A MERSEYSIDE Police community support officer who tripped while investigating a burglary was awarded £4,000 in compensation, it has emerged.
Pauline Harrison, 53, claimed she injured her knee falling over a 3ft-high wooden fence in Birkdale in 2009 while responding to a reported break-in.
Her case was reported to have been settled out of court at the end of last week for £4,000.
Miss Harrison, from Burscough, went to the derelict four-storey school for the blind in Oxford Road, Birkdale, to respond to reports that youths had broken into the site and were on the roof.
A letter to landowner Lightflask Ltd from solicitor JB Law described how Ms Harrison tripped over a 3ft-high wooden fence when leaving the site. The letter told how the grounds of the building were surrounded by iron fencing at least 6ft high apart from at the front where the wooden fence was in place.
Miss Harrison suffered “soft tissue injuries” to her right knee in the incident, and a prescription charge of £14 and physiotherapy charge of £102 made up part of her damages claim.
The claim alleged that Lightflask Ltd failed to “make the wood fencing safe bearing in mind the 6ft iron fencing which has been erected to the remainder of the building.”
A spokesman for the company said he was unable to discuss details of the case, which had been settled by the firm’s insurers, but he said: “Risks cannot be removed from every situation.
“It’s crazy that claims can be made by police officers in their line of work. The nature of their job is risky, but they are there to protect the public.”
The Advertiser contacted Ms Harrison’s solicitors for comment but they didn’t respond.
Miss Harrison’s decision to sue was also criticised by her own force when it was revealed by the Ormskirk Advertiser last month. Chief Superintendent Nikki Holland said the decision to make a claim was “not a course of action that the force would encourage or support”.
Earlier this year, Home Secretary Theresa May took issue with “frivolous” claims being made by officers which she said were “not the sort of attitude they should exhibit. Her comments came after WPC Kelly Jones, 33, threatened to sue a garage owner in Thetford, Norfolk, when she tripped over a kerb while investigating a burglary. She later dropped her claim.