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Actions against the Police

If you want help with a complaint against the Police or other public bodies, call 020 7650 1200 today and we’ll give you expert advice.

Taking legal action against the police or similar governing bodies may sound like a tall order, but you may be able to secure compensation.

Leigh Day assists with claims for:

  • assault & battery
  • false imprisonment
  • misfeasance in public office
  • malicious prosecution
  • breaches of the Human Rights Act
  • breaches of the Equality Act
  • breaches of the Data Protection Act.

This might include cases relating to failures to investigate, claims based on race and/or religious discrimination and assaults perpetrated on an individual.

We also represent bereaved families at all stages of inquests arising out of deaths either following contact with or the involvement of the Police.

This could include deaths arising from a failure to communicate effectively with other agencies, or deaths arising from suicide where Police were made aware of that risk.

Get help today

Call us on 020 7650 1200

What are actions against the Police?

While the Police are there to serve and protect, there are moments where, either as individuals or as an organisation they may act unlawfully. When this happens, it is important that the Police are held accountable and affected parties are suitably compensated.

An official police complaint can be the initial step when taking action against the Police. Your case will determine the appropriate course of action.

Disciplinary hearings

The Police can carry out misconduct hearings if they believe an officer has breached their standards of professional behaviour. The officer(s) in question will have the opportunity to defend themselves and the circumstances around their alleged misconduct.

Deletion of data from police databases

This depends on the circumstances of your case, we may be able to help in having data removed from police databases.

How do I complain against the Police?

Lodging a complaint against the Police can be a challenging process, not least due to the emotional stress it can involve. However, it’s important that you make your complaint as soon as possible to try and resolve it in a timely manner.

There is a 12-month limit on making a complaint against a Police officer. A solicitor can do so on your behalf.

How Leigh Day has helped with action against the Police

Our client reported to the Police that they had been abused as a child. As a result, the alleged perpetrator was arrested and charged.

The officer in charge of the investigation failed to interview witnesses. They had also failed to pursue several obvious lines of inquiry, had failed to record conversations with witnesses and had been in contact with witnesses during the criminal trial.

It was later discovered that one of the witnesses died before being spoken to about the case. Another witness was able to provide further lines of enquiry, but these were missed by the officer.

The officer had failed to follow up other lines of enquiry. This could have given him the opportunity to refer other sexual abuse cases for investigation and identify further risks to children.

The officer had failed in his legal responsibilities for disclosure by causing and/or permitting evidence to be destroyed or not otherwise be made available.

We brought a legal claim for breaches of Article 3 of the Human Rights Act for a failure to investigate and for malfeasance in public office. We successfully settled the case and our client received compensation and an unequivocal apology. It was acknowledged that the investigation into our client’s allegations fell below the expected standard.

Why use Leigh Day?

As one of the leading human rights law firms practising in England and Wales, we are well suited to dealing with claims against the Police.

Over two decades ago, we became one of the first law firms to set up a dedicated human rights department. Since then, we have successfully dealt with countless claims.

We’re proud to say that we have one of the most extensive human rights legal teams operating within the country.

With a multi-talented department of experts bringing together discrimination, civil liberties, public law, health and social care expertise, we challenge the lawfulness of decisions, omissions, acts, the policies of public and private bodies and cases against the Police. We aren’t afraid to take on powerful organisations and we’re willing to stand behind the most vulnerable and marginalised member of our society, however unpopular.

We are dedicated to ensuring individuals have access to justice, and we believe a system where people can be priced out is not right. We do all that we can to protect our clients from challenges surrounding costs and legal funding.

Contact the team

Call us on:  020 7650 1200
Request a: Free Callback
Email us: postbox@leighday.co.uk

Get help today

Call us on 020 7650 1200

Frequently asked questions

Yes, you can sue the Police if you think they have acted unlawfully. This is an avenue you can explore and one we can advise and help you with.

This depends entirely on the circumstances of your claim, but the compensation you receive on a successful claim could result in anywhere between several hundred pounds and thousands of pounds.

Yes, you can. If you feel you have suffered emotionally and/or psychologically, you may be able to make a claim against the Police.