Dennis, Regina (on the Application of) v Independent Police Complaints Commission: Admn 6 May 2008

The claimant was stood at her door when she was taken by police officers, an armed gun pointed at her, laid on the ground and her hands bound. She was held for fifteen minutes. She was entirely innocent, but the officers were looking for armed suspects. She complained that the defendant had not dealt with her complaint properly in finding no officer at fault.
Held: The power contained in section 3 of the 1967 Act included a power to use force to remove an innocent third party from the scene of a potentially violent arrest where guns might be fired, and also to search her under section 47 of the 1968 Act. However the caseworker had fundamentally misconstrued the basis on which the claimant was kept in that condition.
As to whether the PCA had a power to re-open a decision: ‘Much may depend on the type of decision it is sought to change and the effect that such a change has on the rights of the parties. While not wishing to express any concluded view as to the power to change a decision on dispensing with an investigation, I am satisfied that where an appeal decision had been made and promulgated, there is no power to vary it by reason of further representations. To rule in any other way would lead to uncertainty.’


Saunders J


[2008] EWHC 1158 (Admin)




Police Reform Act 2002, Criminal Law Act 1967 3(1), Firearms Act 1968 47


CitedRegina v Police Complaints Authority ex parte Hanratty 25-Jul-1995
The court was asked whether the Police Complaints Authority had a power to re-open its own decision. Brooke J said: ‘Each of these cases turns on the particular statutory background . . (I leave open for another day) the question whether in any . .
CitedWilkinson, Regina (on the Application of) v Police Complaints Authority and others Admn 19-Mar-2004
A complaint was to be investigated by the Merseyside Police. They obtained permission from the Police Complaints Authority to dispense with the investigation when the complainant had gone missing and therefore the complaint could not be . .

Cited by:

CitedCoker, Regina (on The Application of) v Independent Police Complaints Commission QBD 16-Nov-2010
The claimant sought judicial review of a decision made by the respondents on her complaint, which was that no misconduct proceedings had been brought. Her brother had been arrested and died in custody. The Commission had recommended such . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.


Updated: 15 July 2022; Ref: scu.268714