Actions again the police are varied and in some cases, complex. At Swain & Co., we specialise in bringing claims against the police but we can also assist if you have suffered harm from others including prison officers, court security staff or security firms employed by shops (e.g. for unlawful arrest and/or false imprisonment).
We regularly advise in connection with claims against the police for unlawful arrest and false imprisonment but we can also help with other actions against the police including:
- Assault and battery
- Malicious prosecution (when the police maliciously and unreasonably bring criminal proceedings resulting in damage to reputation, person, freedom or property)
- Malicious process (e.g. malicious applications for arrest warrants or search warrants)
- Misfeasance in public office (e.g. malicious conduct with the intention of causing damage whilst acting beyond his/her official power)
- Trespass to goods or property
- Wrongful conviction
- Death in custody
- Breach of Human Rights
“Each case is expertly assessed with a view to advising on the best way forward.”
In some instances, the most appropriate way forward is to make a formal complaint against the police. Formal complaints can be made alongside civil actions. Depending upon the circumstances, complaints in the first instance are investigated by the police although the police complaints system is overseen by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).
You should be aware, however, that police powers are wide-ranging and so just because you feel the police have acted inappropriately or you have subsequently been acquitted, does not automatically mean that you have a claim for compensation or a valid complaint against the police.
It is important to seek advice quickly as there are time limits for bringing a claim. If you are claiming negligence, claims must be brought within three years of the date of the incident. In most other cases, the limitation period is six years but it is important to note that if you are claiming under the Human Rights Act, you have only 12 months in which to issue the claim. If you do not bring proceedings within these time periods, you will lose your right to pursue your action against the police.