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False Arrests: Know Your Rights

When you are arrested and put into police custody the police must identify themselves as police, tell you that you are being arrested and make you aware of the crime you are being accused of. The law also states that you must have your rights read out to you. If you feel the police are in breach of these rights, you may be able to make a claim. A recurring complaint made against the police is wrongful or unlawful arrest claims. False arrests can have a detrimental effect on the lives of those who are unlawfully detained, even if the police later admit malpractice.

If you have recently been put in police custody without genuine reason and have experienced excessive force by a member of the police (for example because of your background or appearance) then you may be eligible to make a claim.

I was falsely arrested: can I make a claim?

If you have been falsely arrested and imprisoned, even if only for an hour you could claim upwards of £1000. In instances where the victim has been in police custody for more than one hour, compensation of £6000 or more can be awarded. If you were falsely arrested, other factors can help build your claim such as:

  • Not having your rights read out to you
  • Your arrest was a result of prejudice on behalf of the police officer/s
  • An arrest being conducted without a suitable arrest warrant – i.e. one that was falsely obtained
  • Whether the police officer/s used excessive force

Whilst we encourage you to seek out compensation for false arrests, we also suggest that you make a complaint against the police officer/s who acted unlawfully towards you. To start your complaint, you should complain to the custody officer on duty before you leave the police station. Knowing your rights is a vital part of making a complaint; talking to organizations such as Citizen’s Advice will help point you in the right direction. You should also consider contacting the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IOCP) to make an official complaint online.

I want to make a claim; how do I prove wrongful arrest?

The key to a successful claim is to provide as much evidence as you can. If you have video footage of the arrest, this video could serve as vital evidence and strengthen your compensation claim. Eye witness accounts are also extremely valuable pieces of evidence.

Police assault

If you have experienced false arrest, you are automatically eligible to sue the police for an assault too. An example of police assault might be if you were handcuffed, tasered or if unreasonable force was used during the arrest. If your claim is successful, the extent to which you are awarded damages will depend on the type and severity of your injuries.

How can we help?

Here at Abuse Claims UK, we can assist you in taking action against the police force for any false imprisonment or police brutality you have experienced. All wrongful arrest cases taken on by Abuse Claims UK are conducted via a “no win, no fee” basis. This means that you will not have to pay a penny unless your case is successful.

If your case is successful, you will pay a solicitor’s fee once the case has been resolved. The solicitor’s fee typically tends to be a percentage of the compensation award. However, this will be agreed upon before your case is carried out. To find out more information about claims for abuse in police custody, please contact us at [email protected].