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Public Body Challenge

Compensation claims against public authorities

Our experienced actions against the police team can advise on a wide range of legal issues relating to actions and decisions by public bodies including the police, the prison service, private security firms, the probation service, courts, local authorities, and the CPS.

Potential claims can include:
• Wrongful arrest and unlawful detention
• Assault/battery
• Malicious prosecution
• Misfeasance in public office
• Breaches of the Human Rights Act or the Equality Act
• Unlawful strip searches
• Trespass to land or property

Call us today on 0208 800 6464 to see how we can help. It is important to call as soon as possible as many compensation claims have strict time limits. Legal aid may be available to help pay for your case.

Wrongful arrest and unlawful detention


If you have been unlawfully detained, you may be able to claim compensation. Unlawful detention is also known as false imprisonment. As these claims can be complicated, it is advisable to obtain legal advice to assess whether your detention was lawful or not.

Unlawful detention can occur in a range of situations including:
• following a wrongful arrest, for example if the arrest was not necessary, or you were arrested under a warrant that was no longer valid
• being released late from prison or from court
• during an unlawful stop and search.

Assault / battery

Police and prison officers may only use physical force which is reasonable and necessary. Physical force must not be excessive, even if, for example, force is used while undertaking a lawful arrest.

In some cases, the use of any force at all may be unlawful. For example, if you have been subject to an unlawful arrest, any force used to carry out that arrest is unlawful. Or, if you have been subject to an unapproved restraint, the force used during the restraint may be unlawful.

Compensation may be available if you have been subject to an assault or battery by the police or prison officers.

Malicious prosecution and misfeasance in public office

You may be able to obtain compensation if you have been subject to malicious prosecution by the police or the CPS. Misfeasance in public office claims often overlap with malicious prosecution claims.

Malicious prosecution and misfeasance claims are complex, and it is important to seek specialise legal advice if you think you may have a claim.

Breaches of the Human Rights Act 1998 and the Equality Act 2010


The Human Rights Act protects your rights and freedoms, including:
• your right to life
• your right to be free from torture or inhuman and degrading treatment
• your right to be free from slavery
• your liberty
• your right to a fair trial
• your private and family life
• your right to associate with who you want to
• your freedom of speech
• your right to be free from discrimination
• your personal property
The Equality Act protects your right to be free from discrimination because of ‘protected characteristics’. The protected characteristics include:
• age
• disability
• gender reassignment
• marriage and civil partnership
• pregnancy and maternity
• race
• religion or belief
• sex
• sexual orientation

All public authorities must act in accordance with the Human Rights Act and the Equality Act. If a public authority breaches your human rights, or discriminates against you, you may be able to seek compensation.

There are strict time limits associated with human rights and discrimination claims. If you think you may have a claim under the Human Rights Act or the Equality Act, call us today on 0208 800 6464.

Strip searches


The Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (‘PACE’) governs strip searches following arrest. To be lawful, strip searches and intimate searches must only be undertaken where they are necessary. Intimate searches must be undertaken by an officer of the same sex.

If you think you have been subject to an unlawful strip search you may be able to seek compensation. It is important to seek legal advice as soon as possible, as there may be strict time limits associated with a claim following an unlawful strip search.

Child prisoners’ rights
Our specialist community care and public law solicitors advise children and young people up to the age of 25 on their rights after leaving prison, including:
• Finding somewhere to live
• Getting support from Social Services
• Challenging unfair licence conditions
• Getting into education

Our dedicated team of professionals understand how stressful it can be for a child leaving prison to resettle back into the community and will handle your case with care, commitment and sensitivity.

Legal aid may be available to help pay for your case. Contact our specialist team today at our London office on 0208 800 6464.

Data Protection law


The legislation governing data rights is complex. We can advise on your data protection rights to ensure that your data is held and used by public authorities in accordance with the law.

We can assist with claims challenging or correcting the information on you held by the police, such as DNA records, photographs or fingerprint data. We can also challenge disclosure of information held by the police, such as information included on enhanced criminal record certificates.

We can provide advice on your rights and entitlements under data protection legislation and can assist with obtaining a copy of your data from public authorities, which is also known as a “subject access request”. We can also assist with obtaining information under the Freedom of Information Act.

To find out more about how we can help you, contact a solicitor in our London team on 0208 800 6464.

Inquests


Losing a loved one can be devastating. It can be even harder when the death happens in prison or police custody. The inquest process can be daunting for a bereaved family who are searching for answers.

Our specialist team represents bereaved family members throughout the inquest process. We can provide you with expert guidance and professionalism throughout this difficult time.

Legal aid is sometimes available for advice and assistance through the inquest process. Contact our inquest team in the London office on 0208 800 6464 to see how we can help you.

Victims of Crime


If you have been a victim of a serious or violent crime it can be hard to know where to turn.

We can provide specialist legal advice on complaints or civil claims to the police about failures to investigate serious crimes such as sexual assault or serious abuse. We can also advise on failures by the police and/or the local authority to adequately protect victims of serious crime.

If you have been subject to a violent offence, we may be able to assist with a claim for criminal injury compensation.

Contact our specialist team today on 0208 800 6464 to see how we can help.