If you have been injured in an incident involving the police

If you have been injured by the police, you may have grounds to make a complaint or to seek compensation, although this will depend on the circumstances and whether the police acted within their powers. A successful complaint could result in disciplinary action being taken against, or training being given to, the individual officers involved.

You may be able to claim compensation on the basis that an officer has used force against you, giving rise to a claim for "battery," or where they caused you to reasonably anticipate that force would be inflicted, which is the definition of "assault". If you have a potential claim for battery, you are likely to also have a potential claim for assault.

Police officers are allowed to use force in order to exercise their powers - such as to arrest you - as long as it is reasonable and necessary in those specific circumstances and they are lawfully exercising their powers at the time (for example, as long as your arrest is lawful in the first place).

If a police officer has used force when arresting you, there may well be a dispute between the police officers and you about what the circumstances of your arrest actually were and/or whether force was necessary at all. Whether the level of force used was 'reasonable and necessary' will be considered in light of the circumstances apparent to the officers involved at the time. Your conduct will be taken into account and, in particular, consideration will be given to whether or not you posed any real threat to yourself, the officers or another person.

If it is established that you were unlawfully arrested and/or detained, any physical contact that police officers made with you in the course of your arrest and detention is likely to amount to assault and battery.

In circumstances where your arrest and detention are found to be lawful but you were not ultimately convicted of the offence, you may have a claim for assault and battery if you can show that the force used was excessive.

If successful in a claim for assault and battery for an incident in which you received an injury, you may be entitled to compensation for that injury. The more serious your injury and/or the longer it has an impact on you, the more compensation you are likely to receive. Generally, you may only claim compensation for injuries which you are able to evidence. Therefore, if you receive an injury in the course of contact with the police, it is important that you take immediate steps to make sure that your injury is documented, e.g. by taking photographs and/or by visiting your GP for treatment.

As any claim will depend on the specific circumstances of the incident, if you are considering making a civil claim or complaint, it is best to seek advice from a specialist solicitor.

Civil Actions Against the Police - Specialist Legal Advice

At Saunders Law, we offer expert legal assistance and representation in civil claims against the police, including for false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, and under the Human Rights Act. We can also assist you in making a complaint against the officers involved. We're well-known for actions against the police and other state authorities, and take a thorough and determined approach to cases, working hard to ensure that you obtain the appropriate level of damages for the wrong that you have suffered. All of our solicitors within the Civil Liberties and Actions against the Police Department have extensive experience in this area.

For a free, no-obligation, initial discussion to see if we might be able to help, please contact us today.

Call us on 02076324300 or make an enquiry online.


    How can we help?

    Please fill in the form and we’ll get back to you as soon as we can

    We have partnered with Law Share from JMW Solicitors LLP to refer instructions and clients to them, when we are unable to act. By answering yes to this question, you agree that we may pass your details on to Law Share in such circumstances. You are under no obligation to instruct JMW Solicitors LLP after being referred. We may receive a payment from JMW Solicitors LLP further to this referral.