Police officers generally have broad powers to carry out their duties. However, laws, regulations and guidance, place limits on how far police can go. The primary purpose of those laws is to protect individuals and groups from police violating their powers.
If you have been unlawfully treated by the police making a complaint is an important first step in taking action against them. The process can be complex, legal advice and representation will be extremely useful at an early stage to ensure your case is not ignored, or in with a more serious matter that that the case is properly investigated.
Complaints against the Police should be investigated by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) or the Professional Standards Department depending upon the seriousness of the issue.
The Public Interest Law Centre can help make sure your case is dealt with properly, and we will act to ensure that it is responded to promptly and appropriately. To bring a successful claim against the police or another detaining authority, your complaint may fall into one of the following areas
- False or wrongful imprisonment
- Arrested without reasonable grounds
- Excessive use of force – for instance the use of taser guns.
- Detention for longer than is legal
- Wrongful arrest
- Malicious prosecution or harassment – such as unlawful targeting
- Misfeasance in public office
- Abuse of your human rights
It is important that you seek legal action early as there are time limits on bringing a case. Cases based purely on discrimination claims (race, sex etc.) must be issued at court within six months. Complaints based around the Human Rights Act must be issued within one year. If you have been assaulted the time limit is three years from when you were assaulted, and in most other cases, six years.
Lawyers from the Public Interest Law Centre will be happy to speak with you and we are able to arrange home, hospital or prison visits – getting touch vis our contact page