As part of ‘dialogue’ with other common law jurisdictions, the Court of Appeal of the Republic of Singapore (Singapore’s highest court) in Tat Development PTE Ltd v Management Corporation of Grange Heights Strata Title Plan No 301 [2018] SGCA 50 has declined to follow the UK Supreme Court on extending the tort of malicious prosecution to civil proceedings. The Supreme Court recently held by a slim margin of 5-4 in Willers v Joyce [2016] UKSC 43; [2016] 3 WLR 477 that the tort of malicious prosecution be extended to cover the bringing of civil proceedings. This was a highly controversial decision attracting much academic comment. The Singaporean Court of Appeal has expressly declined to follow it, adopting the reasoning of the minority in Willers, in particular that of Lords Sumption and Mance.

Although not strictly a police case, the judgment together with the two earlier cases that the Supreme Court sought to resolve - Gregory v Portsmouth City Council [2000] UKHL 3; [2000] 1 AC 419 (HL) and Crawford Adjusters v Sagicor General Insurance (Cayman) Ltd [2013] UKPC 17, [2014] AC 366 delve deeply into the history of malicious prosecution and are an education as to the tort’s development and meaning.

The High Court has held in Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis v Brown [2018] EWHC 2046 (Admin) that qualified one-way costs shifting (‘QOCS’) protection does not apply automatically in proceedings where a claimant is advancing both a claim for damages for personal injury and a claim other than a claim for damages for personal injury (a ‘mixed claim’).

The Home Office has published:

- Frequently asked questions on the barred and advisory lists; and

- Amended Home Office guidance on police misconduct.

The Home Office states that the changes include:

- further guidance on the regulations for former officers including whether they apply to cases of misconduct taken under Conduct Regulations issued prior to 2012

- clarification that police staff members who are under local probationary rules equivalent to Regulation 13 of Police Regulations 2003 will not be included on the barred list

- triggers and process for the advisory list have been made clearer and explanation of the process of automatic removal from the advisory list which exists for designated volunteers.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0172018-updated-home-office-guidance-on-police-misconduct

 


The Supreme Court in R (AR) v CC Greater Manchester Police [2018] UKSC 47 upheld the inclusion of information in an enhanced criminal record certificate (ECRC) that a person had been acquitted of rape. The judgment shows the importance of chief officers considering with great care the various factors in order to strike a fair balance between the rights of the individual applying for the ECRC as opposed to the wider rights of the community, including vulnerable persons.

The working assumption of most police lawyers is that a common law duty of care will not arise where call handlers tell 999 callers that the police will attend and assist. The judgment in Sherratt v Chief Constable of GMP [2018] EWHC 1746 (QB) demonstrates that a more careful analysis is required. In this case, some fairly common and non-specific assurances were sufficient to give rise to a duty of care.

The Supreme Court has held in James-Bowen & Ors v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] UKSC 40 that the Commissioner owed no duty to protect the economic and reputational interests of officers whose alleged misconduct formed the subject of a civil claim, which the Commissioner had settled.

The officers had been involved in executing the arrest of BA at BA's home in December 2003. BA accused the officers of having assaulted and abused him, allegations which received widespread media coverage. He brought a civil claim against the Commissioner, who was vicariously liable for the officers’ actions and who settled the claim with an admission of liability (relating to the officers’ alleged wrongdoing) and payment of compensation. The officers were not parties to the civil claim and had declined to give evidence at the trial due to fears for their own safety following the release of their identities into the public domain by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, now the Independent Office for Police Conduct. After the civil claim was settled, the officers were prosecuted in the Crown Court: a jury speedily acquitted them following disclosure of a probe in BA's home which undermined his version of events.

The officers brought claims against the Commissioner, as their quasi-employer, for having failed to protect their interests in the conduct of the civil litigation including the settlement of the claim.

The recent decision of Holmes v CC Merseyside Police [2018] EWHC 1026 (QB) confirms the power of the police to arrest individuals who are not acting unlawfully. It relies on the earlier case of CPS v McCann [2015] EWHC 2461; [2016] 1 Cr. App. R. 6, which held that an arresting officer was acting in the execution of their duty when making an arrest notwithstanding that their suspicion that that offences were being committed being mistaken.

