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Mr Matthew McConville, Head of Irvings Law’s specialist Actions Against the Police Department, has successfully represented a client in a claim for compensation against Lancashire Constabulary but due to confidentiality, the client will be referred to as Ms S.

Ms S was at home with her then partner and they were drinking together before they became embroiled in an argument whereby he threatened her resulting in Ms S calling Lancashire Constabulary for help via 999. After this, several Police Officers attended the Claimant’s home and despite Ms S being the one whom called for assistance, she was arrested to prevent a further breach of the peace. Ms S was then handcuffed tightly before being pushed into a Police van that arrived shortly after which took her to the Police Station and during such a journey, Ms S was called names by the Police Officers whom had arrested her and she was laughed at too. When at custody, Ms S was again thrown to the floor face first where she could not break her fall (as she was still handcuffed) before she was then further arrested for assaulting a police constable. If that was not enough, Ms S was then strip searched not in a private room with female Police Officers but in the presence of members of the opposite sex at the main desk; the said strip search produced a negative yield. After this, Ms S was given clothes to wear and non-prescribed medication was found in her handbag so she was also additionally arrested on suspicion of possessing a Class B or C drug.  After her interview the next day, Ms S was released from custody; she was given no further action was taken in relation to the breach of the peace allegation but she was released under investigation in respect of the additional offences that she was arrested for. Due to how she had been treated, Ms S lodged an immediate complaint to Lancashire Constabulary and despite doing so, no bodycam or cctv footage was preserved.


Given the above, Ms S approached specialist Actions Against the Police Solicitors, Irvings Law, for assistance many months later. Mr McConville immediately acknowledged that what had happened was completely wrong and without hesitation, offered to act for Ms S by way of “no win, no fee”. Before presenting a claim to Lancashire Constabulary for Human Rights infringements, False Imprisonment and Assault/Battery, Mr McConville requested an update from them in regards to the outstanding criminal and complaint investigations. Only when Mr McConville reached out to Lancashire Constabulary did they given Ms S no further action in regards to the assaulting a police constable allegation and a caution in respect of the possession of a Class B or C drug; they also then investigated Ms S’ complaint which was dismissed save for the acceptance that vital bodycam and/or cctv footage ought to have been preserved.


In response to the claim, Lancashire Constabulary refused to accept that Ms S’ human right had been infringed nor was she falsely imprisoned and/or assaulted/battered when arrested too. Knowing that this Defence to such a claim was weak, Mr McConville advised Ms S to issue and serve Court proceedings which spun over five years of robust litigation. Then, only ten days before Trial did Lancashire Constabulary wish to resolve Ms S’ claim whereupon a settlement of £47,500.00 was agreed between the parties.

Author: Matthew McConville