The process of claiming against the police (pre-trial)

If you’ve been wronged by the police, you’re within your rights to make a claim. The police are entrusted to protect us, but some police officers have been known to abuse their position and cause lasting physical and emotional damage to victims and their families.

To prepare yourself in making  a claim against the police, we’ve put together a list of what you can expect before your case goes to trial.

Time limits for making a claim

If you’ve been wronged by the police, it’s vital that you make your claim as soon as possible. Not only will this allow you to have the most accurate memory of what happened, but will also ensure that you remain within the legal time limits for making a complaint against the police. The time limitations for making a claim are as follows:

  • HRA (Human Rights Act) Claims – 6 months from the date of the incident
  • Negligence / assault claims – 3 years from the date of the incident
  • False imprisonment / misfeasance / trespass claims – 6 years from the date of the incident

You must file a Claim Form within the above timeframes, detailing the precise nature of your complaint.

Pre-trial arrangements

Prior to the complaint being taken to court, there are a number of stages the complaint must pass before it makes it to trial.

Once the Claim Form has been filed, it will be issued to the police with the details of the nature of the complaint, as well as information about the case. The police, if they choose to go on the defence, will explain why they have chosen to defend it. This is known as ‘filing a defence’.

Once the police have come back with their defence, both parties are then required to complete an ‘Allocation Questionnaire’, which will be used to explain more details of the dispute to the court. Often included in the questionnaire is how many witnesses there were, and if there are any medical conditions the victim has sustained due to the incident.

At this point, both sides will be given a list of tasks that they must complete in order for the case to go to trial, these include:

  • Disclosure: both sides exchange lists of the documents that they have which are relevant to the case. You will be able to request copies of any documents from the police that you would like to see.
  • Preparing witness statements.
  • Preparing any medical evidence for or against the claim (if this hasn’t already been done).

Both sides will then be advised to send their questionnaires back to court, so that the court can prepare for the trial. The person making the claim against the police will then be asked to prepare their own documents for trial, and the trial will then begin.

If you’d like to make a claim against the police, it’s important that you get legal advice from a professional. Here at DPP Law, our expert team of solicitors have years of experience in handling cases against the police, and are dedicated to helping our clients get the justice they deserve.

Fill out our contact form for more information on how we can help you.