Challenges to a failure to adjourn seem to be popping-up at the moment. There was the recent decision of the Court of Appeal in Solanki v (1) Intercity Telecom Ltd (2) Guidinglight Finance Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 101 – where a judge had failed to give adequate reasons for rejecting medical evidence justifying an adjournment. By contrast, in the recent decision of Lindsay v Solicitors' Regulatory Authority [2018] EWHC 1275 (Admin), the respondent in misconduct proceedings failed to advance adequate evidence to support such an application. What lies deeper beneath, however, is whether an appeal against a decision not to adjourn requires the appellate court or tribunal to consider whether the original decision lay within the range of reasonable responses open to the decision maker below or, alternatively, has to determine the question of fairness / correctness itself.

The determinations of Selected Medical Practitioners (SMPs) made under the various Police Pensions Regulations and the Police (Injury Benefit) Regulations 2006 are, in many cases, supposed to be final unless or until they are appealed. Subsequent SMPs, Police Medical Appeal Boards and, on occasion, the lawyers acting for both officers and police pension authorities, seem prone to forget this principle. When they do, the High Court always welcomes them with open arms and a consistent eagerness to remind them that careful adherence to the statutory procedures for injury on duty awards is in everyone’s long-term interest. 

The case of R (Evans) v Chief Constable of Cheshire Constabulary and Police Medical Appeals Board [2018] EWHC 952 (Admin) is the latest case to confirm this principle. While there is little in the decision that ought to come as a great surprise, the judgment does include an unambiguous critique of the decision in R (Doubtfire & Anor) v Police Medical Appeal Board [2010] EWHC 980 (Admin), which ought no longer to be regarded as good law. It also gives clear advice to SMPs and PMABs, who may be considering the question of an injury on duty award years after the first determination under the Police Pensions Regulations 1987.

The Family Division of the High Court in G v G (Chief Constable of Dorset Police intervening) [2018] EWHC 1100 (Fam) ordered that the service and disclosure of a CAFCASS report be delayed for a week in order to allow an effective police investigation into allegations that the father had sexually abused one of the children. The judgment of 4 May 2018 was delivered in private and Holman J gave leave for an anonymised version to be published one week later, stating that the decision had been made upon the Court “being asked to take a very unusual course” in “a very unusual application”.

Just a very short point on proceeding in misconduct hearings in the absence of defendant officers, following the judgment in Sanusi v GMC [2018] EWHC 1388 (Admin). 

The position on proceeding in absence of a defendant officer in police misconduct hearings was always thought to mirror that in criminal proceedings - and for good reason. The central authority of R v Jones (Anthony) [2003] 1 AC 1, setting out the very high bar to proceeding in criminal actions was followed by Tate v The Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons [2003] UKPC 34, which adopted that test for disciplinary hearings. It is worth noting that although Tate was heard by the Privy Council, it did so as a first (and only) tier appeal tribunal. Regardless, the position in Tate no longer holds.

The Divisional Court in R (Mason) v (1) Winchester Crown Court (2) Chief Constable of Hampshire [2018] EWHC 1182 (Admin) has set out proper procedures to follow in appeals heard in the Crown Court concerning the refusal or revocation of firearm and shotgun certificates. This brings some structure to what has sometimes appeared to be the Wild West of shotgun hearings.

Dogs and property throw up some of the more unusual and difficult issues on which a police lawyer is asked to advise. In the decision of Henderson v Comr of Police of the Metropolis [2018] EWHC 666 (Admin) and the subsequent costs decision at [2018] EWHC 1092 (Admin), the court visited two issues - the standing of a person to intervene in a case concerning the destruction of a potentially prohibited breed and kennelling costs during the course of an appeal by way of case stated / judicial review to the High Court.

