Police abuse compensation claims
The police are here to protect the public from crime as well as supporting victims and witnesses of crime. For the most part, police officers uphold justice and are people whom we can trust.
However, there are officers who abuse the standing given to them by their job and uniform. This can be particularly traumatising as often they are supposed to be there to support the individual that they have abused. Whatever form the abuse takes, it can have lifelong consequences.
What is considered police abuse of power?
Bolt Burdon Kemp have successfully brought claims against the police for abusing people that they were supposed to protect. The abuse may be sexual, physical and/or exchanging indecent images or messages.
Police abuse of power might also include wrongful arrest or injuries sustained while in custody.
Our specialist solicitors can help you to make a compensation claim against the police if you were abused, in any way, by an employee of a police force.
Get in touch with our caring team and we will guide you through this difficult process. We act for most clients on a no win, no fee basis, and can also advise you about making a claim through the Criminal Injuries Compensation Authority (CICA).
Reporting the abuse
There is no doubt it can be daunting to report abuse committed by a police officer. There may be a feeling that the police may try and ‘protect their own’ – but thankfully, in most cases, times have moved on. Forces are rightly appalled and disgusted by rogue officers who have abused those that they have a duty to protect.
If you have been abused by a police officer you should report it to the police. If you are, understandably, finding it difficult to report it yourself you can:
- Tell a family member, friend or colleague
- Speak to someone who does not know you personally such as your GP
- Speak to a specialist charity who can assist you with reportin
You can report to the police in various ways:
- Telephone 111
- Visit a police station
- You can ask to speak to a specialist officer of your preferred gender
- Ask for a private room to speak about what happened
You don’t have to do this on your own. You can ask someone else to speak to the police for you in the beginning or ask them to make the appointment on your behalf. You can also take someone whom you trust to support you when you speak to the police. This may be a family member, friend or partner.
The police are trained in these matters and won’t be shocked by rude words or swearing. You can talk about what happened to you in a way that you feel comfortable with. The vast majority of our clients say that the officers they spoke to were sensitive and understanding.
Making a claim against the police
There are two main ways to make a compensation claim against the police. It is possible to make a claim against the individual involved. However, you can also sue their employer, which would be the police force for which they work. This can often be the better course of action as organisations such as forces and local authorities are insured against claims for abuse.
What is vicarious liability?
If you make a claim against the police force, it is on the basis that it is responsible for the actions of that officer or staff member.
It is therefore necessary to prove vicarious liability, which is the principle that the person, whether an officer or other member of staff, was carrying out the abuse in the course of their employment.
We are experienced in proving vicarious liability by obtaining evidence to show how the officer or staff member used their position to commit the abuse.
What if the force knew?
We can also hold the force responsible by proving that they were negligent in allowing the abuse to take place.
By demonstrating that the force knew about the abuse or should have known about the abuse and failed to act, we can hold the force liable for its negligence: for example, if another individual complained about the abuse and the force did not properly investigate or refer it to the IOPC or if the abuser had a criminal record for similar offences before being employed by the force.
To find out more, call our expert team on 020 3504 7638 or contact us online.
How Bolt Burdon Kemp can help
We have experienced and sympathetic solicitors who specialise in claims against the police and we have helped many individuals who have been abused by the police to win their cases.
We know that it can be hard to talk openly about these subjects but you can trust in our expert team of police abuse lawyers to handle your case sensitively. We understand the lasting trauma that sexual abuse can leave behind and we’ll treat your individual case with empathy and respect.
Here are some other reasons why you can rely on us:
- We’re fully approved: we are quality-approved to undertake legal aid work for child abuse compensation claims by the Legal Aid Agency (LAA). Our expert solicitors also hold memberships with the Association of Child Abuse Lawyers (ACAL), the Law Society’s specialist Personal Injury Panel and the Association of Personal Injury Lawyers (APIL).
- We hold multiple accreditations: our accreditations show our commitment and dedication to our client cases. We’re also featured in The Legal 500 2023, specifically for our expertise in the area of child abuse compensation claims, and Chambers and Partners.
- We offer early initiative therapy: when you make a police abuse compensation claim, you can access our therapy funding initiative. This can help to rebuild your life and enable you to move forward.
- We have over 35 years’ experience: we’re experts at dealing with abuse claims, with a proven success record of helping survivors to get the compensation that they deserve. We aim to make the process as swift as possible for you.
- No win no fee: we take many cases on a ‘no win no fee’ basis so, whatever your financial situation, we can help to find a way to fund your claim.