Police officer loses harassment case after eating crisps

Iain Gould, a Director and Solicitor for DPP Law Ltd specialising in Actions against the Police, recently acted in a successful case for a couple from St Helens. The case was due to police harassment and a violation of human rights, though in an odd twist the story originated from a police officer being caught on camera eating a packet of crisps.

The Case

The victims, Mr R and Mrs M (both 45), were under investigation for alleged burglary from one of their tenants. PC Paul A was making a search of the property when he was filmed on camera eating crisps while in the bedroom using personal CCTV.

Whilst there’s nothing wrong with enjoying a quick snack on the job (despite being highly unprofessional), PC Paul A was accused of stealing the crisps from their kitchen during a search of the property.

While the allegations against Mr R and Mrs M were eventually dropped, they still made a complaint against PC Paul A. He faced an internal investigation but returned to active duty after being cleared.

That should have been the end of the story, but PC Paul A was then spotted outside the couples’ home in his police van, which Mrs M took to be a clear intimidation tactic.

He was reported to have been there for 13 minutes and the incident was reported and the complaint subsequently upheld by the Police Professional Standards department.

The Trial and Verdict

PC Paul A claimed he was finishing paperwork but the investigation sided with Mr R and Mrs M and agreed he was engaging in “oppressive conduct/harassment”.

Rather than let the issue lie though, the couple wanted to press the case further, so took it to court with the help of solicitor Iain Gould from DPP Law Ltd. The trial lasted two days and resulted in damages and costs awarded to Mr R and Mrs M.

What to do if you are facing a harassment case

Harassment by the police or a human rights violation can take on many forms, but when the accused is a police officer, it can be a lot more serious. These are the type of cases where you need expert advice from an experienced legal team such as the solicitors at DPP Law.

Get in touch with our team today to organise a free consultation.