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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 70194
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I was recently arrested in Oxford city centre after leaving

Resolved Question:

I was recently arrested in Oxford city centre after leaving a club at 3am with my wife. I'm white British, she is black African.
As we exited the club I was assaulted by 4 youths and punched to the ground.
The next I remember was being forced to the ground and handcuffed by the police. My wife was also detained by 2 female police officers and taken away to a local police station against her will, although I didn't know this at the time of my arrest.
I was bundled in the back of a police van and then driven approximately 17 miles to another town where I was then questioned. The ordeal was very confusing and I was in a lot of discomfort from the way I had been handled. I was constantly threatened with imprisonment and that handcuffs would be put back on if I didn't keep my hands on the counter of the police station. I wasn't aware of the reason for my arrest as I didn't believe I had done anything wrong, other than try to defend myself and my wife.
At around 5am a message was passed to the officers with me, to the effect that the information they had been given when they arrested me, given to them by those that had assaulted me, namely that I had tried to strangle a black girl, that being my wife, was in fact false. This was proven by cctv evidence which captured the whole event.
I was then driven back to Oxford where my wife was being held and we were reunited and then driven home by the police.
My wife is now traumatised and tearful and can't sleep properly. I am unable to work properly due to the injuries sustained.
I have since been contacted by the police who say they have identified the people who assaulted me and will be questioning them and would I make a statement against them.
My complaint is against the police and the way my wife and I were treated, especially my wife who has only recently arrived in the UK.
Another point worth mentioning is the fact that our 2 children were left with a baby sitter during this ordeal, a fact that was constantly pointed out to the police.
All in all a very distressful event and one which has caused me to lose faith in our police force.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.

What would you like to know about this please?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I would like to know if the police were justified in their actions, namely arresting me on the say so of a third party, and the holding of my wife, against her will and subsequent questioning until 5am.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.

Yes, they were I'm afraid.

The criteria for making an arrest is very low. They only need the barest suspicion to justify an arrest. The fact that they have received an allegation is sufficient.

In fact, the case law is increasingly developing in the direction that any allegation must be considered and there must be a substantial reason for not making an arrest.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.

The fact that the allegation was without merit does not retrospectively undo their power of arrest I'm afraid.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Jo

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
When the police contacted me the day after the arrest, they told me they wanted me to make a statement regarding what happened with the intent of charging the people who assaulted me for wasting police time, that being accusing me of trying to strangle my wife. But I would say it was my time that was wasted. All seems very unfair to me, but thanks for the advice.
Expert:  Jo C. replied 9 months ago.

Yes, they do that sometimes.

It isn't particularly ethical but that doesn't render the arrest unlawful.

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