Wrongful imprisonment claims

Wrongful imprisonment

The police play a hugely important role in keeping us safe and ensuring that laws are obeyed. For this reason, the police are granted powers that ordinary people do not – and that includes the power to imprison people for a period of time.

Of course, depriving people of their freedom is a serious step, and that’s why there are extensive regulations governing when and how the police are allowed to take this drastic action. If these regulations aren’t followed, this can lead to wrongful imprisonment, also known as false imprisonment.

Wrongful imprisonment is a devastating and deeply distressing experience for those who experience it. It can lead to a range of issues, from physical injuries and mental health struggles to reputational damage and financial losses. That’s why it’s vital that victims of wrongful imprisonment take steps to seek redress – and that includes pursuing a compensation claim through a civil action against the police.

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

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

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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.

What is wrongful imprisonment?

Wrongful imprisonment – also known as false imprisonment – refers to any situation in which you are deprived of your liberty without lawful reason.

The police do have the legal authority to deprive you of your liberty in certain situations. For instance, they may place you under arrest if they have an arrest warrant or it is deemed necessary to arrest you. They may also detain you in order to perform a stop and search.

However, there are strict limitations on when, how, and for how long the police can detain you. If these limitations aren’t observed, then you have been wrongfully imprisoned. This is understandably a distressing experience, even if it is only for a short time.

It’s important to be aware that if you have been a victim of wrongful imprisonment on the part of the police, you may be entitled to seek compensation – read on below to find out more.

What are some examples of wrongful imprisonment?

Wrongful imprisonment can take a number of different forms. There are a number of situations in which the police can legitimately restrain you, but if they do so without attending to the appropriate conditions, then this will not be a lawful use of their powers. This includes:

  • Wrongful arrest. If you arrested without a warrant or without reasonable grounds to suspect you of an offence or without the reasonable grounds to deem your arrest necessity, this may mean you have been wrongfully imprisoned.
  • Unlawful stop and search. If you are stopped and searched without a lawful reason or for discriminatory reasons, this may also constitute wrongful imprisonment.
  • Overlong detention. There are limits on how long you can be held in custody in specific circumstances, as well as a requirement that your detention is reviewed periodically. If you are detained longer than permitted or without proper review, even a lawful imprisonment may become unlawful.
  • Malicious prosecution. If the police deliberately prosecute you with malicious intent, then any time you spend in custody as a result of this will likely also constitute wrongful imprisonment.

Further, it’s important to note that imprisonment does not require physical restraint. If you are deliberately led to believe that you are not free to leave even when you are not under arrest, then this can constitute wrongful imprisonment.

It’s also important to note that wrongful imprisonment can also involve other instances of police misconduct. For instance, if you are restrained without legal justification, and force is used to do so, this may also constitute excessive force or police assault.

What should I do if I’ve been wrongfully imprisoned?

If you believe you have been wrongfully imprisoned, this will understandably be an upsetting experience. There are a number of steps you can take in order to ensure that the behaviour you encountered is properly investigated and that, if appropriate, disciplinary action is taken.

In the first instance, you can complain directly to the police force responsible. As we explain in our blog post “How do I make a complaint against the police?”, you should make your complaint in writing as soon as possible after the incident. The police force are obliged to respond in writing to your complaint. That includes informing you whether they will be opening an investigation. If they choose not to investigate, they must explain why.

While a police complaint can result in an apology being made and disciplinary action being taken against those responsible, it will not result in you being awarded compensation. To seek compensation, you will need to take the police force responsible to court through a civil action against the police.

Whichever route you take, the best approach is to seek legal advice as soon as possible, ideally from a solicitor with experience in police misconduct cases. They will be able to advise you on whether your situation likely constituted wrongful imprisonment, and support you if you do wish to pursue a claim.

Why should I seek compensation for wrongful imprisonment?

If you have experienced wrongful imprisonment – or any other form of police misconduct – the events will understandably have had a major impact. Depending on the specifics, you may have experienced a range of damaging outcomes, including physical injuries, mental health issues, distress and anxiety, financial losses and reputational damage.

If you have suffered any of these types of damage as a consequence of police misconduct, seeking compensation can provide significant benefits in helping you to recover and move past the incident. It can not only help to offset any financial impact, but it will also serve as acknowledgment of the harm you suffered. If you require any ongoing treatment or support with your health, compensation can help to ensure you can access this without delay.

Of course, you may feel that pursuing a wrongful imprisonment claim will be a significant burden and take a great deal of time. This may result in you deciding not to seek any compensation. However, with the support of skilled and experienced solicitors, the experience can be straightforward, allowing you to focus on moving on with your life while they take over the requirements of building your case.

HNK Solicitors are your wrongful imprisonment claims specialists

Here at HNK Solicitors, we’ve helped many clients to secure compensation following an experience of police misconduct. Our team of experts have in-depth knowledge of the relevant laws and regulations, as well as an understanding of the impact that wrongful imprisonment can have on those affected. As a result, they won’t just be able to maximise your chances of securing the compensation you deserve – they can also provide sensitive and tailored support to make the process as straightforward as possible.

Our team offers free consultations for those who believe they have been wrongfully imprisoned. They will discuss your case and advise you on whether you may be entitled to compensation. If they think you are, they can offer to take up your case on a no-win, no-fee basis.

To arrange your free consultation, with no obligation to pursue a claim, get in touch today. Call us 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 wrongful imprisonment claim.


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

Get The Outcome You Desire

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


There is a time limit of six years from the date of the incident for making a wrongful imprisonment claim. However, the sooner you begin the claims process, the better. The longer you wait, the more difficult it may be to gather the necessary evidence to support your claim.

The amount of compensation you receive will depend on various factors. This includes how long your wrongful imprisonment lasted – the longer you were detained, the more compensation you are likely to receive. It will also depend on whether any other forms of misconduct took place at the same time. For instance, if you were a victim of false imprisonment and force was used as part of this process, this will likely also constitute an assault. For more information on the factors that will determine how much compensation you could receive, read our police compensation payouts guide. However, for more tailored advice on the compensation you may be entitled to, get in touch to discuss your case with a member of our team.

In order to make a compensation claim for wrongful imprisonment, you will need to take the police force responsible to court. As part of this process, you will need to provide evidence that you were restrained without legal justification – for instance, you were stopped and searched without an appropriate reason, or you were arrested without a warrant and without any necessity to do so. To achieve this, you will need the support of an expert solicitor. They will be able to gather the necessary evidence on your behalf and identify which legal statutes were breached in your case. At HNK Solicitors, this process begins with a free consultation in which we discuss your experiences and advise you on whether you may be entitled to seek compensation.

Anyone who believes they have experienced police misconduct has the right to seek compensation through a civil action against the police. However, in some circumstances, the person who was wrongfully imprisoned may not be in a position to make a claim – for instance, if they are under the age of 18 or they do not have the mental capacity to pursue a claim. In this case, the person will need a “litigation friend” to pursue the claim process on their behalf. This will usually be a parent, guardian or trusted family member.

Similar to unlawful arrests, wrongful imprisonment claims can be made up to 6 years after the incident. Any claims for personal injury, however, are limited to three years.

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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.