Marsh v Clare (Chief Constable of Lancashire Constabulary): CA 6 Mar 2003

The claimant’s had been assaulted by his business partner, who after arrest charge and release, returned and chased him. The claimant became a police informant and paid andpound;10,000 to the constable to join a scheme allowing him trade in stolen cars and receive protection. He was subsequently arrested police for dealing in stolen cars and the officer was charged with corruption anticipating the claimant would provide evidence. The claimant said the chief constable was vicariously liable for the false arrest, negligence and misfeasance in public office. The claimant appealed the striking out of his claim.
Held: Appeal dismissed. The police owed no private law duty to investigate crime. Retaining someone as an informant did not, ipso facto, create any personal duty of care when the relationship was unlawfully founded. The claimant failed to disclose any deliberate wrongdoing or malice by the police force and any bad faith in the corrupt detective constable did not constitute misfeasance in public office.


Lord Justice Chadwick Lord Justice Mummery Lord Justice Potter


[2003] EWCA Civ 284, Gazette 09-May-2003




England and Wales

Police, Torts – Other

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.179548