Police trespass to the person

Police trespass to the person claims

In order to enforce the law, police officers are granted powers the ordinary citizens do not have. This includes the power to deprive people of their liberty in some circumstances – for instance, by placing them under arrest or conducting a stop and search. They are also permitted to use force in order to achieve certain aims.

However, these powers cannot be used freely. There are strict regulations that govern when and how police officers are allowed to detain people or to use force. If these regulations are not adhered to, then the police may be behaving unlawfully and committing what is known as trespass to the person. The impact of police trespass to the person can be severe and long-lasting, so it’s vital that those affected understand their rights – including the right to seek compensation through a civil action against the police.

Read on below to learn more about police trespass to the person, how to recognise it, and how you can make a claim if you’ve been affected.

What is trespass to the person?

Trespass to the person refers to various situations in which your liberty or your physical integrity is infringed upon. In general terms, this refers to situations in which you have either been deprived of your freedom or you have experienced (or been led to believe you will experience) physical harm.

Civil law refers to three different types of trespass to the person:

  • Assault refers to situations where you are made to fear physical injury – for instance, if someone brandishes a weapon at you or verbally threatens you. For assault to occur, you must have a reasonable apprehension that you are at immediate risk of being harmed.
  • Battery refers to situations where physical contact does actually take place This covers both direct physical contact – for instance, being pushed during an argument – and if you are struck by a thrown object.
  • False imprisonment refers to any situation in which you are deprived of your liberty without legal justification, either through being physically restrained or being led to believe you are not free to leave.

While trespass to the person is inevitably a distressing experience, experiencing it at the hands of a police officer can compound the issue, as it is also a breach of the trust we place in the police to keep us safe. Let’s look in more detail how to recognise police trespass to the person.

How do I claim?

Step 1

Get in contact by using one of our contact forms throughout the site.

Step 2

We will arrange a free consultation with you to discuss your claim.

Step 3

If you have a valid claim, we will accept your case on a No Win No Fee basis.

Step 4

HNK Solicitors obtain £10,900 for a Claimant following the unlawful retention of their data by Police

Read about how HNK Solicitors successfully obtained £10,900 for a claimant after their data was unlawfully retained by police.

Examples of police trespass to the person

It’s important to note that not every case in which a police officer detains someone or makes physical contact will constitute trespass to the person. As mentioned above, the police do have a right to detain you in some instances, and are also permitted to use force in specific circumstances.

However, in some cases the police go beyond the limitations set upon them. This may result in police trespass to the person. Some specific examples you should be aware of include:

  • Unlawful stop and search. The police have the right to perform a stop and search if they have “reasonable grounds” to suspect you are carrying illegal drugs, stolen property, a weapon, or something that could be used to commit a crime. If they stop and search you without reasonable grounds – for instance, if they stop you for discriminatory reasons – this may constitute trespass to the person.
  • Excessive force. The police are allowed to use a reasonable amount of force in specific circumstances – to make a lawful arrest, for instance. They must attempt to use non-violent means if possible, and only use such force as is proportionate to the situation. If they use more force than is justified, or if there is no necessity for them to use force, this may constitute police assault, which is a form of trespass to the person.
  • Wrongful arrest. For the police to lawfully arrest someone, they must either have a warrant or there must be some reasonable suspicion and necessity to make the arrest – for instance, to prevent a crime being committed. If you are arrested without a warrant and without a legal justification, this will constitute wrongful arrest and therefore any detention following from this will be false imprisonment. Further, any force used to perform the arrest may therefore be considered excessive force.

In each of these cases, the police have deprived you of your liberty or physically harmed you in ways that are not legally justified. That means they have committed police trespass to the person – and the consequences for those affected can be severe. Thankfully, however, there are steps you can take to seek redress, including making a police trespass to the person claim.

How to make a police trespass to the person claim

If you have been a victim of police trespass to the person and are intending to seek compensation, you’ll need to pursue a civil action against the police. This involves taking the police force responsible for your treatment to court.

In order to do this, it’s vital that you work with a solicitor who has extensive experience in pursuing actions against the police. They will be able to provide tailored advice based on an in-depth understanding of the relevant regulations, as well as presenting your case in the strongest possible way to ensure you get the full compensation you deserve.

