Farleys Solicitors acted on behalf of Mr R in connection with a claim against the Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary arising from the execution of a warrant under S.23 of the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 at his home address.
A claim was brought pursuant to the Human Rights Act 1998 for breach of Article 8 (a right to respect for one’s private and family life, his home and his correspondence)
On the aforementioned date officers of Lancashire Constabulary forced entry to Mr R’s home and entered his property. They advised him that they were executing a warrant and his house was searched. Mr R was subjected to a strip search in his living room. Nothing was found and the police confirmed that there were no ongoing enquiries in respect of Mr R. Understandably, he found the experience extremely frightening, humiliating and demeaning and it had a significant adverse impact upon him.
It was alleged on behalf Mr R that the search carried out upon him was disproportionate and breach of his Article 8 right in view of the fact that:-
No drugs or items relating to drug dealing had been found in the premises at the point where the decision to strip search him
The police had forced entry into his home thereby giving him no warning of their arrival and no realistic opportunity of secreting on his person
Lack of procedural safeguards afforded to him
Liability was firmly denied by the police on the basis that a search warrant had been obtained under the Misuse of Drugs Act 1971 and executed at Mr R’s home address. They advised that the warrant was obtained after numerous pieces of graded intelligence were received relating to drug dealing and which included activity at Mr R’s address.
Disclosure of the information upon which the police had relied upon in obtaining the warrant was requested. This contained B21 graded intelligence and disclosure was resisted for reasons of public interest immunity. A heavily redacted intelligence report was disclosed which included two references to Mr R’s address later in the document.
There was a bail hostel positioned across the road from Mr R’s address and the police were asked to demonstrate that proper steps were taken to verify the connection between Mr R’s address and the offence under investigation. It was contended that on the basis of the evidence provided in the case that the Defendant was unable to show that they took reasonable and available precautions and that there was a failure to do so.
A protective claim was issued at court on behalf of Mr R in light of the firm denial of liability and due to the strict 12 months time limit for bringing a Human Rights claim. Prior to service of this claim an offer to settle Mr R’s claim was put to the police. Negotiations were entered into and settlement was achieved in favour of Mr R. He received £3,500 to reflect a breach of his Article 8 right.
Mr R was represented by Kelly Darlington of Farleys Solicitors.
If you feel you have been badly treated or falsely detained by the authorities, you may have a claim for compensation. Contact Farleys Solicitors on 0845 287 0939 or email us.