Norfolk petrol retailer Steve Jones has become the centre of a national media frenzy after revealing that he is being sued by a police woman who injured herself on his forecourt as she investigated a burglary. The case has raised questions about Britain’s compensation culture and the potential consequences for anyone calling emergency services to their property.

Steve is the owner of Nun’s Bridges Service Station in Norfolk, and last August he called the police to investigate a suspected burglary following an alarm being triggered on his forecourt at around midnight. He was with the police women – WPC Kelly Jones – when she tripped on a kerb on the forecourt. He helped her up and they carried on with the search. That seemed to be the end of it until last week when he received a three-page claim for damages in connection with the incident, from London lawyers Pattinson Brewer.

WPC Jones is seeking compensation for injuries to her wrist and leg, claiming the owner of the petrol station failed to keep her safe as she investigated a possible burglary. The allegations include the fact he failed to turn the lights on, or to warn her of the kerb.

Steve says he is “incredulous” that he is being sued by a police officer whose duty is to protect the public, and MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs Committee is apparently demanding urgent Home Office guidelines on the issue.