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Wrongful Arrest Claims


Funding options for wrongful arrest claims

No win, no fee

Be represented by a highly-experienced civil liberties lawyer at no upfront cost to you. Under our No Win, No Fee agreement you only pay a pre-agreed percentage of the compensation awarded if your case is successful.

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What is wrongful arrest?

What is wrongful arrest?

UK law says that a police officer can only arrest a person if they are wanted on a warrant or if they have “reasonable belief” that someone might have been involved in a criminal offence, or be about to commit an offence, and they, therefore, believe it is necessary to arrest them.

If you wanted to bring a claim of wrongful arrest, the allegation would hinge on two main things

  • Whether the officer should or shouldn’t have believed that the person may have been involved in a criminal offence or about to commit an offence.
  • Whether or not it was necessary to conduct an arrest.

If inquiries could have been continued without an arrest taking place, then a wrongful arrest may have occurred.

The officer’s belief at the time of the arrest can also be questioned and come under scrutiny after the event, especially if it appears that it was unreasonable for them to suspect the individual of a crime.

Read more in our ‘What is wrongful arrest’ blog.


Specialists in wrongful arrest claims

Specialists in wrongful arrest claims

Our team at Hudgell Solicitors are highly experienced in supporting people who have been wrongfully arrested in making claims against the police force involved.

Whilst we all understand, and to a degree accept, that unlawful arrests will happen as part of the police trying to get to the bottom of cases, there still has to be a genuine reason for each and every arrest carried out.

You will benefit from:

  • An expert legal team experienced in holding public authorities to account.
  • A practice that has the benefit of a legal aid franchise and as such, is able to act for the most vulnerable clients, at no cost to you.
  • An award-winning team that has been nationally recognised and widely accredited for delivering civil liberties legal services to clients.

The arrest procedures police must follow

The arrest procedures police must follow

The power to arrest should only be used by the police as a last resort. There must be a lawful reason to make an arrest in the first place, otherwise, this can be considered to be a unlawful arrest.

Any equipment used by the police (such as batons, tear gas, taser guns, or firearms) will also be taken into account when a decision is being made as to whether the force used was reasonable and lawful.

When making an arrest, police must follow a set procedure. Amongst other things, the arresting officer must identify themselves, tell the individual what crime they are suspected of having committed, and explain why an arrest is necessary.

If you feel you were unlawfully arrested, contact our police claims team today for free advice as time limits do apply to these claims.


Why seek unlawful arrest compensation?

Why seek unlawful arrest compensation?

Claiming for unlawful arrest can help to restore unfairly damaged reputations.

When people turn to our team at Hudgell Solicitors after being unlawfully arrested they are often understandably very angry. However, their motivation is not usually about revenge or financial compensation, but about restoring their reputation and standing in their community.

They are usually badly affected by the horrendous period they and their families have been put through. It can impact not only on their family and friends, but also at work. People can find themselves suspended from their jobs for a long period of time, as did a magistrate we successfully represented who was wrongly accused of committing a crime.

Cases we have represented include a man wrongly arrested for murder and locked up for 36 hours, and another who was led away by police from his place of work, wrongly accused of committing a sexual assault. In both cases, the investigating police forces soon realised the errors of their ways, but the damage had already been done.


Client stories

Client stories

Ensuring you get the wrongful arrest compensation you deserve

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noel thomas concept public inquiry post office horizon inquiry mini image

‘There are 500 more who suffered like me, waiting in the background for justice’

A Sub-Postmaster wrongfully jailed for crimes he hadn’t committed has told the Post Office Horizon IT Inquiry that he agreed to take part as he wants others who also suffered to come forward and secure justice. Noel Thomas, of Anglesey, was one of more than 700 sub-postmasters and sub-postmistresses prosecuted by the Post Office based […]

How to make a wrongful arrest claim

How to make a claim

Make a claim in five easy steps

Step 1

Free Initial Advice

Call us, request a callback or complete our online claim form and we will assess whether we think you have a claim.

Start my claim

Step 2


We will help you to decide how best to fund your claim. Usually we will be able to offer you a No win, No fee agreement.

