Bedfordshire Police Authority v Constable: CA 12 Feb 2009

The police had responded to a riot at Yarlswood detention centre. They had insurance to cover their liability under the 1886 Act, but the re-insurers said that the insurance did not cover the event, saying that the liability was for statutory compensation and not in damages as covered by the insurance policy.
Held: The insured’s appeal failed. Once one appreciates that the reason for the 1886 Act placing the burden of paying compensation to the victims of riot damage on the police authority is that the police are responsible for law and order and that they are (notionally) in breach of that responsibility, it seems to me, as an English lawyer, that compensation payable is a sum which the police authority is ‘liable to pay as damages’.

[2009] EWCA Civ 64
Riot (Damages) Act 1886 2
England and Wales
CitedJ W Dwyer Ltd v Metropolitan Police District Receiver 1967
The owner of a jewellery shop claimed to recover compensation from the police for damage to his shop in a smash and grab raid. Since there were more than 3 robbers, the police accepted that there had been a riot but defended the claim on the basis . .
CitedDH Edmonds Ltd v East Sussex Police Authority CA 6-Jul-1988
The plaintiffs Brighton jewellers sought compensation from the police authority for a raid on their premises by three or four men. Kenneth Jones J at first instance held that the incident did not involve a tumultuous assembly and accordingly the . .
CitedHall Brothers Steamship Company Limited v Young 1938
The insured vessel, Trident, went to Dunkirk and engaged a French pilot whose pilot boat developed a fault in its steering gear which caused her to collide with Trident without Trident being in any way to blame. French law had a provision that . .
CitedHall Brothers Steamship Company Limited v Young CA 1939
The shipowners appealed a decision that the underwriters were not liable under collision liability clause. Their ship had collided with another at Dunkirk when the steering gear failed. Under french law the pilot was not liable since he had not been . .
CitedSunport Shipping Limited, Prometheus Maritime Corporation, Celestial Maritime Corporation, Surzur Overseas Limited v Tryg-Baltica International (UK) Ltd (Formerly Know As Colonia Baltica Insurance Ltd) and others CA 24-Jan-2003
(The ‘Kleovoulos of Rhodes’) A large quantity of cocaine was discovered by divers behind a grille in a sea chest at the vessel’s discharge port, Aliveri – having been placed there by unknown third persons at the load port in Colombia, South America. . .
CitedCharterhouse Development (France) Limited v Sharp ChD 1998
French courts had held the claimant liable to remedy the deficiency of an insolvent company’s assets under a French law. The insured now sought repayment by its insurers, who denied that this was a payment of damages.
Held: The payment was . .
CitedYorkshire Water Services Ltd v Sun Alliance and London Insurance Plc and Others (1) CA 20-Aug-1996
The court was asked whether the costs of flood alleviation works were recoverable under public liability insurance policies.
Held: A claim for the costs of remedial action taken to mitigate future losses were not covered by the terms of the . .
CitedBartoline Limited v Royal Sun Alliance plc 2007
The claimant sought an indemnity under the Public Liability Section of a Combined Policy for: (i) expense incurred by the Environment Agency under section 161 of the Water Resources Act 1991 cleaning up water courses of pollutants after a fire on . .
Appeal fromBedfordshire Police Authority v Constable and others ComC 20-Jun-2008
The authority insured its primary liability for compensation under the 1886 Act through the claimants and the excess of liability through re-insurers. The parties sought clarification from the court of the respective liabilities of the insurance . .
See AlsoYarl’s Wood Immigration Ltd and others v Bedfordshire Police Authority ComC 30-Sep-2008
The owners of the Yarslwood Immigration centre sought damages under the 1886 Act after a riot at the centre caused substantial damage.
Held: The claim failed: ‘The fact that YWIL and GSL [the appellants] were acting as public authorities . .

Cited by:
See AlsoYarl’s Wood Immigration Ltd and Others v Bedfordshire Police Authority CA 23-Oct-2009
The claimant sought to recover the costs of damage to their centre following a riot, saying that under the 1886 Act, they were liable. It appealed against a ruling that they were unable to claim as a public authority, saying that the 1886 Act was . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Insurance

Updated: 01 November 2021; Ref: scu.282613