What is wrongful arrest?

Being arrested and charged for a crime that you didn’t commit can be damaging. Not only is there the psychological trauma to deal with, there’s also the harm it can cause to your personal and professional reputation.

If you find yourself in this difficult position, there is potential redress.

In UK law, a police officer is only allowed to arrest someone if they’re wanted on a warrant, or if they have a “reasonable belief”, that an individual might have been involved in a criminal offence, or are about to commit one.

The police can make an arrest anywhere – whether that’s your home, your workplace or in a public place.

You can contact our Wrongful Arrest and False Imprisonment team by calling on
0333 800 0033 or filling in the Contact Us form.

If you’re arrested the police must always:

  • Inform you that they are the police
  • Explain that you’re under arrest
  • Explain the crime they are arresting you for
  • Inform you why it’s necessary to arrest you
  • Explain to you that you are detained, and may not leave

Only if you resist arrest or try to run away should police use “reasonable force”. This may consist of using handcuffs or pinning you down. If more than reasonable force is used this can constitute assault.

If these rules are not followed, then you may have grounds to sue the police for an unlawful arrest.

What is false imprisonment?

If you are found to be the victim of unlawful arrest, any time you spend in custody is classified as an unlawful imprisonment. As your human rights have been violated and your freedom of movement restricted, you may have been the victim of a civil wrong, and criminal act.

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    Making a claim for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment

    Every year UK police forces pay out millions on wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, and misfeasance claims. Many of these are settled out of court.

    Any claim for wrongful arrest depends on two factors:

    • Whether or not the officer involved should have believed that you have committed a crime or were intent on committing a crime.
    • Whether it was truly necessary for the arrest to be made.

    If it can be proven that ongoing inquiries might have made an arrest unnecessary then a claim for wrongful arrest might be successful. Any imprisonment that followed on from this wrongful arrest would then be regarded as illegal and liable to a claim.

    Our area of expertise

    Murria Solicitors have considerable experience in the area of wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, and misfeasance. Cases have been successfully brought against authorities such as the police, Home Office and the courts, as well as private security firms. 

    Some of our successful cases have included the wrongful arrest and detention of a family, a family home wrecked by police error and police record data violation and deletion. These are typical cases that Murria Solicitors have dealt with over the years and we continue to be one of the go-to law companies that people turn to when they are faced with these harrowing circumstances. 

    It’s vital that cases in this complex area of law are handled by specialist lawyers. At Murria, we have extensive experience at handling trials both with, and without a jury and can advise which option may be best. 

    We also have experience conducting trials in the County Court, High Court and Court of Appeal and in related judicial review work, particularly in challenging the issue of search warrants. Many of our cases have featured in the Law Reports and serve as a reference point for other cases as an accurate and authoritative record of proceedings.

     Our Wrongful Arrest and False Imprisonment team is headed by Mr Galwinder Singh Kang, who has significant experience of the field built up over two decades. Galwinder will undertake a comprehensive review of your case and advise on the best action to take. 

    A claimant may be entitled to trial by jury, something which is rare in civil proceedings and we may agree to act on a no-win, no-fee basis depending on the specific circumstances. 

    Our experienced team want to hear your case. We will offer confidential, sensitive advice and suggest the best way to proceed. Contact us today to discuss your case in detail.

    Related Case Studies

    Recent Case Studies

    Arrested and held in custody in an error made by the police

    On 24/10/19 our client was arrested in Bradford Town Centre by Police Officers who said that there was a warrant out for his arrest. Our client was well known to the Police. He told the Officers that the matter had already dealt with but the Officers didn’t believe him.

    Electronic Monitoring Services wrongful arrests and false imprisonment compensation claims

    On 15 September 2019 our client was arrested in the early hours of the morning by Officers from Lancashire Constabulary for alleged breach of bail. He was on bail and one of his bail conditions was a curfew between the hours of 7.00pm and 7.00am. The curfew was electronically monitored by a company called Electronic Monitoring Services, which is part of Capita and whose is contracted by the Court Service to provide this electronic monitoring service... More

    Police & criminal justice data record violations

    The criminal justice sector including Police National Computer (PNC) and Courts have access to a wide range of sensitive information about us. However, the data is not being looked after as well as it should. Here is a case report of a recent matter of data breach we have dealt with.

    Deletion of records from Police systems

    The general rule in law is that if someone is arrested, whether or not they are charged with a criminal offence, details of their arrest, along with their photograph and any samples taken e.g. fingerprints and DNA, are stored on Police databases.

    Law Commission recommends search warrant modernisation

    At Murria, we have an exceptional track record when it comes to challenging search warrants and taking legal action for unlawful searches and seizure of property by the Police and other law enforcement agencies such as HMRC and UK Border Agency.

    Claim by Prison In-Mate

    On 25 June 2015, whilst our client was an inmate at HMP Oakwood, he slipped and injured his back. A claim was pursued against G4S, which runs the prison.

    Police brutality caught on CCTV

    Murria Solicitors were instructed by our client in a matter of an assault by the Police.
    Our client was assaulted and had his head aggressively banged against

    Wiping Clean a Record of Arrest

    On 19 January 2011 our client was arrested for allegedly threatening to kill a disgruntled employee. He was arrested and detained for a few hours. Our client thought nothing more of it until a couple of years later when during a routine Police stop, the Police Officer commented that our client had previously been arrested for threats to kill.

    Family home wrecked due to Police error

    Murria Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of a family of 4, following an incident in which their family home was wrongfully raided and damaged.

    Our clients were rudely awakened in the early hours of the morning as Police officers executed a search warrant on their house, which was in fact the wrong address.

    Police wrongfully arrest and detain family

    The Mother had just dropped her daughter off at college and was driving back home, at which point she was intercepted by the Police and arrested on suspicion of armed robbery. Her anxious Sons were notified of the situation by witnesses and in their attempts to enquire as to the circumstances of the matter, they too were wrongfully arrested.

    Heavy handed police face the consequences

    Murria Solicitors were instructed to act for a client in a matter where the Police reacted to a false allegation in a heavy-handed and irrational manner which resulted in our client being forcibly arrested and detained.

    CCTV catches our lying Street Warden

    Murria Solicitors were instructed to act on behalf of a Client in a case of a false accusation of assault. Our client and his friend were out drinking in the early hours of the morning in Wakefield City Centre. Our client’s friend, who was slightly worse for wear than our client, was involved in an incident with Street Wardens.

    Arrested – Compensation for Mistaken Identity

    On 8 April 2013, our client was at his girlfriend’s property when Police Officers from West Midlands Police attended looking for a previous occupant of the property. His girlfriend had only recently moved in. Despite providing his details and bearing no resemblance to the ‘wanted’ person, our client was arrested and taken to Court.