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JGM
JGM, Solicitor
Category: Scots Law
Satisfied Customers: 11745
Experience:  30 years as a practising solicitor.
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I feel I have been taken advantage of by the police and need

Resolved Question:

I feel I have been taken advantage of by the police and need some help because a year later it is causing me great distress. I live in Scotland. Last year I went into the city to meet my boyfriend who was on a works night out. I hadn't been drinking but I was looking forward to having a quiet drink with my boyfriend to celebrate finishing 7 long years at University. My phone was out of battery and my boyfriend was not where we expected to meet. I was very stressed searching for him. Eventually I found him outside a bar. We wanted to go to a different pub and I really needed to use the bathroom. At the bar we tried to go to the bouncer refused entry on the basis he thought my boyfriend was too drunk. My boyfriend pleaded that he let me in to use the bathroom. Instead of speaking to us the bouncer flagged down a passing police van. My boyfriend talks a lot when he is drunk and he was trying to explain how he thought this was unfair. The police were not in the mood to chat, were rough handling my boyfriend and shouting rudely, which was extremely disturbing, they then said they will arrest him on Breach of the peace. The injustice tipped me over the edge and I was crying and asking what they are going to do now? will he be back? They wouldn't speak to me and the female officer kept shouting inches from my face "SHUT UP, SHUT UP!" as I was crying. I said "please don't speak to me like that, please stop telling me to shut the f**k up". So she chose to arrest me on Breach of the peace charge because I wanted to know what was happening with my boyfriend... the only person I knew in town. I was rough handled to the police station. By the time I got to the police station I was terribly upset, they asked if I wanted a lawyer, I said yes, but never got to see one. They put me in a cell, forced me to strip my clothes off completely naked while two female officers watched and a male officer watched on a monitor which I could see from the open door of the cell. They threw a prison top and shorts at me and said we'll be back soon. They left me there over night at some point throwing in a blanket. No food, no water, no medication (which I take for my anxiety, depression and inability to sleep which they knew about). In the morning as the officers let me out they were doing a shift swap. One officer asked the female who arrested me, "did you meet your quota", she laughed and said yes , then looked at me. A year on the injustice and humiliation is still deeply upsetting me. I fear that the video footage could be public information (freedom of information) or be put online. My boyfriend was also in the cell but wasn't forced to strip in front of a camera and neither were all the other drunks and junkies who I heard being put into nearby cells. Do I have a case? Is this even legal to film someone who was arrested on no real grounds and so they could make up their nightly arrest quota? Its damaging me mentally...please kindly advise.

Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Scots Law
Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your question.

This is an absolute disgrace and I presume that no charges were made against you.

You have several options which I will summarise:

1. Firstly make a formal complaint to the police via the station you were held at.

2. Once they make their investigations, if you are not satisfied, complain to the police ombudsman in Scotland.

3. As it appears to me that the price acted maliciously you may want to see a solicitor with a view to suing the police for wrongful arrest. Malice is a prerequisite for such an action andI think this is one of the cases that there certainly is malice.

Happy to discuss further.

I hope this helps. Please leave a positive response so that I am credited for my time.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Hi,


Thank you for answering, no charges were brought just a fine.


 


Are these recommended steps as in the order I should do things?...


I don't trust that the police will help if I choose to go down route 1) , as they have let me down on a previous occasion and I really don't want to go back there, they could in effect destroy the evidence, who knows...


 


Above I mentioned that they asked me if I wanted a Lawyer, I think I meant a Solicitor. Since I said yes when they asked this, and they never brought somebody, can this be a foul on their part or are they allowed to ignore this request? I presumed it was my right to see one before talking further with them.


 


Your help is greatly appreciated.

Expert:  JGM replied 4 years ago.
You should have been given a solicitor. If they didn't give you one they are in breach of your human rights as established by the case of Cadder v HMA which you can read online.

I presume they dealt with your situation by way of fixed penalty.

I'm not suggesting that the initial complaint procedure to the police will bring you any satisfaction. However, you do have to go through the motions to then get to the police review commissioner. The rule is you have to exhaust the internal procedures before going further.

However if you decide to go down the civil court route 3 in my original response you would not have to go through the complaints procedure. You would need a solicitor for this.
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