R (Birks) v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2018] EWHC 807 (Admin) is the case of an officer who wanted to resign in order to take up a position as a minister in the Church of England. He was suspended and not permitted to resign, so that the IPCC (as it then was) could investigate his conduct in connection with the arrest of Sean Rigg who died in custody at Brixton Police Station in 2008.

Before the “former officer” provisions were introduced by the Police (Conduct, Complaints and Misconduct and Appeal Tribunal) (Amendment) Regulations 2017, the IPCC could investigate the conduct of an officer, serving or retired but a case to answer decision and disciplinary proceedings could only be taken in relation to a serving officer. In 2003, the Home Secretary issued guidance (Circular 55/2003) to the effect that the power to suspend could be used to prevent a resignation and thereby ensure the completion of disciplinary proceedings. If an officer was suspended, they had to seek the permission of their Chief Officer to resign or retire. 

In PC Birks’ case, his resignation had been accepted by the Metropolitan Police in 2014, notwithstanding the new IPCC investigation. But this acceptance was rescinded, under pressure from the IPCC and Mr Rigg’s sister - and PC Birks was suspended precisely to prevent him from resigning. PC Birks first challenged this in a judicial review claim. He alleged that that being required to remain a police officer breached Article 8 (privacy) and Article 9 (religion) of his Convention Rights. Further, that it amounted to an unlawful departure from a substantive legitimate expectation because the Metropolitan Police had already accepted his resignation.

The Secretary of State for the Home Department has recently published two Codes of Practice – one new and one revised – which provide guidance on the appropriate and proportionate use of powers under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 ('POCA') - note that the enactments on legislation.gov.uk have not, at the date of this blog post, been updated to reflect recent amendents. These Codes came into force on 16 April 2018. They were drafted in order to take account of various amendments made to POCA by the Criminal Finances Act 2017 ('CFA'), which received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017. 

The Employment Appeal Tribunal has handed down judgment in the appeal case of Hextall v Leicestershire Police UKEAT/0139/17/DA. Mr Hextall is a police officer who took Shared Parental Leave. However, under the informal national policy that exists at the current time in relation to the payment of such leave, he was paid only at the statutory rate and not the enhanced rate paid to mothers taking maternity leave.

Mr Hextall argued that that policy put men at a particular disadvantage compared to women because it acted as a financial disincentive to their taking such leave where mothers had the alternative option of taking maternity leave. As such, he said, it constituted unlawful indirect sex discrimination. Hextall is linked to another (non-police) case, Capital v Ali UKEAT/0139/17/DA. 

In short, the Employment Appeal Tribunal decided that a failure to pay a male police officer taking Shared Parental Leave the same rate of pay as a female police officer taking Maternity Leave potentially constitutes indirect sex discrimination. Jonathan Davies represented Leicestershire Police in both the employment tribunal and the Employment Appeal Tribunal.

Where a police officer makes an unsuccessful application for a panel to recuse itself on the grounds of perceived (or actual) bias, can he apply for judicial review of the decision before exhausting his 'internal' right of appeal (under rule 4(4)(c) of the Police Appeals Tribunal Rules 2012)?

The law in foreign, common-law jurisdictions is different but a similar question in relation to a doctor and a misconduct panel was answered affirmatively by the Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa in Basson v Health Professions Council of South Africa [2018] ZASCA 1.

The hits for the police keep on coming. The decision in Commissioner of the Metropolis v (1) DSD (2) NBV [2018] UKSC 11 confirms that the police can be liable in proceedings for a breach of article 3’s prohibition on inhuman and degrading treatment (and possibly article 4’s prohibition on slavery) where they fail to perform an adequate criminal investigation into alleged serious ill-treatment.

This decision was less of a surprise than Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018] UKSC 4 – given the strength of the earlier judgments both at first instance and in the Court of Appeal. That said, it is hard to say anything other than that the courts are slowly but surely eroding out of existence the police’s ‘immunity’ from claims arising out of the performance of its core duties.

Where an officer is dismissed at a fast-track hearing, based upon a conviction which is then subsequently overturned, a Police Appeals Tribunal ('PAT') will likely allow the misconduct appeal. In such circumstances, there has been no finding on the merits in misconduct proceedings to prevent the officer from facing a subsequent standard-track hearing. So said the Court of Appeal in CC Nottinghamshire v R (Gray) [2018] EWCA Civ 34.

