Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Feets Don’t Fail Me Now!

Janine David, 29, was wrongly identified by an anonymous caller as one of those who looted a sports shop in Tottenham during the August 2011 disorder.
She was arrested and held for two hours, during which time she was traumatised by being made to take off her shoes and reveal her ‘deformed’ feet.
Wha..?
Miss David, of Ashenden Road, Homerton, has toes which are ‘not fully formed’ and told Central London County Court only two or three people had ever seen them before.
Does that include herself, I wonder?
Suing the Met, she claimed for wrongful arrest and false imprisonment, and she has now won £10,000 damages after a jury found in her favour.
*speechless*
The jury heard Miss David had been identified anonymously, but the first she knew police wanted to speak to her was when they visited her mother’s home in May 2012.
Once she realised, the psychology graduate called 101 and arranged to go to Bethnal Green Police Station to meet a detective. When she arrived, she was promptly arrested and strip searched, she told the jury in emotionally-charged evidence.
She was also drug-tested and made to take off her shoes, which was particularly difficult due to her foot condition. She also worried that the arrest would show up on her record and ruin her chances of getting a job working with vulnerable young people in future.
Because she sounds like just the sort of chippy know-my-own-rights charmer that should be working with 'vulnerable young people', doesn't she?
The Met said the only reason for her arrest was the failure to give her address and insisted in evidence that she had been asked.
But the jury disagreed and found that no inquiry as to her home address was made before she was read her rights.
Well, that's up to the jury. They don't get it right every time. But it'd be nice if it wasn't us, the poor bloody taxpayer, on the hook once more...
Judge Alan Saggerson said the officer had ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect Miss David, but the arrest was not necessary.
Damages were agreed at £10,000, but the case will cost the force much more than that in lawyers’ bills with costs estimated at £50,000.
Of course it will.

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

WONA

Budvar said...

Sorry Joolz, but after going down to an arranged voluntary interview with Police, and then being arrested (swabbed and dabbed) and then being strip searched based on evidence of nothing more than an anonymous caller? We have rules for a reason Joolz...

You appear to be saying that you're OK with arrests of people based on nothing more than the nod of the local "Blockwart"? Be careful for what you wish for.

The state of her feet is totally irrelevant, I suspect this was just something the ambulance chaser tacked on to give a little credibility to her claim for hurt feelings.

This is a clear cut case of of local plod overstepping the mark, although it doesn't say so in the article, but I suspect that her attitude might have had some baring on her arrest. That said, without any further corroborating evidence, local plod were way out of line.

What say you Jaded?

Anonymous said...

Agree with Budvar.
Arrests are having more and more life-long consequences for innocent people just as the police seem to be increasingly pointlessly arresting people on the flimsiest evidence.
Perhaps we need a new legal category which doesn't have the consequences of arrest when the person concerned is reasonably co-operating. Either that or raise the evidential barrier for formal arrest when there isn't an immediate danger to the public or risk of flight.

Bucko The Moose said...

"the officer had ‘reasonable grounds’ to suspect Miss David, but the arrest was not necessary."
I wonder if that can be quoted in rape accusations with no evidence now?

Lord T said...

Now the whole world knows about her feet. That must be worth a few bob.

I agree with everything said in the comments. Why arrest her if she had not broken any law. Turning up was proof she wasn't going to do a runner. She was low risk but they do love the power don't they.

Plod are not to be trusted.

Anonymous said...

Bunny

I am with Mr Budvar et al on this one, this is a case of the police overstepping the mark. Drug testing and a strip search were hardly necessary. The feet thing is a red herring, as has been pointed out this was by an ambulance chasing lawyer.

To Mr T the point of the arrest is that it actually confers a set of rights on the accused and a set of responsibilities for the police. An arrest means nothing, the officer could have just asked questions and probably got the same answers.

An arrest should have no consequences whatsoever if there isn't a successful prosecution.

Anonymous said...

Let us not be too harsh on WPC Jaded for her tumbleweed option.

Anonymous said...

Ah, at last Melvin weighs in with another sneering post.

As you asked here's my opinion. I wasn't there at the arrest,in the custody or hearing so I know nothing more than any of the above posters.I only bring 26 years of policing experience.