It’s also important to pursue your claim as soon as possible after the incident. While you have six years from the date of the incident to bring your police trespass to the person claim, delays might make it more difficult to gather the necessary evidence.

HNK Solicitors can support your police trespass to the person claim

Trespass to the person is a distressing experience, and not something you should have to accept – especially if you have encountered it at the hands of a police officer. The role of the police is to keep us safe and secure by upholding law and order. Nobody should have to accept an unlawful deprivation of liberty or unjustified physical violence at the hands of a police officer.

If you have been a victim of police trespass to the person, HNK Solicitors can help you secure the compensation you deserve. Our highly experienced team have helped many clients to seek compensation through a civil action against the police. With a detailed and up-to-date knowledge of the relevant regulations and legal precedents, we can help to present your case in the strongest possible way.

We offer free consultations to discuss your experiences and help decide whether you may be entitled to compensation, with no obligation to proceed with a claim. If you do wish to pursue a claim, we can offer to take this up on a no-win, no-fee basis. That means that if you don’t receive compensation, you won’t owe us a penny.

To arrange your free consultation, call us today on 0151 668 0809, or email us at enquiries@hnksolicitors.com.

Free Consultation

Contact us today to arrange a free no-obligation discussion about your police trespass to the person claim.


We can accept instruction on a no-win, no-fee basis, so it won’t cost you a penny upfront to start your police trespass to the person claim.

Get The Outcome You Desire

Our expert lawyers will fight the police trespass to the person on your behalf, to get the outcome you desire.


Police trespass to the person covers a wide range of specific cases, including wrongful arrest, excessive force and unlawful stop and search. As a result, the amount of compensation received will vary extensively. It will be impacted by issues such as the degree of force used, any physical injuries or ongoing health issues it caused, and how long you were detained for. For a more detailed discussion, please read our police compensation payouts guide.

You have up to six years from the date of the incident to make a claim for police trespass to the person. However, if you were under 18 at the time, this period will begin from your 18th birthday. Generally speaking, it is advisable to begin the claims process as soon as possible after the incident. This will make it easier to gather the necessary evidence, including witness statements, CCTV footage and any medical evidence that might be required.

Police trespass to the person can lead to a range of damaging effects, including physical injuries, mental health issues, and financial losses. Securing compensation can be an important way to begin moving on with your life, helping to offset any costs you may have incurred or pay for ongoing treatment you might need. In addition, pursuing a civil action against the police can result in the force responsible accepting liability and apologising for the incident, as well as undertaking disciplinary proceedings. This can be an important step in helping you to come to terms with the incident, as well as making it less likely to affect others in future.