The appeal concerned the application of the form of res judicata known as cause of action estoppel to two hotly contested sets of police disciplinary proceedings, against a backdrop of criminal proceedings - all in respect of the same events.

When must a police misconduct hearing adjourn the proceedings for the attendance of the respondent officer or even a witness? The Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 reg 33 [beware that the linked statutory instrument is now out of date, but not on this particular regulation] provides that a legally qualified chair (LQC) may adjourn the hearing in particular circumstances:

(3) Subject to paragraph (4), the person conducting or chairing the misconduct proceedings may from time to time adjourn the proceedings if it appears to him to be necessary or expedient to do so.

(4) The misconduct proceedings shall not, except in exceptional circumstances, be adjourned solely to allow the complainant or any witness or interested person to attend.

The meaning of exceptional circumstances presumably refers to circumstances that are an exception to the norm rather than those which are extraordinary. Regardless, the latest case from the Court of Appeal on adjournments in civil cases, Solanki v (1) Intercity Telecom Ltd (2) Guidinglight Finance Ltd [2018] EWCA Civ 101 is worth reading. 

In Robinson v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire Police [2018] UKSC 4, the Supreme Court made significant inroads into the  principle that the police cannot be sued in negligence save in exceptional circumstances as a result of alleged failures in their core operational duties. Now, where a third party such as a pedestrian is injured as a result of a negligent arrest on the street by a police officer, the police are liable in negligence where that injury was a reasonably foreseeable consequence of the police’s actions

This is the most important police law case for a generation. It goes to the heart of when a duty of care will be imposed on the police for the performance of their operational duties. The news is very bad if you are a Chief Constable. The news is very good if you are a claimant (or defendant) lawyer.

When a person convicted in the Crown Court has an additional prison term enforced by the Magistrates for having only part paid off a confiscation order, he is entitled to a reduction in that term proportionate to the money that has been paid. R (Gibson) v Secretary of State for Justice [2018] UKSC 2; [2018] 1 WLR 629 confirmed that the starting point for calculating this reduction is the original sum ordered by the Crown Court, and not the larger sum including interest that had accrued by the date of the Magistrates’ enforcement.

What are the practical consequences of the removal of judicial immunity for police misconduct panels in discrimination cases? This article considers the acts that give rise to a cause of action, the common scenarios in which these could arise and the practical steps to take to address or avoid such issues. 

In P v Comr of Police of the Metropolis [2017] UKSC 65, the Supreme Court held that the Chief Constable was vicariously liable for decisions of (old style) police misconduct hearing panels where they make decisions which amount to discrimination contrary to Equality Act 2010, where this transposes the causes of action stated in the Framework Directive. 

As we have said previously, the effect of the decision in P is limited to those causes of action which derive from EU law. It can have no application to, for example, whistleblowing claims are purely a matter of English law, not derived from EU directives. Furthermore, it may be that a careful reading of the appropriate Directive may provide a ‘get out’ clause if the right being asserted in the employment tribunal does not derive from EU law. 

The IOPC today replaces the Independent Police Complaints Commission Commission. The Home Office has stated that the IOPC will have the powers to:

- initiate its own investigations without relying on a force to record and refer a particular case for investigation;

- reopen cases it has closed where there are compelling reasons, such as new evidence;

- increase its independence from the police by abolishing ‘managed’ and ‘supervised’ investigations;

- investigate all disciplinary investigations against chief officers; and

- present cases against officers in the police disciplinary process when the force disagrees with the IOPC’s findings.

The announcement is here. The website of the IOPC is https://policeconduct.gov.uk

Revised Guidance has been published on 24 December 2017. The Home Office website states:

New guidance on the use of anti-social behaviour powers will help police and councils continue to take appropriate action against nuisance behaviours while ensuring the most vulnerable, including the homeless, are not disproportionately targeted.