Everyone arrested for a theft-type offence is drug-tested.Everyone arrested has to remove their shoes as criminals can conceal items there.She wasn't treated any differently to anyone else. I'm not sure why she would have been stripped-searched,I would guess she either tested positive for drugs or has previous drug convictions but I can't be sure.Of course it might not have happened.

As to the arrest itself the law is deliberately vague regarding the new Codes of Practice.It allows ambulance-chasing lawyers to have a field day.If you invite a suspect to the police station for a voluntary interview but need to search their home (for example) then the person needs to be arrested before you can do that.If she's been arrested on suspicion of theft then the police need to search her house in case she still has the allegedly stolen goods.

She was only in custody for two hours which is why the pay-out is so low.I would guess the Met paid her out as it would work out much cheaper than fighting the case in court.

Sorry I didn't get on here quicker Melvin but I work full-time.What do you do again?

Jaded .

Anonymous said...

"..... the point of the arrest is that it actually confers a set of rights on the accused and a set of responsibilities for the police. An arrest means nothing, the officer could have just asked questions and probably got the same answers.

An arrest should have no consequences whatsoever if there isn't a successful prosecution."

While I agree with Anon at 19.00, I must disagree about the latter part of his entry. Whatever happened to voluntary statements under caution? They afford the same rights and, if held at a Police station, the services of a solicitor are provided if required. The same set of responsibilities for the Police are there. There are no entries on custody records and while there is not the power for body or strip searches, if someone voluntarily attended a Police station, they are hardly likely to have a 12" bowie knife on them or half a kilo of scag in their underwear. Perhaps the law has changed since I handed in my warrant card, but just because an offence is arrestable doesn't always mean the person has to be arrested. Are they a danger to the public? Are they a long term resident or likely to do a runner? Are any witnesses to the incident in danger?
The last sentence regarding the consequences of arrest doesn't really ring true. Anyone applying for a position of trust will have to answer the question, "Have you ever been arrested by the Police for any offence?" By answering "Yes", even if followed by "but.............." will not fare well for a successful application (guilty by association and all that).
What really annoyed me about this is that the lawyers received many times more than the 'victim'. Perhaps this is why, in many cases, Police forces shell out compensation to those who feel they have been wronged, as it is invariably cheaper than proving they did nothing wrong - they, or the taxpayer, still pays for this proof of innocence while the claimant just shrugs their shoulders and tries to figure out who else they can scam.
I don't think anyone came out of this with credit.
Penseivat

Oswald Thake said...

Thanks 'Penseivat' and 'Jaded(?') for some common sense.
As the former says, I don't think anyone comes out of this with any credit.

Lord T said...

If you have a holiday planned to the US the rules they have deny entry to someone who has been arrested and now that we let them have access to all our data you can't every visit or if you do you could get arrested and held there or find yourself on the first flight back.

Being arrested has repercussions.

Anonymous said...

Jaded spent the week filling her notebook with bogus investigations of burglaries. Next week she will be covering up, sorry, investigating herself for any involvement in missing police swag, and 'doing deals' with anyone in custody willing to take the heat.

Anonymous said...

Bunny

Hat tip to Mr Penseivat my field is commercial/contract law and have just started studying criminal law, so take your comments at face value. I also agree with your comment regarding no-one coming out of the situation with any credit.

This is a question for your consideration, under the modern terminology a police officer is considered a 'professional' I think the government term is 'modern professional'. As a professional if I screw something up my employer is liable under vicarious liability, but also I can be personally liable. This case was a case of ambulance chasing lawyer, but if the woman really wanted restitution what in your opinion would be the opportunity for her to go after the actual officer?

Budvar said...

Just my opinion (there is case law to back this up), but yes she could take him to court personally, but would it be worth it if he hasn't got much/anything in the way of assets?

Anonymous said...

