A NEWTOWN police officer is to receive a payout of more than £4,500 after injuring his hand while breaking into a property.

Dyfed-Powys Police, which covers much of mid-Wales, has been landed with the bill after one of their officers was hurt.

Mold County Court heard how PC Ken Harris, who was stationed in Newtown, gashed his thumb while forcing entry into a bungalow in which an elderly woman was believed to be lying on the floor.

Responding to the 999 call alone, he took with him an “Enforcer” – a battering-ram-style tool – and a metal bar, but he told the court that the Rabbit, a hydraulic tool used to prise the door from its frame, was not present in the station as it should have been.


When he failed to open the door with the Enforcer PC Harris, 32, reached inside a broken glass pane to try open the lock, and that is when he was injured.

He eventually gained entry by smashing a wooden panel and said he hadn’t smashed all the glass because he didn’t know whether the woman was lying just inside the door.

As a result of the injury he sued Chief Constable Richard Lewis and his claim was upheld by District Judge Huw Roberts.

“The defendant was negligent in failing to provide a Rabbit,” he said. 

“If it had been available the likelihood is that he would not have had to put his hand through the glass.”

The Judge also found that if a bag containing “method of entry” kit had been available it would have contained Kevlar protective gloves.

County Times:

But he found that PC Harris, who was trained to advanced level in methods of entry to premises, had contributed to his injury because he should have been aware of the risk.

“The danger posed by the broken glass was obvious,” he said.

The claim was opposed by the Chief Constable. PC John Jenkins, the Force’s training officer, agreed that the Rabbit and Kevlar gloves should have been available but said the injury might have been prevented or at least reduced, had PC Harris worn even his standard issue leather gloves.

“Something is better than nothing,” he said.

The judge awarded PC Harris £4,546.