DSD and Another v The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis: QBD 28 Feb 2014

The claimants sought damages alleging negligent failure by the police to investigate and find a serial rapist.
Held: The claim succeeded. The claimants were entitled to damages from the defendant, the Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis, as a result of failures by the police properly to investigate serious sexual assaults which had been perpetrated against them. The claims were founded on the propositions that (i) article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights carries with it an obligation on the state to carry out an effective investigation when it receives a credible allegation that serious harm has been caused to an individual, and (ii) there were serious defects in the police investigation of the assaults on the claimants.
Green J explained, with reference to the MC case, he binary nature of the positive obligation arising under articles 3 and 8: ‘ . . There were two relevant aspects. First, whether the state of Bulgarian law on rape was so flawed as to amount to a breach of the state’s positive obligation under articles 3 and 8 (the systemic failings). Secondly, to consider whether the alleged shortcomings in the investigation were, also, so flawed as also to amount to a breach of the state’s obligations under the same articles (the operational failings). Under the heading ‘general approach’ the court explained that the duty to create a corpus of law and the duty to ‘apply them in practice’ through investigation and punishment were separate . . ‘

Green J
[2014] EWHC 436 (QB)
Human Rights Act 7 8, European Convention on Human Rights
England and Wales
ExplainedMC v Bulgaria ECHR 4-Dec-2003
The applicant complained that she had been raped by two men when she was 14 years old. The men were interviewed but it was concluded that they had not used threats or violence and there was no evidence of resistance. The district prosecutor issued a . .

Cited by:
Liability JudgmentDSD and Another v The Commissioner of Police for The Metropolis QBD 23-Jul-2014
The court had found the defendant liable for a breach of the claimants’ human rights in that its negligent investigations had led to further rapes and sexual assaults by an offender. The court now considered what damages might be payable. . .
See AlsoThe Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and NBV and Others CA 30-Jun-2015
The claimants alleged that they had been victims of rapes after the defendant police force had negligently failed to properly investigate a series of similar crimes. They said that the failures had infringed their article 3 rights. The Commissioner . .
At First Instance (Liability)Commissioner of Police of The Metropolis v DSD and Another SC 21-Feb-2018
Two claimants had each been sexually assaulted by a later notorious, multiple rapist. Each had made complaints to police about their assaults but said that no effective steps had been taken to investigate the serious complaints.
Held: The . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Police, Negligence, Human Rights

Updated: 01 December 2021; Ref: scu.521949