Merseyside Police pay compensation for unlawful stop and search

Thursday 21 April 2016

On 12 November 2013, the claimant was stopped and searched by two constables from the Merseyside Police Matrix Disruption team. During the course of the incident, one of the officers took hold of the claimant’s left arm and restrained him, while the other officer performed a pat-down search. The claimant was represented by Una Morris of Garden Court Chambers’ Claims against the Police and Public Authorities Team.

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After a four-day trial before Mr Recorder Rigby sitting with a jury, the claimant succeeded in his claim for damages for false imprisonment and assault against Merseyside Police.

The effect of the jury's verdict was that there had been a failure to fully comply with section 2 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 in that the claimant had not been provided with all of the information required by the statute.

The jury also rejected the officers’ evidence that, during the incident lasting a few minutes, the claimant had been held in approved restraint techniques, specifically the transport wrist lock and the escort position. Instead, the jury concluded that one of the officers had pulled the claimant’s arm behind his back and twisted it.

Merseyside Police had failed to uphold the claimant’s complaint, made the very same day as the incident.

Following the jury’s verdict on liability, Merseyside Police agreed to pay the claimant £2,000 in compensation in addition to his legal costs.

The claimant was represented by Una Morris of Garden Court Chambers' Claims against the Police and Public Authorities Team, instructed by Jonathan Smallwood of Broudie Jackson Canter.

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