Claims Against The Police
We specialise in helping victims of injury claim the compensation they deserve. If you’ve been injured or wrongly accused by the police, you may be entitled to police compensation.
Compensation actions against the police
The police may represent the authority in public safety, but like any other organisation, they’re bound by law to protect those under their supervision. Under the law, everyone has the right to be treated fairly, regardless of the reason for their interaction with the police. This means that everyone also has the right to make a complaint if they believe their human rights have been breached in any way.
Can you sue the police?
While we should endeavour to remember that police employees are human, and errors and abuse can happen by accident or misjudgement, suffering any form of maltreatment at the hands of the same people responsible for enforcing legal standards is utterly unacceptable.
It’s unfortunate, but claims against the police in the UK are a necessity for any citizen who suffers unlawful treatment at their hand. Suing the police is more than possible, though the process can be difficult; particularly if the trauma suffered was psychological. To start suing the police, you need to bring action against the officer or officers in question. This can be done via the police complaint procedure for the relevant police force.
To do this, you need to submit a complaint to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) or Professional Standards Department, depending on the seriousness of the crime. However, the use of these systems is not a guarantee that your complaint will be handled effectively. That’s why we recommend making an independent claim alongside using the usual complaint services.
At The Compensation Experts, our team works with solicitors specializing in actions against the police, so you can be sure that any claim will be handled professionally and carefully.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to police negligence, then you may be able to make a claim for police compensation. Get in touch today and speak with one of our knowledgeable experts.
What are the grounds for claims against the police?
There are a variety of reasons why a person might take action against the police process they experienced. These include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Unlawful arrest
- Damage to your private property
- Entering your property without a legal reason or a warrant
- Assault or harassment
- Wrongful imprisonment at a police station, jail, or anywhere else a police officer holds you against your will without just cause
- Unnecessary and excessive use of force
- Malicious prosecution
- Police negligence
- Human rights breaches
In the egregious event that a loved one dies while in police custody, you may also make a claim on their behalf.
There are legal limits for raising claims against the police as evidence can take some time to compile. Therefore, it’s always better to begin your claim as soon as possible. You have up to six years from the date of the event to claim damages for false imprisonment and trespass claims, three years to make a claim for assault and negligence, and up to one year for claims made under the Human Rights Act.
Police compensation payouts
Police compensation can vary widely and will almost certainly depend on the level of police negligence you experienced. When you take action against police maltreatment, the evidence will be assessed to determine what level of compensation you are eligible for. There are three categories for police misconduct compensation claims:
- Basic damages
- Aggravated damages
- Exemplary damages.
Basic damages are the most common form of police compensation paid in police misconduct claims. They’re meant to compensate you for any loss or injury you suffered as a result of the police’s actions and return you to a position before the police misconduct occurred.
Basic damages can include, but is not limited to:
- General damages
- Loss of reputation
- Stress (g., from criminal prosecution)
- Special damages.
Aggravated damages, on the other hand, are awarded only in exceptional cases where the police have deliberately acted to cause injury to the Claimant’s feelings, and where basic damages are insufficient.
- Unlike basic damages, aggravated damages are discretionary, intended to be compensatory and not punitive, and the Claimant’s own contributory conduct can be taken into account to reduce or eliminate any aggravated damages awarded.
Aggravated damages are usually paid in addition to basic damages in serious claims involving, but not limited to:
- Trespass to the person (g., false imprisonment, assault & battery, etc…)
- Malicious prosecution
Lastly, exemplary damages are awarded in extremely rare cases. This is because they are meant to punish the police for outrageous conduct rather than merely compensate the Claimant. According to Rooks v Barnard (1964), exemplary damages can only be awarded in tort (e.g., not a Human Rights Act) cases where there has been:
“Oppressive, arbitrary, or unconstitutional action by the servants of the government.”
However, exemplary damages can be reduced or wiped out entirely due to improper conduct by the Claimant.
Police compensation amounts
The following are the typical ranges of police compensation awarded for various acts of police negligence:
- False imprisonment – £500- £5,053 (1 hour-24 hours)
- Malicious prosecution – £2,000- £16,880 (basic prosecution- prosecution up to 2 years in the Crown Court). The Claimant may be entitled to a higher award if the malicious prosecution results in a conviction which is only set aside on appeal.
- Aggravated damages – £1,684 or up to double the basic damages.
- Exemplary damages – £8,000- £93,114
- Discrimination (Equality Act Claims) – £7,276- £36,380
Taking actions against the police for compensation
If you are unsure whether you have grounds to make any claims against the police, or how to go about doing so, you can speak to our team of knowledgeable agents. This initial conversation is free, and there is no obligation on you to make an immediate decision with regard to pursuing your claim.
We also know that this kind of claim can be incredibly stressful and can take a long time to complete. That’s why we offer an action against the police no win, no fee* agreement to avoid the need for you to pay legal fees upfront, or at all in the unlikely event your claim is unsuccessful.
The vast majority (more than 90%) of all personal injury claims, including those involving police negligence, are settled without going before a judge. Your lawyer will do their best to make sure this happens so you can resolve your claim as quickly as possible. They will collect the necessary evidence to show the nature of your injury, the impact it has had on your life, and aim to prove that it could and should have been avoided were it not for police negligence.
Speak with any of our team today to take the first step in the claims process. For more information on how compensation claims work, you can visit our FAQ.
*Conditions may apply
Am I eligible?
If you have suffered physically or psychologically in the last 1-6 years due to any form of police negligence, you're likely eligible to take action against the police with a police compensation claim.
The timeframe for eligible compensation varies between offences. You have six years from the date of the event to claim damages for false imprisonment or trespassing claims, three years to make a claim for assault and negligence, and up to one year for any claims that breached your human rights.Find out more
How much could I claim?
Every case of police malpractice is different, as is its impact on the victim. The amount of compensation paid out will differ on a case to case basis, taking into account varying factors such as the extent of your injuries, loss of earnings, future losses and more.
We have a dedicated team of experts on hand who will listen and investigate your claim before giving you an indication of how much you could potentially win in police compensation.Find out more
How does the process work?
We understand that when making a claim it’s important to know what to expect and when to expect it. That’s why we make our claims process as transparent & clear as possible.
Your solicitor will gather all the evidence and notify the negligent party that you wish to begin claim proceedings. With your solicitor negotiating on your behalf, you'll be kept up to date every step of the way.Find out more