injuries happening while on duty, the PSNI/RUC has continued to insist that they were a ” private matter ” for officers.
This was not the attitude taken by Mr Gormley who criticised his own officer and stressed she did not represent the attitude of the ” vast majority “. “It is a dissappointment to us and I do understand why it has caused such a public reaction,” he said. “In 27 and a half years in the service, this is the first time I have ever personally come across a set of circumstances like that. “The vast majority of officers perform their work brilliantly well, they are aware of the risks, and in fact many people are attracted by the risk and the variety of a police career. “It is surprising and disappointing, I think, for the majority of our staff that an incident like this has undermined confidence in how we do our job.” PC Jones is reported to have since abandoned the claim after talks between senior officers and her Police Federation representatives.
SDLP justice spokesman Alban Maginness, who has constituents amoung those being sued in Belfast, said Mr Baggott, pictured above, or his deputies should follow suit. “I think that the PSNI/RUC at a senior level should reflect carefully on the veiws expressed by the chief constable of Norfolk and whether in fact the PSNI/RUC should be taking this as a matter of public policy rather simply leaving it up to private litigation between officers and victims of crime,” he said.”The public expression of disapproval by the chief constable of Norfolk is a useful benchmark for the PSNI/RUC here on what council should be given to officers.” However, the PSNI/RUC said on Tuesday Mr Baggott ” won’t be putting out a generalised quote about police suing”. Instead it repeated the service’s stated position that it “would not hold any information in relation to police officers making a compensation claim against the owner of a stolen vehicle”.'”Each incident would very much depend on the individual circumstances and the insurance arrangements in place,” it said.”Therefore this would be a private matter between the iindividual officer, like any other citizen, and the insurance company involved. Such information is not recorded or required by police.”
With many thanks to : Bimpe Archer, Irish News.
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- Report: Police officer drops claim against burglary victim (itv.com)
- Police officer suing burglary victim after tripping over kerb at his garage drops the claim (mirror.co.uk)
- Chief constable criticises policewoman’s compensation claim (telegraph.co.uk)
- Norfolk Cop Fall: Media Hype or Another UK #Police #Fail (bankbabble.wordpress.com)
- Pc Kelly Jones presses ahead with trip injury claim (standard.co.uk)
- How 1,800 suspended police keep their pensions (telegraph.co.uk)
- Police chief ‘disappointed’ over Pc’s legal bid (standard.co.uk)