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Jay DuckworthJay Duckworth
20:34 08 Jul 24
Michael from HNK Solicitors provided an excellent, straightforward, and professional service, with the outcome being very positive. Would recommend.
Gemini LoveGemini Love
12:44 02 Jul 24
I have had really good communication from start to finish. I would highly recommend them
10:09 24 Jun 24
Don't' waste your time with this outfit!
Will RichardsWill Richards
20:51 13 Jun 24
I received clear information and updates on the case, though I was disappointed after being advised I could expect a higher level of compensation than I actually received.Nonetheless, I was happy with the friendly and helpful communication I enjoyed, and the work done on my behalf.
15:16 12 Jun 24
Phoned them and spoke for 3 hours, they have a policy of taking one crime on its own, so if the crime happens over a few days then they take each day as a separate case!!!!..... so if the evidence for any of these days is linked, they will not count it as they deal with each day on its own!!!!.... useless firm that only wants to make money by making as many cases as they can.....reported to SRA for conduct and basic ignorance to the needs of the client.
James ShawJames Shaw
14:06 03 Jun 24
Excellent service from HNK with a special mention to Lauren and Leigha. HNK managed to settle my claim to a satisfactory outcome. I was consulted along the way and was fully informed before making any decisions and before any action was taken. Definitely recommend
Ben StokesBen Stokes
12:43 26 Apr 24
Fantastic service throughout. Professional and knowledgeable solicitors who hold corrupt and dishonest police officers to account. Settled my case within 3 months. Made an awful situation somewhat better. Highly recommended.
imrie Michieimrie Michie
16:10 25 Apr 24
They kept me informed all the way through the process it did take time but they got me a result I will use then again and again and a special thanks to Michelle McMahon
Terry StaplesTerry Staples
14:22 25 Apr 24
Amazing and professional
Stephen ChipchaseStephen Chipchase
14:59 23 Apr 24
100% recommended, I was kept in the loop from the start and the team answered any questions I had.We had a fast resolution and should I be unfortunate enough to need solicitors in the future I won't hesitate calling HNK
Drew BellDrew Bell
11:45 04 Mar 24
Vivien was brilliant, I won my claim for damages received settling at 5k for a false arrest. She kept me in the loop and followed any instructions I gave her but at the same time she made sure I was informed enough to make certain decisions. Over all would highly recommend and definitely use these guys again if needed.
Col GilbertCol Gilbert
10:05 15 Feb 24
R MorleyR Morley
10:52 23 Jan 24
Stuck with me all the way through the start and got exactly the result I wanted and even more, didn't think I could be compensated as much due to the circumstances, thanks a lot and would recommend anyone to these services, always professional, keep up the good work.
Georgi KolevGeorgi Kolev
11:41 13 Jan 24
Exceptional Advocacy by HNK SolicitorsI am thrilled to share my outstanding experience with HNK Solicitors, who played an instrumental role in bringing action against the police on my behalf. From the outset, their professionalism and dedication were evident. HNK's expertise and strategic approach ensured a positive outcome, instilling confidence in me throughout the process. Their clear communication and genuine concern for my well-being set them apart. I highly recommend HNK Solicitors to anyone seeking expert legal representation. Thank you, HNK, for your exceptional support in securing justice.
Simon SiSimon Si
18:17 10 Jan 24
Very good service throughout, they constantly kept me in the loop and managed a very satisfactory result. I would gladly recommend their service,s to any experiencing the same sort of problems.Many thanksSimon
Loops EntLoops Ent
07:29 22 Dec 23
Very good Solicitor firm, very deligent with their approach. Was an absolute pleasure to work with as they took on my claims against the police and saw to it that a compensation was reached. However this is just one out of many potential cases so am looking forward to working with you guys again.
Dina 21Dina 21
16:35 11 Dec 23
I want to say that the experience I had with this solicitors has been very positive. As through no fault of theirs this case took alot of time.I was impressed with the end results.
Majik EMajik E
13:05 06 Dec 23
Michael Wharton kept me informed throughout my criminal injures claim and was always available for advice and reassurance. Just waiting for my claim to be paid out and that will be a satisfactory end to a traumatic event. Again a big thank you to HNK solicitors.
christian heathchristian heath
12:02 29 Nov 23
Been really helpful and quick at getting it done and processed.
Matthew HigginsMatthew Higgins
23:31 16 Nov 23
I highly recommend HNK Solicitors for their outstanding work on my case against the police. Vivian was fantastic, providing constant support and making the process much more comfortable. Thanks to the excellent teamwork between her and Alex, we won the case. If you've been wronged by the police, HNK Solicitors are the ones to call.
Being the first time having to fight a case against the police I was a bit apprehensive with what the outcome may of been but my solicitor demi was kind and professional and always made me feel at ease every time i spoke to her. I can't thank her enough for the work she put into fighting my case and having Alex as my barrister who I was extremely impress with how he handled my case was a true blessing. So grateful for them both and I have and would forever recommend anyone to work with the firm. Thanks again 😊