The Police (Conduct, Complaints and Misconduct and Appeal Tribunal)(Amendment) Regulations 2017 came into force on 15th December 2017 and have made a number of important changes to police misconduct procedures. The four central changes to be aware of are:

(a) The removal of the need for officers under investigation to obtain the consent of the Appropriate Authority before resigning or retiring;

(b) The introduction of a new procedure to proceed with misconduct investigations and hearings notwithstanding that the officer concerned has left the police service;

(c) A new power to misconduct hearing panel Chairs to provide information relevant to the barred list; and

(d) An amendment to the Police Appeals Tribunals Rules 2012, allowing former officers to appeal against the findings of a misconduct panel.

A short post on a change in the Home Office Guidance. It now states that the selection of LQCs should be on a "fair and transparent basis". Good practice will be selection through a "rota system". A rota system may not necessarily work with LQCs' other professional commitments. Often, appropriate authorities will inform all LQCs of a hearing and select them on a 'first-come, first-served' basis. That said, if more than one LQC responds, there is no reason why a rota system cannot then apply. Note, also, that the Guidance suggests that the manner of selection should be made clear to all parties to the hearing, which really means the respondent officer(s).

The relevant part of the HO Guidance is as follows: [emphasis added]

2.215. The appropriate authority is responsible for appointing all three panel members. The LQC must be chosen from a list of candidates which is selected and maintained by the local policing body through the process described in Annex F. The appropriate authority should select the LQC at the earliest opportunity following the decision to refer to misconduct proceedings. In accordance with procedural fairness and principles of natural justice, the selection of the LQC should be on a fair and transparent basis. Good practice will be selection through a rota system by which the next available LQC is selected for the next hearing. Bad practice will be to select on the basis of which LQC will be more likely to give the verdict required. The manner of selection should be made clear to all parties to the hearing.

The case of Durrant v Chief Constable of Avon & Somerset Constabulary [2017] EWCA Civ 1808, which arose out of the arrest of Ms Durrant on 13 June 2009, seems finally to have come to a conclusion, after three visits to the Court of Appeal. It is worth reading for its discussion on the award of damages for injury to "loss of feelings" where the police have racially discriminated against a person whom they have arrested and when aggravated and/or exemplary damages will be awarded.


The Independent Review into Serious Incidents and Deaths in Custody undertaken by Dame Elish Angiolini is an important work, making 110 recommendations for improvement. The following paragraphs address some of the key-findings relevant to the police

On 23 July 2015, the then Home Secretary, the Rt. Hon Theresa May MP announced a major review into deaths and serious incidents in police custody. In October 2015 Dame Elish Angiolini was appointed as its independent chair.

The independent review was tasked with looking at the issues surrounding deaths and serious incidents in police custody. This included the events leading up to such incidents as well as existing protocols and procedures designed to minimise the risks. It looked at the immediate aftermath of a death or serious incident and the various investigations that ensue. Importantly it also examined how the families of the deceased are treated at every stage of the process.

The report, which was published on 30 October 2017,  makes 110 recommendations for improvement, categorised under twelve thematic headings: restraint, custody environment, health and wellbeing, funding for families and family support, communications, investigations, coroners and inquests, accountability, training, learning, statistics and research.

The Home Office has published:

- A circular about new former police officer and barred list regulations;

- An amended determination on retirement; and

- Amended Home Office guidance.

https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/circular-0122017-new-former-police-officer-and-barred-list-regulations-an-amended-determination-on-retirement-and-amended-home-office-guidance

On 11 December 2017, significant amendments will come into force altering the power of the police to detain people who appear to be suffering from mental disorder. This blog post is intended to highlight the fact of the amendments, outline some key changes and point to sources of further information. 

The relevant powers are currently contained in sections 135 and 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983 (“MHA”). Section 135 requires the grant of a warrant by a magistrate; s136 does not.

From 11 December 2017 there will be in force:

  • amendments to ss135, 136 and 138;

  • new regulations, namely the Mental Health Act 1983 (Places of Safety) Regulations 2017 (setting out circumstances in which a police station may be used as a place of safety; requirements when a police station is used as a place of safety; and persons to be consulted) (“the Places of Safety Regulations 2017”). 

