In Bennett v Chief Constable of Merseyside  EWHC 3591 (Admin), the High Court confirmed that a district judge was correct to make no order for costs against the police after it withdrew its Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (‘POCA’) s.298 application for cash forfeiture. In considering the decision of the district judge, the High Court reaffirmed three points:
i. The starting point is that no order for costs should be made provided that the public authority has acted reasonably and properly;
ii. In determining whether the police acted reasonably and properly, the court should scrutinise the behaviour of the police with care; and
iii. It may be justifiable to award costs against the police, particularly where the successful private party would suffer substantial hardship if no order for costs were made in their favour.
Where the police are unsuccessful in a closure order application there is no presumption that there be no order compensating the Respondent for financial loss. Unlike when considering the position on costs, the court’s focus on an application for compensation should be on the respondent’s behaviour, not that of the police, so held the Administrative Court in R (Qin) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis  EWHC 2750 (Admin).
In R (on the application of Richards) v Chief Constable of Cleveland Police (UKSC 2017/0090) the Supreme Court has refused permission to appeal against the imposition of a tagging requirement in a Sexual Offences Prevention Order (“SOPO”). The undisturbed judgment of the Court of Appeal in R (on the application of Richards) v Teesside Magistrates’ Court  EWCA Civ 7;  1 WLR 1695 endorses (and perhaps extends) the purpose and effect of imposing qualified restrictions on sex offenders.