Any physical detention (whether at the police station or in prison or simply on the street) has to be justified by law. If it cannot be justified then it amounts to false imprisonment and that certainly applies to stop & searches or drug searches.
Recent cases involving Stop and Search
We represented a client who police attempted to stop and search after he had executed a “suspicious“ manoeuvre in his car. It also happens to be the case that the car was a nice one and our client is black.
The police used excessive force in executing the search and then arrested our client for supposedly obstructing the search. He was taken to the police station, charged and prosecuted. MK Law represented him throughout and we persuaded the CPS to drop the prosecution on the basis that there was not sufficient evidence. We then sued the police for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution. The claim was settled with the police agreeing to pay our client £16,000 plus his legal costs.
The same client was on another occasion stopped and searched by police on the point of using his front door key to get into his home. Our client reluctantly allowed the police officers to complete the search, which resulted in their finding nothing. Our client was effectively detained for 10 minutes. His claim against the police was settled with the police agreeing to pay him £2,000 compensation, together with his legal costs.