This is a case whereby Irvings Law successfully took action against Essex Police in relation to an incident where their officers handcuffed and detained a man of good character on a busy road on suspicion of car theft, even though he was the lawful owner of the vehicle.
In November 2019, our client (who is referred to as ‘Robert’ for the purpose of this case report) was driving normally when he was stopped by Essex Police Officers. The said Officers approached Robert’s car and asked him to wind down his window and provide them with his car keys; instructions which he willingly complied with. Afterwards, Robert was asked to exit his vehicle and when he did so, he was immediately grabbed and handcuffed on a busy street. This was very embarrassing and distressing for Robert as he had never before been in trouble with the Police.
Robert was then placed and detained within the back of a police van whilst he was still in handcuffs. Robert was told that his vehicle had been reported stolen and he was subsequently asked where he had purchased it from. Robert gladly disclosed this information to the attending Officers and upon Police enquiries being made, it was found that the car was stolen and had been previously involved in a robbery, however, it had later been recovered by Essex Police. Following the recovery of the vehicle, the Essex Police instructed an insurance company to repair the damage of the vehicle and sold it on to Robert’s friend who then sold it on to Robert.
Essex Police simply had made an error by not updating the records on their system to confirm that the vehicle was no longer stolen and this led to the unlawful detention and handcuffing of Robert at the roadside in front of many people watching what was happening to him.
Shortly after this incident, Robert contacted Irvings Law who immediately recognised this to be a case of false imprisonment and assault/battery worthy of compensation. As such, Irvings Law agreed to represent Robert throughout these proceedings on a no win no fee basis.
Upon receipt of instructions from Robert, Irvings Law obtained the evidence relating to Robert arising from this incident. After careful consideration of all the same, it became apparent that Essex Police had been aware that Robert was the lawful owner of the vehicle in question since February 2019.
On this basis, a Letter of Claim was submitted to Essex Police on behalf of Robert which alleged that he had not been lawfully detained and because of this, Robert had also been assaulted due to the application of handcuffs arising from an unlawful imprisonment. Soon after this, Essex Police made an offer of compensation to Robert in the sum of £750.00 to settle his claim.
Irvings Law explained to Robert that the deprivation of his liberty at the roadside, even for a short period of time, was worth more than what Essex Police were offering and advised Robert to make a higher, more appropriate, counter offer to Essex Police. This offer was later accepted by Essex Police and Robert’s claim was settled for £1,000.00.