Metropolitan Police Service pay compensation after arresting victim of identity fraud

Tuesday 28 March 2017

Una Morris of the Garden Court Chambers Civil Liberties Team represented the claimant in S v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis.

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In 2012, unbeknown to the claimant, a vehicle that appeared to have been registered in his name was used in an offence of fraud in Essex. 

An officer of Essex Police compiled still images from CCTV footage, which included a photograph of a man who appeared to be of Asian origin who was involved in the crime, and supplied the information to the Met Police, along with the claimant’s details. The officer requested that Met Police officers use the photograph of the man to form an identification for any arrest.

The claimant, who is of Indian origin, was at the home of a family member when Met Police officers arrived. Upon the claimant going to the door, he was immediately arrested and handcuffed. The claimant’s wife, who was present, was extremely distressed at seeing the claimant being arrested and the force that was being used on him. The claimant’s wife followed the claimant and the officers to the police station and waited for several hours.

The claimant was detained at the police station for in excess of 12 hours before officers from Essex Police arrived. When the claimant was interviewed, the officer from Essex Police who had compiled the images said that when he saw the claimant, he knew immediately that he was not the man in the photograph.

The claimant brought claims in false imprisonment and assault and battery against the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and alleged, as an aggravating feature of his claim, that the treatment of him by Met Police officers was discriminatory. The case settled, with the claimant receiving damages and costs.

Una Morris represented the claimant instructed by Ruth Mellor of Saunders Solicitors. Una Morris is a barrister in the Garden Court Chambers Actions Against the Police and Civil Liberties Teams.

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