Thursday, August 13, 2015

Pansy British cop sues nightclub where he attended break-in - because he claims the burglar alarm gave him tinnitus!

A police officer has threatened to sue a nightclub after he claimed their burglar alarm damaged his hearing.

PC Darren Belford claims he suffered hearing loss and tinnitus after attending a suspected break-in at gay club Gossip in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire.

His legal team complain that the disco's burglar alarm was 'set to an unsafe noise level' which was 'likely to cause injury', when he attended first thing in the morning.

It's not known exactly how long PC Belford spent within the premises, but his lawyers are set to pursue a claim for damages alleging that his hearing was significantly impaired by the volume of the alarm.

Trinity Law Partnership, who are representing him, said: 'Our client suffered damage to his hearing, in particular hearing loss and tinnitus.

'This was caused by the unsafe noise level he was exposed to from the alarm, which was set at a level foreseeably likely to cause injury.  'We are instructed to pursue a claim for damages on his behalf.'

Baffled nightclub owner Pete Terry says he 'thought it was a wind-up' when the legal letter dropped through his door.  'Burglar alarms are supposed to be loud, that's the whole point of them,' he said.

'This is part of his job. It's not what I would expect from a police officer.  'It sets a dangerous precedent for the future, as it is saying that if you get burgled, the police may end up suing you.'

Staffordshire Police have distanced themselves from the claim, which was submitted privately.

According to Terry, Gossip's alarm system conforms to the British standards and is of standard design. It was installed last September by Newcastle-based SV Security Systems.

Staffordshire Police chairman Andy Adams said that the federation was not involved in PC Belford's claim.  He also admitted to finding the claim 'surprising'.

Andy said: 'If he is of the belief that this alarm caused him a serious injury then he is entitled to pursue a claim like every other member of the public.

'But I imagine the public will see this as another member of the emergency services trying to get some extra money and it does not reflect well on the rest of us.'

PC Belford attended the club, in the Hanley area of the city, on January 27 this year.  The alarm was sounding and the doors lay open when he arrived, with a break-in suspected to have taken place.

It is not known exactly how long PC Belford was inside the club while the alarm was sounding.

Owner Pete Terry says the case could have a profound knock-on effect to the future safety of the popular disco.  'It brings into question the nightclub being able to have the police onto the premises,' he said.

'Usually with a dispute like this, our insurers wouldn't allow us to have that person back onto the premises, but in his capacity as a police officer he would be able to come back on.'

Staffordshire Police Assistant Chief Constable Bernie O'Reilly said: 'Policing is a risky business risk is an inherent part of what we do and often why we do it.

'I do understand the concern this type of claim may cause and I want to reassure the public its business as usual as we do everything we can to keep them safe and reassured.

'I do not generally support the principle of officers claiming compensation against victims of crime, people to whom we have responded to help them. Of course there may be isolated incidents for example if an officer is seriously injured whilst on duty and maybe loses earnings as a result; they may need to seek legal recourse the same as everyone else.'

Original report here

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