Bunny and Budvar,
My Police career ended many years ago and there have no doubt been many changes in legislation and policy since, so I can only comment on what life was like when I was a front line officer. A Police officer could arrest someone if there is reasonable cause to suspect that that person has committed an arrestable offence. If it is believed that evidence relating to that offence is held in that person's property that would strengthen the decision to arrest. As long as the officer carried out his, or her, duties in accordance with the law, then there is no recourse for civil action against that officer or any senior officer. Basically, a Police officer can do what they want as long as they can lawfully justify their actions. As far as I understand the case in question, there was no allegation of unlawful arrest or malfeasance in a public office so there is no justification in civil action against the officer or any senior officer. Any decisions to do so, which would result in an action against the officer and/or the Chief Constable/Commissioner of the Metropolis would probably result in every Police officer in the country refusing to arrest anyone (they are normal, ordinary, people, with families, mortgages, etc, who are sometimes expected to do things out of the ordinary). The reason that the majority of people in this country can sleep safely in their beds tonight is because these ordinary people are doing things which you would hesitate or refuse to do, and it's not just criminal matters either. Try telling a mother that her 5 year old son has been killed because he ran across a road in front of a car; try finding the discipline not to thump someone who has tortured, or mistreated a baby for their own amusement; try treating a sniggering burglar who couldn't give a sh*t that he has stolen medals from a veteran pensioner with all the courtesy that your role requires; and the list goes on. Melv and others constantly insult the Police, either for their own amusement or to get a reaction, which increases their amusement, but a penny to a pinch of sh*t that they would be the first on the phone if they had been assaulted, burgled or had property stolen. I am long out of it, and am glad to be so, as life became very political and PC and I was classed as a bit of a dinosaur, but I am proud of the contribution I made over 30 years, to helping to improve the quality of life of the residents of my County.
Penseivat

Johnm said...

Things you cannot do, to someone, without an arrest.
You cannot strip search them.
A strip search is what it says, the person being searched is required to remove their clothing, all of it. They will then be required to lift their arms and part their legs. They will then be required to part their buttocks and bend over to be inspected. After, they may be allowed to dress, or a coverall will be issued to them and their clothing may be seized for scientific investigation. The search will be done by, in the case of a female, an officer of the same sex. Male offenders are not given this "right". The search room will be provided with a video recording system which will be operating. Male officers will be available in case of need.
You cannot search their property.
You cannot hold them for questioning, if they refuse, you cannot take them to a police station.
You cannot fingerprint/photograph or take DNA samples FROM them.
Arrest for "confirmation of identity" is common, just to enable DNA sampling.
Note that there are many examples of people being arrested even when they had photo driving licences AND passports with them.
So, not so clear cut.

Anonymous said...

Well said Penseivant, as opposed to the usual snide and libellous comments from that twat Melvin.
Jaded.

Anonymous said...

Bunny

Thank you for the considered response.

JuliaM said...

"...based on evidence of nothing more than an anonymous caller?"

The police say it was more than that, it was refusal to give address. And yes, you may use the Mandy Rice-Davies phrase, but she doesn't seem the sort to co-operate in an effort to clear up a misunderstanding, really.

Does she?

"Arrests are having more and more life-long consequences for innocent people just as the police seem to be increasingly pointlessly arresting people on the flimsiest evidence."

Yes, I'd agree with that.

"I wonder if that can be quoted in rape accusations with no evidence now?"

*chuckles* I suspect we know the answer, don't we?

"Now the whole world knows about her feet. That must be worth a few bob."

You could say she shot herself...

*puts on sunglasses*

...in BOTH feet! YEEEEEEAAAAAAAH!

"An arrest should have no consequences whatsoever if there isn't a successful prosecution."

Totally agree.

JuliaM said...

"She wasn't treated any differently to anyone else. I'm not sure why she would have been stripped-searched,I would guess she either tested positive for drugs or has previous drug convictions..."

Gosh! Surely no-one like that would ever be allowed to work with 'vulnerable young people', though?

/sarc

"...if someone voluntarily attended a Police station, they are hardly likely to have a 12" bowie knife on them or half a kilo of scag in their underwear. "

Well, do you really want to take the chance, given the often legendary dimwittedness of people?

" I also agree with your comment regarding no-one coming out of the situation with any credit."

I think that's something we can all agree on? Even MTG!

"...but a penny to a pinch of sh*t that they would be the first on the phone if they had been assaulted, burgled or had property stolen."

No-one would ever call a community activist, would they?