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 [2017] 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 [2015] EWCA Civ 7; [2015] 1 WLR 1695 endorses (and perhaps extends) the purpose and effect of imposing qualified restrictions on sex offenders. 

Can the police charge a football club for match day policing on public land immediately outside a stadium, where that land is largely under the control of the club? No, the Court of Appeal re-affirmed in Ipswich Town Football Club v Chief Constable of Suffolk [2017] EWCA Civ 1484.

The Supreme Court has held in P v Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis [2017] UKSC 65, that police misconduct hearings no longer benefit from judicial immunity in respect of discrimination claims. They also held that the Chief Constable is vicariously liable for the discriminatory acts of such panels. However, the decision related to an internal panel under the old regime when a misconduct hearing panel was chaired by an assistant chief constable. Three awkward issues arise: 

- Whether its reasoning applies to panels chaired by a Legally Qualified Chair (‘LQC’) under the new regime; 

- If so, whether the Chief Constable is legally responsible for the acts of an independent panel or whether the LQC and the other members of such panels would be liable as a panel;

- If the LQC and panel members are potentially liable in damages in their own names, regardless.

The explanation of dishonesty to a misconduct panel has always had the air of artificiality about it. That is not just my view - in its upending of the test in Ivey v Genting Casinos (UK) Ltd t/a Crockfords [2017] UKSC 67, the Supreme Court described the test at [57] as being one "which jurors and others often find puzzling and difficult to apply." In that decision, the Supreme Court upended the Ghosh test, which should no longer be used in misconduct proceedings. What might remain a live question, however, is whether the objective standard is those of ordinary, honest people or ordinary honest police officers.

The College of Policing has published a document, "Guidance on outcomes in police misconduct proceedings". As stated on their website:

The introduction of the guidance will mean there is increased fairness and proportionality in cases which is important for officers and public confidence in the hearings.

As part of assessing the seriousness in cases, misconduct panels will consider, amongst other things the officer's record, culpability for the misconduct, the harm caused, aggravating factors and mitigation.

Aggravating factors will include, for example, any misconduct against a vulnerable person, or where discrimination is evident.

While personal mitigation may also be relevant, the guidance reminds chairs that the case law confirms that the protection of the public and the interests of the profession are important.

This guidance is likely to become used in every police misconduct hearing and practitioners should become familiar with it. The relevant webpage of the College of Policing is here and the document can be downloaded here.

In Sheffield City Council v Fairhall [2017] EWHC 2121 (QB), the Court has been asked to consider the extent to which the decision in DPP v Jones [1999] UKHL 5; [1999] 2 AC 240 can be relied upon as a right to conduct peaceful but disruptive protest on the highway.

There has been a long battle in Sheffield to prevent the local authority’s tree-felling programme. In an effort to discharge its obligation under s.41 of the Highways Act 1980 more efficiently, Sheffield City Council contracted out its maintenance contract to Amey Hallam Highways Ltd. In operating the contract, Amey identified a large number of trees, many of them healthy, that it wished to cut down. Campaigners believed that the contract into which Sheffield City Council entered was unlawful as it put, the Defendant submitted, profiteering (by Amey) and cost-cutting (by the Council) ahead of its environmental obligations.

In February 2017, there was something of a falling out between the police and the IPCC regarding post-incident procedures when police firearms are deployed. Reasonable arguments were made on all sides, robustly and publicly.

Shortly before his retirement as Metropolitan Police Commissioner, Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe gave a speech calling for "less suspicion and more trust" in firearms officers. He raised a concern, also raised by the Police Federation, about officers being deterred from volunteering and training for firearms duty by the threat of being treated as a suspect when they discharge firearms on duty and then being the subject of lengthy investigations. He also said, "we can’t afford to have officers think twice because they fear the consequences of shooting someone. That’s how they get shot or the public gets hurt or a criminal gets away with a gun."

