It is widely reported today that a rape victim in Hampshire has been awarded £20,000.00 damages by Hampshire Constabulary because of failings in their investigation following her rape ordeal.

The victim who was just 17 at the time of the incident was told by the Police that she was lying about the attack and falsely accused of perverting the course of justice, causing her to attempt to take her own life. The Police Force also ignored forensic evidence for months before finally pursing a case against the accused which led to his eventual imprisonment in 2013. For a full report on the case see here.

The position under Domestic Law is that our Police Forces have no accountability in the Civil Courts. The recent decision in Michael’s (Michael v Chief Constable of South Wales Police [2015] UKSC 2) reaffirmed earlier decisions such that you cannot bring an action for damages against the Police despite blatant negligence on policy grounds. This is something that has also arisen in the Hatton Garden heist where the Police failed to answer the alarm call but have no responsibility to compensate those who lost out.

The only hope for victims comes under the Human Rights Act. The Worboys case was an early example of a claim in securing damages under the Human Rights Act because of a failure by the Police to properly investigate rape allegations. Our Specialist Department at Farleys presently has 3 separate actions on behalf of victims against local Constabularys for Human Rights Act damages in similar circumstances.

These cases highlight the importance of the Human Rights Act and why we must do all we can to protect it. Without the Human Rights Act the Police are above the law. I would call upon the Government to take great care if we replace the Act with our own Bill of Rights to ensure that there is Police accountability and that the victims of Police failings have a right to bring an action for damages in our Domestic Courts and that such right is enshrined in Statute.

For further information or to speak to solicitor who specialises in actions against the police please don’t hesitate to contact Farleys Solicitors on 0845 050 1958. Alternatively please complete an online enquiry form.