The following characteristics are protected by law under Equality Act 2010:

  • age;
  • disability;
  • gender reassignment;
  • marriage and civil partnership;
  • pregnancy and maternity;
  • race;
  • religion or belief;
  • sex;
  • sexual orientation.

There are different ways in which a public service can be said to have discriminated. Sometimes the discrimination is obvious, sometimes it is just that the effect of what they have done is discriminatory. If it is deliberate, it may be they don’t even realise that what they have done is discriminatory.

It is more a case of what they have not done that makes it discrimination. In any of these scenarios though, if you have been discriminated against, you will know, because you will feel it. You may have a case for discrimination. If you think you do, you should speak to a lawyer about it immediately. There is a 6 month time limit in discrimination cases for you to bring your case to court.

Disability Discrimination

You may have a disability which leads you to behave in a particular way and it is this which has gotten you into trouble with the police.

If the police knew about your disability at the time, or ought to have known about it (for example because of previous dealings you have had with them) then it is possible that you have a claim for discrimination.

The police (and any other public service) are under a duty to make reasonable adjustments to their practices in order to avoid a disabled person being disadvantaged. If they fail to do so, then you may have a claim for discrimination.

Recent case involving disability discrimination

We acted for a young man with learning difficulties who lived in local authority supported accommodation. Police attempted to arrest him by employing wholly inappropriate methods that had the effect of escalating what ought to have been a straightforward arrest if sensitively managed. Police then proceeded to charge him with assaulting police. The prosecution was dropped in due course. We then sued the police for assault, malicious prosecution and disability discrimination. Our client received £16,000 compensation together with payment of his legal costs.