Challenging the abuse of police or investigatory powers is a crucial part of our practice. Our aim is to ensure that investigators are accountable for their actions and that they operate within the law. This includes making sure that they do not obtain evidence against our clients by unlawful means.

Unnecessary arrests and prosecutions can be extremely damaging to a person’s career and reputation, even if that person is later exhonerated. Entries on police databases can cause problems with future careers, foreign travel and access to further education or training.

We are able to challenge policing decisions in all arenas, including the Crown Court, the Administrative Court by way of judicial review and the Investigatory Powers Tribunal. We regularly advise in relation to the following matters:

  • Challenging the use of arrest powers where an individual is willing to co-operate voluntarily, particularly where such an arrest would cause damage to that person’s career and reputation.
  • Applications to remove DNA, fingerprints and photographs from police databases.
  • Applications for judicial review to overturn unlawful or unjustified cautions.
  • Appeals to the Disclosure Barring Service (formerly known as the Criminal Records Bureau) or the Upper Tribunal regarding false or irrelevant information on Enhanced Criminal Records Certificates.
  • Judicial review of search warrants and the subsequent seizure of evidence by the police or other agencies.
  • Applications to discharge Restraint Orders
  • Applications to recover cash seized under the provisions of POCA 2002.

We also advise across the full range of civil actions for this type of work i.e. damages claims for malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, assault, negligence and misfeasance in public office.