Types of action against the police
The types of claims that we regularly help people with include the following:
False Imprisonment or wrongful arrest by the police
If the conditions necessary for the police to exercise their powers of arrest lawfully are not met, then potentially you have been unlawfully detained. The police should only use their power of arrest as a last resort and they must consider whether there is actually any need to arrest you at all. For example, if a voluntary interview could have taken place then an arrest could be unlawful. If your arrest is unlawful then the time that you have been detained in custody will be treated as false imprisonment. This includes cases of mistaken identity and circumstances where a warrant for your arrest is out of date.
Police assault & battery claims
The police have authority to use physical force in certain circumstances but this must be ‘reasonable’ which means it has to be justified and the level of force used must be proportionate, otherwise any physical contact may amount to an assault or battery against you.
The police and the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) must act honestly and with integrity at all times. If you’ve been the victim of a prosecution which is spiteful or lacks reasonable or probable cause, then you may be entitled to compensation, providing the prosecution against you ended in your favour (such as the charges being withdrawn or an acquittal). You may be entitled to be compensated for damage to your reputation or loss of employment and earnings due to the prosecution.
Misfeasance in public office
If you can show that a public body, individual in public office or a public servant knows that they have acted unlawfully and in a way that was likely to cause you loss or harm, then you may be entitled to bring a compensation claim for misfeasance in public office.
Unlawful strip search
Strip searches are an intrusive process and can be a very distressing and humiliating experience.They should not be conducted as a matter of routine, even following a lawful arrest.The law defines the specific circumstances in which strip searches by police officers are permitted. There are strict rules about when, where and how they can be conducted and a written record must always be made. Your right not to be routinely strip-searched is protected by Code C of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (“PACE”).
If the police enter your home without lawful excuse then you may be entitled to claim compensation, especially if they cause damage in the process.It doesn’t matter whether you rent or own your own home.
Complaints via the Professional Standards Department (PSD) and Independent Office of Police Conduct (IOPC)
Often, civil compensation claims against the police start with a complaint to the Professional Standards Department or the Independent Office for Police Conduct (formerly the IPCC).You must lodge most complaints within 12 months from the date of the incident.We can challenge the police, help you to structure your grievance and progress it through the formal complaints procedure all the way to gross misconduct and criminal prosecution proceedings, where appropriate. Complaints can arise from unlawful arrest, assault and professional or gross misconduct by an officer.
For more information about the variety of funding options available please click the link below:
Funding your case - actions against the police & public bodies