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Kent Police Complaints

Have you ever been the victim of police misconduct?

Kent Police Complaints

We rightly expect police officers to maintain the highest standards of behaviour. Unfortunately, these expectations are not always met – and the consequences can be highly damaging. Police misconduct can have a significant impact on those affected. For this reason, it’s important you are aware of the steps you can take if you have been mistreated by the police.

Like other forces across the UK, Kent Police have a formal complaints procedure you can make use of if you feel you have not been treated properly. Making a complaint can be a vital step to ensuring those responsible are held to account, and that the force improves its processes going forward.

However, if you are considering making a complaint against Kent Police, it can be beneficial to seek legal advice before you do so. With the support of experienced solicitors, you’ll have the best chance of getting the outcome you deserve. They will be able to advise you not only on the likely outcome of your complaint, but also alternative avenues you can pursue – including seeking compensation through a civil action against the police

Here at HNK, our expert team have helped many victims of police misconduct to secure compensation as a result of police mistreatment. Read on to find out how we can help.

Step 1

Get in touch using our contact forms or any details provided throughout the site.

Step 2

We arrange a free consultation with you to discuss the case

Step 3

If accepted we will action your case on a no win no fee basis.

Complaints against Kent Police

Over the past twelve months, Kent Police have received a great deal of media attention. Unfortunately, much of this has been related to complaints the force has received over misconduct by its officers and failures in its investigations.

In July 2021, Wayne Couzens’ guilty plea for the murder of Sarah Everard received extensive mainstream press attention. Alongside reports of Couzens’ appearance in court, it was revealed that Kent Police may have missed an opportunity to identify Couzens as a sex offender six years previously. This potential failing on the part of Kent Police is currently being investigated by the Independent Office for Police Complaints (IOPC).

In the same month, Kent Police referred itself to the IOPC following the death of a woman in police custody at Tonbridge Police Station. This is the second death in custody at the station in four years. The investigation into this case is also ongoing.

While these significant and deeply troubling incidents have understandably made national news, they should not overshadow a range of other incidents involving Kent Police over the past year. These include the force’s failure to take action over a two-year campaign of homophobic abuse endured by a Chatham couple, and an incident in which an officer appeared to physically detain a skateboarder in Canterbury.

Such incidents highlight the role that a robust complaints process can play in improving police standards and behaviours – but there are questions over whether the existing process is fit for purpose.

Examples of Kent Police misconduct:

There are many different types of police misconduct which you can claim against Kent Police for, including:

  • Assault and battery
  • Police dog bites
  • Wrongful arrest/False Imprisonment
  • Unlawful stop and search
  • Negligence
  • Breach of human rights (e.g. unlawful strip search/trespass to your home)
  • Malicious prosecution
  • Misfeasance in public office (abuse of power by the police)
  • Discrimination under the equality act (e.g. racial, sexual, etc.)
  • Retention/misuse of personal information such as DNA and finger-prints
  • Disclosure and Barring service complaints
  • Judicial Review
  • Trespass to property
  • Breach of data protection

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Outcomes of Kent Police complaints

Unfortunately, the formal complaints process does not always provide satisfactory outcomes – even where complaints are upheld.

 

For instance, the Chatham couple discussed above had their complaint upheld in June 2021. However, the outcome simply involved an apology by the force and “words of advice and learning” for the officers responsible, despite the traumatic abuse the couple endured.

 

This type of outcome is not unusual. In September 2020, for instance, a Kent Police officer was found to have committed gross misconduct by sharing a racist meme on WhatsApp. Gross misconduct refers to failings that would justify the dismissal of the officer responsible. However, in this case the officer was given a “final written warning” and allowed to remain on the force.

 

In other cases, complaints made to Kent Police are not upheld despite failings being identified. In October 2020, the IOPC failed to uphold complaints against Kent Police after their delay in attending an “immediate” incident resulted in a man’s death. Though officers took 49 minutes to respond to the incident, the IOPC found that this was due to resource issues and hence was not considered a failing on the part of Kent Police. With Kent Police set to lose 13% of its officers this year, there are understandable concerns about what the future may hold in this regard.

 

The failure to uphold complaints is particularly pronounced when allegations of racism are involved. An investigation by The Mirror found that over the past five years 138 complaints of racially motivated misconduct were made against Kent Police, but only 2 were upheld.

 

Finally, we should stress that, whatever the outcome of the complaints process, the victims will not be awarded compensation. Given the significant impact police misconduct can have, this can leave many victims feeling poorly served by making a complaint.

 

The civil action against the police is conducted with the purpose of obtaining compensation for mistreatment and/or an admission of liability. Actions against Avon and Somerset Police are often highly defended, so it is highly advised you have an experienced legal team, such as ourselves, to help fight your case for you, if you want a successful outcome.

