Williamson v Chief Constable of the West Midlands Police: CA 21 Feb 2003

The claimant had been arrested by an officer entering his house to investigate a breach of the peace, then held for two nights. The police believed that he posed no continuing threat, but believed he had to be brought before the magistrates before being released.
Held: The fact that a breach of the peace had been deemed a criminal offence for human rights purposes, did not mean that it would be a criminal offence capable of supporting entry into a property by a police officer to investigate a crime. Section 17 clearly included the intention that a breach of the peace would remain not criminal (see also 25(6)). The claimant should have been released immediately he calmed down.


Mummery, Dyson LJJ


Times 11-Mar-2003, [2003] EWCA Civ 337, Gazette 01-May-2003, [2004] 1 WLR 14




Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 17


England and Wales


CitedSteel and Others v The United Kingdom ECHR 23-Sep-1998
The several applicants had been arrested in different circumstances and each charged with breach of the peace contrary to common law. Under the Magistrates’ Court Act 1980, the court can bind over a Defendant to keep the peace, if the Defendant . .
CitedAlbert v Lavin HL 3-Dec-1981
An off duty and out of uniform police officer attempted to restrain the defendant jumping ahead of a bus queue. The defendant struggled, and continued to do so even after being told that of the officer’s status. He said he had not believed that he . .

Cited by:

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 . .
CitedLaporte, Regina (on the application of ) v Chief Constable of Gloucestershire HL 13-Dec-2006
The claimants had been in coaches being driven to take part in a demonstration at an air base. The defendant police officers stopped the coaches en route, and, without allowing any number of the claimants to get off, returned the coaches to London. . .
Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Crime, Police

Updated: 07 June 2022; Ref: scu.181140