Publication of misconduct investigation reports can give rise to difficult and important questions, particularly in cases where there has been no misconduct hearing because there has been a determination of "no case to answer", or because the accused officer has resigned or retired.

To my knowledge there is no provision in the Police Reform Act 2002, Police (Conduct) Regulations 2012 or related regulations which compels police forces to publish misconduct investigation reports; nor is there an express power to do so, voluntarily. But the question of publication may well arise as a result of a request for information under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (“FOIA”). The FOIA of course establishes the general right of access to information held by public authorities, including Police and Crime Commissioners and police forces, upon written request, subject to exemptions.

Readers of this blog will recall that the Barbulescu case concerned Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, in respect of private life and correspondence at work. The employee had been dismissed for allegedly breaching company regulations in relation to personal messaging at work.

A chamber of the Strasbourg Court held there had been no violation of Article 8, for the reasons explored in the blog below. However, the Grand Chamber of the Court has now reversed that decision and decided, by eleven votes to six, that there had been a violation of Article 8.

The Grand Chamber focused on the question of whether the employee had proper notice that his communications at work would be monitored, whether the employer could have used less invasive monitoring methods, and the court re-struck the balance between the employer and the employee’s rights and interests in the case.

https://www.juridice.ro/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/CASE-OF-BARBULESCU-v.-ROMANIA.pdf

Each year, the Home Office published police use of firearms statistics for England and Wales. This year’s publication on 27 July 2017, relates to the period from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2017.

The headline figures show that, in the year to March 2017:

- there were 15,705 police firearms operations;

- 84% of those operations involved Armed Response Vehicles (ARVs);

- there were 10 incidents in which police discharged firearms;

- London accounted for the largest proportion (27%) of all police firearms operations; the North East accounted for the smallest proportion (3%);

- there were 6,278 Authorised Firearms Officer (AFOs), representing 5% of the total number of 125,851 police officers – the highest proportion in last 9 years.

The recent case of Vining & Ors v London Borough of Wandsworth [2017] EWCA Civ 1092 represents an attempt to circumvent restrictions on certain types of officers from enjoying employment law rights - in a claim of unfair dismissal and for a protective award in respect of an alleged failure in collective consultation relating to their redundancies.

Wandsworth reorganised their parks police force and dismissed Mr Vining (V) and Mr Francis (F) from that force on the ground of redundancy. As a result, V and F brought proceedings for unfair dismissal for W’s failure to consult them during the redundancy process.

In Campbell v Bromley Magistrates’ Court [2017] EWCA Civ 1161, the Court of Appeal has confirmed that that there are no "fruits of the forbidden tree" consequences when it comes to the forfeiture of cash seized in accordance with Chapter 3 of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (“POCA”).

A search warrant executed at the Appellant’s home had resulted in the seizure of a quantity of cash and the Appellant’s arrest on suspicion of money laundering. The cash was detained and subsequently forfeited under section 298 POCA on application by the police. The Appellant sought to challenge the decision of the Magistrates Court to proceed to a forfeiture hearing without its first determining, at a preliminary hearing, the lawfulness of the search and the subsequent detention of the seized cash.

Who pays the costs of Special Advocates where closed material procedures are required to consider sensitive police documents in family proceedings? The police, according to Cobb J in Re R (Closed Material Procedure: Special Advocates: Funding) [2017] EWHC 1793 (Fam).

In family proceedings where the police are ordered to disclose relevant documents, occasionally the police object to disclosure or inspection of particularly sensitive documents. Where the court deems it necessary, it can invite the Attorney General to appoint Special Advocates to represent the interests of the parties in closed material procedures to consider that sensitive evidence. Special Advocates are appointed by through the Special Advocates' Support Office (“SASO”), which is part of the Government Legal Department.

A very long judgment in Marsh v MoJ [2017] EWHC 1040 (QB) deals with a employee's personal injury claim arising from his employer's misconduct investigation into him. The final part, however, addressed (very briefly) an abuse of process application, where it was contended that the Defendant's solicitor acted with an excess of zeal when dealing with witnesses and/or that she was too close to the case.