UK ‘Black Lives Matter’ – Taking Legal Action to Combat Police Brutality

Multiple instances of police misconduct have been brought to the public attention as a result of the recent Black Lives Matter movements. The misconduct highlighted has ranged from discrimination against black, Asian and minority communities to overt, unjustified and unnecessary violence – which might unequivocally carry the title ‘brutality’. When police officers behave in this manner, it is likely to constitute a breach of S6 HRA and would therefore constitute a breach of an individual’s human rights. Section 6 of the Human Rights Act 1998 (HRA) makes it unlawful for a public authority to act in a way that is incompatible with person’s rights under the European Convention on Human Rights (‘ECHR’). As a public authority, the police must observe S6 HRA and refrain from behaviour which might contravene ECHR rights. Unfortunately, many people affected by misconduct at the hands from the police may not be aware of the legal options available to them. There is much that can be done to ensure justice is pursued and redress achieved. Claims against the police involve a variety of circumstances and include: Protest related – Wrongful arrests – Assault and battery- False imprisonment / Deprivation of liberty – Unlawful searches
Making a complaint: It is possible to make complaints against the police, against a particular force, an individual officer and any other member of police staff. Complaints can relate to those claims mentioned above but also in some circumstances where police have not followed correct procedures or have otherwise contravened their own Code for Professional Conduct. Complaints made to the police in England and Wales should be made to the relevant police force and can sometimes be investigated, or managed, by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (‘the IOPC’).
Read more: Duncan Lewis,

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