Al-Fayed and others v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis and others: CA 25 Nov 2004

The appellants appealed from dismissal of their claims for wrongful imprisonment by the respondent. Each had attended at a police station for interview on allegations of theft. They had been arrested and held pending interview and then released. Mr Rowland had left a box in the safe security system under the appellants control. They variously admitted having opened the box without consent, but denied any theft. No charges followed. The officer took legal advice before making the arrests. The appellants denied that there were reasonable grounds for suspicion.
Held: ‘it is important not to lose sight of the distinction between availability of evidence and information amounting to prima facie proof and information, maybe falling short of admissible evidence, capable of amounting to reasonable grounds for suspicion for the purpose of section 24(6). The judge had identified carefully how each officer had concluded that he had reasonable suspicion sufficient to justify the arrest. The court derived several principles of law: In determining all Castorina questions the state of mind is that of the arresting officer, subjective as to the fact of his suspicion, and objective as to whether he had reasonable grounds for it and whether he exercised his discretionary power of arrest Wednesbury reasonably. It is for the police to establish that an arresting officer suspected that the claimant had committed an arrestable offence and that he had reasonable grounds for his submission. If the police establish those requirements, the arrest is lawful unless the claimant can establish on Wednesbury principles that the arresting officer’s exercise or non-exercise of his power of arrest was unreasonable. Given the burden on the claimant, the reasonableness requirement may, according to circumstances be narrowed by the human rights jurisprudence. The appeals were dismissed.