Step 3

Letter of Claim

We will send a letter to your opponent with details of your claim, setting out why we think they are at fault.

Step 4

Obtain Supporting Evidence & Expert Reports

We will request copies of any supporting documents for your claim and, if appropriate, instruct expert witnesses to provide an opinion in support of your case.

Step 5

Negotiate Settlement

We will review your opponent’s response to our letter of claim and update you on the merits of your claim and any valuation before making any settlement offers.

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Start your claim today

Feel free to give us a call or begin your claim online

Alternatively, call us now on 01482787771

Our client reviews

Our client reviews

We’re always committed to getting the optimum outcome for you.

Fantastic service. Rang based on an enquiry for advice relating to an on-going legal situation and received excellent clear advice and would definitely recommend this firm.
5 Stars
Since Elizabeth Maliakal took over my case for medical negligence. I am pleased to say her service was outstanding. Her communication was excellent. She was always up to date and made sure to keep in touch with me regularly. Elizabeth made sure I understood what was happening and always answered my questions in depth. Coming from a foreign background, I struggle to articulate my thoughts and feelings because of the language barrier, but Elizabeth worked her way around this. I am grateful for all her hard work. Thank you to Elizabeth Maliakal and Hudgell Solicitors.
5 Stars
Darrel Fuentebaja
Thank you to Hudgell Solicitors particularly Sarah Moore who was assigned to my case. I was kept well informed throughout the whole process via email and phone, and always received a prompt reply to any questions that I had. It took a long time for my case to come to close for various reasons but never during this time did I feel rushed or pressured into making a decision. Sarah was very empathetic and supported me throughout with her excellent level of knowledge and professionalism. Thank you again.
5 Stars
My solicitor susan has dealt with my claim quickly and professionally, im very happy with the service i have received, simon burrows
5 Stars
Kerry Blanchard
Chris Trousdale was the one of the youngest miscarriages of justice victims as a result of the Post Office Horizon scandal.
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What should I do if I am wrongfully arrested?

If you believe you are being wrongfully arrested, try to remain calm throughout the procedure. It can be emotionally distressing; however, it is best to stay calm and level-headed.

Anyone who is arrested must be told by the police why they have been detained. If you are arrested, the police can only detain you for a maximum of 24 hours. The Court does have the power to extend this to 96 hours for a more serious arrestable offence.

When you are taken to a police station, you have a legal right to contact a solicitor and speak to them in private. You should communicate with your solicitor about what has happened. From here, you can later decide whether to file a complaint or pursue a claim for compensation.

Can the police be sued for unlawful arrest?

If you have been unlawfully arrested, you can pursue a claim for false imprisonment as well as assault.

If you are the victim of an unlawful arrest, the time spent in custody is classed as being false imprisonment. The amount of damages that could be received would depend upon how long you were unlawfully detained against your will.

Further, if you have been unlawfully arrested, you can automatically claim police assault if you were handcuffed or if unreasonable force was used during the arrest. If your case is successful, the damages awarded would depend on the severity of your injuries – whether they are physical or emotional.

What are the time limits for making a claim of wrongful arrest in the UK?

The time limits vary for claims of police assault and false imprisonment.

For personal injury claims, such as assault or due to negligence in a police station, the person has three years to make a claim. This is three years from the date that the injury took place.

For everything else, including false imprisonment, trespass, and malicious prosecution, you have six years from the date that the event occurred to make a claim against the police.

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Alternatively, call us now on 01482787771

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Our lawyers

Local lawyers at the heart of your community

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Victoria Richardson

Civil Liberties
Group Actions
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Inquest Solicitors
Inquests & Public Inquiries
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What is wrongful arrest?

UK law says that a police officer can only arrest a person if they are wanted on a warrant or if they have “reasonable belief” that someone might have been involved in a criminal offence, or be about to commit an offence, and they therefore believe it is necessary to arrest them. If you wanted […]

7 min read time

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Feel free to give us a call or begin your claim online

Alternatively, call us now on 01482787771

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Wrongful Arrest

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