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Wrongful Arrest and False Imprisonment

Our solicitors can help you claim compensation for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment by the police in England and Wales.

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Claiming Compensation for Wrongful Arrest and Imprisonment

If you have been a victim of wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, we can help you claim compensation from the police force responsible.

Our experienced and compassionate solicitors understand how traumatic wrongful arrest and imprisonment can be.

We recognise that the experience of being wrongly arrested and detained can cause psychological harm, damage to reputation and even physical injury – which is why we are proud to fight for the compensation you deserve.

We offer no win, no fee arrangements, so you’ll only need to pay a fee if your compensation claim is successful.

If you believe you have been unlawfully arrested or detained by police, speak to our police misconduct solicitors today to discuss taking legal action.

Call us on 0800 0 224 224 or request a call back for free, no-obligation legal advice.

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Why Choose Thompsons?

Thompsons only ever acts for the mistreated, never for those responsible for mistreatment or injury. We are fully on your side.

We’ve been working within the trade union movement for over 100 years. This means we have plenty of experience of representing people who have been wrongly arrested by the police during demonstrations and on picket lines.

Our specialist lawyers are fully trained in supporting people with brain injuries and learning disabilities who have had negative interactions with the police.

Need legal advice?

Our lawyers are on hand to discuss your situation and talk through the process of making a claim.

Frequently asked questions about wrongful arrest and false imprisonment

Wrongful arrest, sometimes called unlawful arrest or false arrest, happens when the police fail to meet the requirements of a lawful arrest.

Under the law in England and Wales, the police do not need a warrant to make an arrest.  To make a lawful arrest, the officer must have reasonable grounds and the arrest must be necessary. To satisfy these requirements, the arresting officer must have:

  • A good reason to suspect that you may have committed a crime, and
  • A good reason to believe that it is necessary to arrest you rather than taking another approach, such as removing you from a situation, cautioning you or asking you to attend the police station for a voluntary interview.

If you were arrested and the officer did not meet the above criteria, you could be eligible to claim compensation for unlawful arrest.

For an arrest to be lawful, the arresting officer must also:

  • Identify themselves as a police officer
  • Inform you that you are being arrested
  • Tell you what criminal offence they believe you have committed.

If the arresting officer fails to meet these requirements, the arrest would not be lawful and you could make a wrongful arrest claim.

If you have suffered due to wrongful arrest, speak to our solicitors to discuss taking legal action against the police.

False imprisonment, also known as unlawful detention is defined as the ‘deprivation of liberty’ without legal authority.

If your arrest is unlawful then the police do not have legal authority to detain you. So, if you have been wrongly arrested and taken to the police station, this would be classed as false imprisonment and you may be entitled to compensation.

If you are lawfully arrested, the police must follow strict rules regarding the length of time they can hold you in custody.

Generally, the police can hold you for up to 24 hours before they have to charge you with a crime or release you.

There are some exceptions to this:

  • Police can apply to extend the detention period for up to 36 or 96 hours if you are suspected of a serious crime, such as murder
  • If you are arrested under the Terrorism Act, you can be detained without charge for up to 14 days.

If the police do not follow these guidelines, this can be classed as false imprisonment and can lead to claims against the police.

If you have been detained by police for longer than the legal detention period, request a call back with our experienced solicitors.

The amount of compensation you can claim for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment depends on how long you were detained and how you were treated during this time.

As a general guideline, you may be able to claim around £870 for the first hour of false imprisonment, which increases to around £5,210 for 24 hours. 

In some cases, you may also be entitled to claim aggravated and exemplary damages, however it is rare for these to be awarded. 

Aggravated damages can be awarded where the police have deliberately acted to cause injury to feelings or where basic damages are insufficient.

Exemplary damages are damages meant to punish the police for oppressive, arbitrary or unconstitutional action.