Milly FergusonMilly Ferguson
10:15 19 Oct 23
I would highly recommend!! Got my claim sorted out within months
Cw CwCw Cw
20:21 06 Oct 23
Lindsey FrancisLindsey Francis
14:33 29 Sep 23
Amazing service. prompt, successful and professional throughout. Would highly recommend.
17:07 25 Sep 23
I thank all involved in processing my claim successfuly. Everyone was professional,helpful and polite.
14:05 16 Sep 23
I took legal action against the police who had falsified evidence against me. I have no criminal record or history of wrong doing. Unlawful arrest, Imprisonment and use of force. With help from this legal firm I was awarded £££££££ in damages. Very Professional and they assured, and informed me throughout the full process.
_ MediaNPTGwent_ MediaNPTGwent
12:25 08 Sep 23
Have sought the help of Higgs Newton Kenyon Solicitors on a number of cases now, and they've been nothing but attentive and helpful at getting me the best outcome. Would highly recommend
Rob MarchantRob Marchant
18:39 29 Aug 23
Very satisfied with service provided to me! Would highly recommend this company to all ! Robert w Marchant.
Scott LPScott LP
15:09 26 Aug 23
They are lawyers, so $$$ is their only agenda and, thus, when we refused the offer of compensation in favour of a public apology, they ended up defending the perpetrators out of spite. Unethical is an understatement.
Courtney LvizCourtney Lviz
10:32 22 Aug 23
I am extremely satisfied with the exceptional service provided by Higgs Newton Kenyon solicitors. Their dedicated work and professionalism in handling my case led to a successful settlement that brought great relief. The team's commitment to excellence is truly impressive, and I appreciate their efforts. I highly recommend their services and am grateful for their support. Thank you, HNK solicitors!- Courtney LV
15:35 14 Aug 23
Excellent professionalism and outcome by Michelle McMahon, thank you.
FullStop BanditFullStop Bandit
16:24 05 Aug 23
Steer clear of Vivien Lee unless you are motivated purely and exclusively by undiluted greed and amorality.
Anthony SmithAnthony Smith
01:43 26 Jul 23
I must have drawn the short straw if all these positive reviews are authentic.My own case was handled mainly by para legals. Who displayed very little skill, or real knowledge of the law, and definitely lacked any kind of commitment. I received only one phone call in the three years it took them to 'resolve ' my case.The treatment I received from this firm was barely adequate. If you are thinking of using HNK my advice is find someone else. Unless you don't mind wasting three years of your life for very little in the way of compensation.
Very promising. Will update once completed.
Ankur deswalAnkur deswal
17:34 17 Jul 23
Such a wonderful experience with them.Excellent services got such a friendly people thanks HNK .. 🙏🙏
Turner carlTurner carl
22:34 09 Jul 23
I've learned a lot from life. Even if you are decent, humble, and honest to guys, it doesn't guarantee that they will treat you similarly. I've been married to my spouse for about six years and didn't know he was cheating. I chose to confide in a friend after noticing some changes in his behavior, and they connected me with a hacker by the name of DAVID WILFRED. By remotely hacking and gaining access to his phone call log, Facebook, Messenger messages, phone texts, WhatsApp, Skype, database, and other items, this guy did an amazing and excellent work for me. You can get in touch with this active hacker at (digitaltechhacker @ gmail com).
Kelsea NaismithKelsea Naismith
21:21 03 Jul 23
My solicitors name was Micheal Wharton, he done an amazing job in helping me with my case. He treated me with empathy, respect, and compassion. He is very understanding and kept me up to date with any updates/changes every step of the way. His communication skills are amazing, and he made me feel at ease when talking about my case and reassured me when I was worried.I would highly recommend Micheal Wharton as your solicitor he is very good at what he does and is very professional at all times whilst providing excellent support and advice.I can't thank Micheal enough for everything he has done for me.
Ellen BrownEllen Brown
08:39 31 May 23
Positive service. Treated me with kindness and respect. Didn't make me uncomfortable whilst doing their enquiries.Kept me in the loop at all times and helped me come to a decision that best suited me.Thank you to Michael Wharton for making the effort to help me 🙂
Al TommoAl Tommo
20:09 19 May 23
Very good service, couldn’t be happier with how they handled my claim and we also got justice and compensated rightly! 5 stars 10/10 does what it says on the tin thank you to the team at Hicks Newton Kenyon
brian morhanbrian morhan
17:01 26 Apr 23
Absolutely brilliant. They kept me in the loop throughout the process. I am very happy with the result. Very professional team. I would 100 percent recommend them. Thank you Michael.
amber-marie shoemarkamber-marie shoemark
16:30 24 Feb 23
Highly recommend using higgs Newton Kenyon solicitors I most definitely got my justice I deserved could not of done it with out Michael support I got the support and help the very first day Michael got in contact with me and all the support carried on all the way to the last day
M EdgertonM Edgerton
13:29 30 Jan 23
I contacted Higgs Newton Kenyon over a distressing experience with the police and feeling very vulnerable. Lynne Hughes helped me with my case and was really understanding and empathetic. It meant a lot to have someone speak for me and the outcome of the case was better than I expected. Thanks to their service I have been able to put this experience behind me and move on.Would recommend.