Police Law Blog European Decisions Statutory Materials

€10,000 for excessive force during arrest (and subsequent failure to investigate this)

In Gedrimas v Lithuania [2016] ECHR 641; (2017) 64 EHRR 14, the European Court of Human Rights held that where police officers used excessive force during an arrest and there was a subsequent failure to investigate the resulting complaint, both matters amounted to a breach of Article 3, justifying damages of €10,000. The case follows the recent decision of Bouyid v Belgium [2015] ECHR 819; (2016) 62 EHRR 32, which held that any use of force by police officers which is not strictly necessary will amount to a breach of Article 3.

Strip-search and cell move not unlawful

A person who was strip-searched in police custody and then moved whilst unclothed was not treated contrary to Article 3 or Article 8 where it was due to his own behaviour, the Court of Appeal has held in Yousif v Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis [2016] EWCA Civ 364.

The appellant was originally from Iraq where he had suffered at the hands of the authorities. He had a personality disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and paranoia. He had been arrested following an incident of ‘road rage’. He was taken to Paddington Green Police Station, where he remained for some 12 hours. When he was being booked into custody the appellant said ‘yes’ when asked whether he had tried to commit suicide in the past but then refused to give details or respond when asked whether he was feeling suicidal. The custody officer decided that the appellant should be stripped searched and that all of his clothes should be taken from him so that he was left naked in a cell that was constantly monitored by CCTV. During his detention he was moved from one cell to another whilst naked.