Lord Justice Auld Lord Justice Tuckey Jackson, Mr Justice Jackson
[2004] EWCA Civ 1579
Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 24(6)
England and Wales
CitedDumbell v Roberts CA 1944
The court discussed the nature of reasonable grounds for suspicion for an arrest. The threshold for the existence of reasonable grounds for suspicion is low, and the requirement is limited. Scott LJ said: ‘The protection of the public is safeguarded . .
CitedHussein v Chang Fook Kam PC 1970
In determining whether the information available to an officer is sufficient to give rise to a reasonable suspicion and charge, the test to be applied by a police officer is ‘Suspicion in its ordinary meaning is a state of conjuncture or surmise . .
CitedO’Hara v Chief Constable of the Royal Ulster Constabulary HL 21-Nov-1996
Second Hand Knowledge Supports Resaobnable Belief
The plaintiff had been arrested on the basis of the 1984 Act. The officer had no particular knowledge of the plaintiff’s involvement, relying on a briefing which led to the arrest.
Held: A reasonable suspicion upon which an arrest was founded . .
CitedCastorina v Chief Constable of Surrey CA 10-Jun-1988
Whether an officer had reasonable cause to arrest somebody without a warrant depended upon an objective assessment of the information available to him, and not upon his subjective beliefs. The court had three questions to ask (per Woolf LJ): ‘(a) . .
CitedCumming and others v Chief Constable of Northumbria Police CA 17-Dec-2003
The six claimants sought damages for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment. Each had been arrested on an officer’s suspicion. They operated CCTV equipment, and it appeared that tapes showing the commission of an offence had been tampered with. Each . .
CitedCumming and others v Chief Constable of Northumbria Police CA 9-Jun-2003
Application for permission to appeal from dismissal of claims for wrongful arrest.
Held: Granted . .
CitedLaporte, Regina (on the Application of) v Gloucestershire Constabulary and others Admn 19-Feb-2004
The court considered a claim for judicial review of a police officer’s decision to turn back a number of coaches. Each coach contained passengers en route to join a demonstration at an RAF base in Gloucestershire, the officer honestly and reasonably . .
CitedRegina (Daly) v Secretary of State for the Home Department HL 23-May-2001
A prison policy requiring prisoners not to be present when their property was searched and their mail was examined was unlawful. The policy had been introduced after failures in search procedures where officers had been intimidated by the presence . .
CitedPaul v Chief Constable of Humberside Police CA 17-Mar-2004
. .
CitedRegina v Shayler HL 21-Mar-2002
The defendant had been a member of the security services. On becoming employed, and upon leaving, he had agreed to keep secret those matters disclosed to him. He had broken those agreements and was being prosecuted. He sought a decision that the . .
CitedRegina v Director of Public Prosecutions, ex parte Kebilene and others HL 28-Oct-1999
(Orse Kebeline) The DPP’s appeal succeeded. A decision by the DPP to authorise a prosecution could not be judicially reviewed unless dishonesty, bad faith, or some other exceptional circumstance could be shown. A suggestion that the offence for . .
CitedRegina v A (Complainant’s Sexual History) (No 2) HL 17-May-2001
The fact of previous consensual sex between complainant and defendant could be relevant in a trial of rape, and a refusal to allow such evidence could amount to a denial of a fair trial to a defendant. Accordingly, where the evidence was so relevant . .
CitedStott (Procurator Fiscal, Dunfermline) and Another v Brown PC 5-Dec-2000
The system under which the registered keeper of a vehicle was obliged to identify herself as the driver, and such admission was to be used subsequently as evidence against her on a charge of driving with excess alcohol, was not a breach of her right . .
CitedRe S (Children: Care Plan); In re W and B (Children: Care plan) In re W (Child: Care plan) HL 14-Mar-2002
The Court of Appeal had imposed conditions upon the care plan to be implemented by the local authorities, identifying certain ‘starred’ essential milestones. The local authorities appealed.
Held: This was not a legitimate extension of the . .
CitedHolgate-Mohammed v Duke HL 1984
A police officer had purported to arrest the plaintiff under the 1967 Act, suspecting her of theft. After interview she was released several hours later without charge. She sought damages alleging wrongful arrest. The judge had found that he had . .
CitedRe S (Children: Care Plan); In re W and B (Children: Care plan) In re W (Child: Care plan) HL 14-Mar-2002
The Court of Appeal had imposed conditions upon the care plan to be implemented by the local authorities, identifying certain ‘starred’ essential milestones. The local authorities appealed.
Held: This was not a legitimate extension of the . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Brind HL 7-Feb-1991
The Home Secretary had issued directives to the BBC and IBA prohibiting the broadcasting of speech by representatives of proscribed terrorist organisations. The applicant journalists challenged the legality of the directives on the ground that they . .
CitedFox, Campbell and Hartley v The United Kingdom ECHR 30-Aug-1990
The court considered the required basis for a reasonable suspicion to found an arrest without a warrant: ‘The ‘reasonableness’ of the suspicion on which an arrest must be based forms an essential part of the safeguard against arbitrary arrest and . .
CitedRegina v Secretary of State for the Home Department ex parte Bugdaycay HL 19-Feb-1986
Three applicants had lied on entry to secure admission, stayed for a considerable time, and had been treated as illegal immigrants under section 33(1). The fourth’s claim that upon being returned he would been killed, had been rejected without . .
CitedMurray v The United Kingdom ECHR 8-Feb-1996
The applicant had been denied legal advice for 48 hours after he had been taken into custody.
Held: There had been a violation of article 6(1) read with article 6(3)(c). However, it was not a breach of human rights to draw inferences from the . .
CitedWilding v Chief Constable of Lancashire CA 22-May-1995
The court considered a claim by a woman for wrongful arrest and unlawful detention by police officers who had reasonably suspected her of burglary of the house of her former partner. In interview by the police, she denied the offence and made . .

Cited by:
CitedRichardson v The Chief Constable of West Midlands Police QBD 29-Mar-2011
The claimant, a teacher, said he had been unlawfully arrested and detained after an allegation of assault from a pupil. Having attended the police station voluntarily, he said that the circumstances did not satisfy the required precondition that an . .
CitedCommissioner of Police of The Metropolis v Copeland CA 22-Jul-2014
The defendant appealed against the award of damages for assault, false imprisonment and malicious prosection, saying that the question posed for the jury were misdirections, and that the jury’s decision was perverse. The claimant was attending the . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Torts – Other, Police

Updated: 18 December 2021; Ref: scu.219706