HNK Solicitors successfully obtained £13,000 in damages and legal costs for a client against The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police for false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and trespass to person.
Our client , who will be referred to as “C”, claimed that they were falsely arrested with no explanation as to why and were then held in police custody for around 22 hours. The officers then attempted to charge C with the crime of police assault, which C believed was maliciously brought against them as the officers had lied about an assault that did not occur.
It is important that people understand they do not have to accept poor police conduct or improper treatment. You have rights, and as this case shows, you could be entitled to claim compensation for this mistreatment. The compensation you receive could be an important step for you in moving on from the incident and covering any damages or costs incurred as a result. Read on to find out more about this case and how we could help you claim compensation for police misconduct.
Background of the case
In December 2019, the Claimant (“C”) was at the hospital waiting for surgery. A short while later, whilst C was simply sitting on his mobile phone waiting, Metropolitan Police Officers approached C and, without warning, placed him in handcuffs. The officers had not said anything to C about why they were there but told C that he was under arrest for grievous bodily harm (“GBH”). C pleaded with the officers that they clearly had the wrong person and was asking the officers questions about why they had arrested him.
Instead of giving C further information as to the reason for his arrest, the officers grabbed C’s arms and kicked him in the back of the knees. C was taken to the police van, where he again told officers they must have the wrong person and asked them to double-check. Instead, C was pushed towards the police van again.
Given C’s frustrations in not being listened to, he shrugged away from the officers and told them to get off of him. In response, an officer said that C had elbowed him, therefore, the officer kneed C in his leg and hit his head off of the police vehicle.
C was taken to the station, where he was searched, interviewed and later released. C was given no further action in respect of the GBH but was released on conditional bail for assaulting a police officer.
C was eventually charged with assaulting a police officer and had to attend Court. In court, C was found not guilty, as there was no evidence that C had assaulted any police officer.
C had been detained in police custody for around 22 hours before being released and taken back to the hospital for his medical treatment.
The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (“PACE”) governs the correct procedures police officers have to follow to ensure their conduct is lawful and carefully balances the rights of the individual against the powers of the police.
Section 24 PACE provides officers the power to arrest a person without a warrant if that officer has:
- a) Honest and reasonable grounds for suspecting that a person has committed an offence
- b) Honest and reasonable grounds for believing that it is necessary to arrest the person in question.
In August 2022, C approached Higgs Newton Kenyon Solicitors (“HNK”) to act on his behalf for this matter. HNK Solicitors accepted instructions on a no-win, no-fee basis, and the case was handled by Alexandra Nelmes, Trainee Solicitor.
HNK claimed damages for false arrest and imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and trespass to a person.
A letter of claim was served on the police force solicitors, which set out C’s claim and also requested documentation, which we required to properly advise our client. The Police Force Solicitors responded without confirming whether liability was admitted or denied but with an offer to settle. The force solicitors also provided the necessary evidence in the case.
Upon review of the evidence, it was clear that the Defendant’s offer for settlement was not reflective of the losses that C had suffered, therefore it was rejected. C had been unlawfully arrested and imprisoned for 22 hours, assaulted by the officers, and then maliciously prosecuted for an assault against an officer that did not occur.
C’s position was that the officers did not honestly or reasonably suspect that he had committed an offence, as they had arrested the wrong person. The description of the suspect did not match the description of C. Further, officers had used unlawful force against C, which was not reasonable or proportionate in the circumstances. C’s position was also that the officers had lied about C assaulting them therefore, the prosecution against him was brought maliciously.
Despite the Defendant refusing to admit liability and no apology forthcoming from the officers involved, the Met Police settled C’s case in the sum of £13,000 for damages and legal costs.
HNK Solicitors can help you with your action against the police claim
Police misconduct can have a huge and long-lasting impact on those affected. There are several consequences of police misconduct, ranging from physical injuries, loss of earnings and emotional distress to reputational damage.
Those who have been mistreated by the police, therefore, have the right to claim compensation for the ordeal. Police forces must be held to account for their actions. You can make a complaint to the relevant police force within one year of the incident, or you can also make a civil claim for compensation against that police force.
Police claims are highly contested, which is why it’s important to have a specialist police claim solicitor assist you with this. They have a deep understanding of the relevant laws and regulations and can ensure you get every penny you are entitled to, as well as support you against the police force in court proceedings if needed.
HNK Solicitors have a team of dedicated action against the police solicitors who can help you get the compensation you deserve. We offer free consultations for our clients, and as you can see with this case, we can accept instruction on a no-win, no-fee basis, which means you won’t have to pay a penny upfront to start your claim.
If you’d like to start your police claim today, simply fill out our online claim form. Alternatively, you can get in touch with the team on 0151 668 0810 or send us an email at email@example.com.