 

 

Seeking compensation from Kent Police

If you have been treated inappropriately by Kent Police, it is important you seek redress. Though there are some limitations to the formal complaints process, this does not mean you have to simply accept misconduct on the part of the police.

 

As well as the police’s own complaints process, you also have the right to pursue a civil action against the police. This will enable you to seek compensation to offset any harm the incident may have caused. After all, the experience of police misconduct can lead to a range of damaging outcomes, including:

 

  • Physical injury
  • Emotional distress
  • Reputational damage
  • Financial losses

 

If you have suffered any of these outcomes as a result of mistreatment by Kent Police, you should strongly consider seeking compensation. This can be done in addition to and alongside a formal complaint.

 

Whichever approach you choose, it is important to get legal advice from solicitors with experience with police misconduct cases.

 

The civil action against the police is conducted with the purpose of obtaining compensation for mistreatment and/or an admission of liability. Actions against Avon and Somerset Police are often highly defended, so it is highly advised you have an experienced legal team, such as ourselves, to help fight your case for you, if you want a successful outcome.

 

What can we do for you?

Here at HNK, we have extensive experience in helping victims of police misconduct seek compensation through civil actions against the police. Such actions offer a vital alternative to a police complaints procedure that is not fit for purpose and rarely provides a satisfactory outcome for victims.

 

If you are considering a complaint against Kent Police, get in touch today to find out how we can help you. We offer free consultations, so we can discuss your specific situation and give you tailored advice on the best steps to take to secure the outcome you deserve. If we do think you may be entitled to compensation, we can offer to take up your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.

 

So get in touch today to find out how we can help you. Simply fill out the form on our website to request a call back. Alternatively, call us on 0151 203 1104 or email us at enquiries@hnksolicitors.com.

Free Consultation

Contact us today to arrange a free no-obligation discussion about your case against Kent Police.

No-win-no-fee

Dependent on the details of your case we can offer a no-win-no-fee service, so it won’t cost you a penny to begin the process of making your civil liberties claim.

Get the outcome you desire

Our expert lawyers will fight the case on your behalf, to get the outcome you desire.
FAQ

What can your Actions Against Kent Police department help me with?

Our actions against the police department deals with cases where there have been allegations of Police Misconduct from Kent Police.

We have helped hundreds of clients throughout Kent, who have suffered a range of issues, such as:

• Wrongful Arrest and imprisonment
• Wrongful stop and search
• Discrimination
• Malicious Prosecution
• Assault and Battery
• Trespass to property
• Human Rights breaches
• Data protection breaches
• Seizure of property

Can you help with my claim against Kent Police?

We try our best to help anyone who has encountered a problem with the Police. We regularly accept instructions from clients nationwide. Despite our office being based in Liverpool, our expert Actions Against the Police department often represent clients from all over England and Wales and take on cases against a variety of police forces, so do not worry if you do not live in Liverpool or cannot make it to our office. We can deal with matters by way of telephone, letter, and email. We also have a facility so that our clients can sign documentation electronically to not only speed the process of progressing your case but helping us do our bit for the environment too!

Can I take Kent Police to court myself?

In this country, as long as you do not have a civil restraint order, you can issue Court proceedings, however, actions against Kent Police are highly contentious. In our view, the litigation process can be complex for the layperson, so we urge anyone who is wanting to take Kent Police to court to seek legal advice before doing so.

Further, it would be imperative to understand the litigation process and the law to ensure you have the best chance of success.

Won’t Kent Police just delete the video footage?

If you have suffered an injustice or misconduct by Kent Police, it is important to act quickly so all relevant footage can be retained. If you instruct us, our specialist team will ensure a request is made for all footage and ensure Kent police force do everything reasonable to help secure the same.

What is the difference between a police complaint and a police claim?

A police complaint is different from a police claim, as the complaint deals with the standards of professional behaviour and whether the officer has breached the same. If the officer is found to be in breach, then sanctions may be imposed against the officer, such as dismissal, suspension, restricted duties or a warning. The complaints process can also refer the officer to the Crown Prosecution Service.

Unfortunately, in our experience, officers are rarely sanctioned, and the complaints procedure is not always fit for purpose.

A police claim, on the other hand, deals solely with compensation following police misconduct. Unlike a complaint, a civil claim is pursued through the Court system and if successful, can result in damages and legal costs being paid by the Defendant police force.

When should I make a complaint to Kent Police?

Initial complaints need to be made to Kent police force within one year of the incident. A claim for personal injury damages needs to be made within three years of the incident. Other aspects of your claim such as matters arising under the Human Rights Act must be made within one year. For discrimination complaints, a complaint must be made within six months of the incident. In other areas such as malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, and misfeasance in public office, a claim must be made within six years.

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