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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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Hi, how do I enforce my rights under Article 5 of the Human

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Hi, how do I enforce my rights under Article 5 of the Human Rights Act to be provided with the reasons why I was arrested? A Subject Access Request answer revealed that my ex wife "reported further incidents some of which amounted to harassment" but I have never been told what these "further incidents" were. The Police Force in question is the Metropolitan Police Force
Thank you for your question. My name is ***** ***** I will try to help with this.
-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

Sure, I was arrested in 2013 for, I was told, sending my ex wife an email complaining that she had stolen some toys belonging to my 5 year old stepson and posting on YouTube a video of her assaulting me. In both cases I was the victim of her abusing me and extraordinarily I found myself being arrested for objecting to being abused. In the event I was charged in relation to the video supposedly because it was "grossly offensive". This was utter rubbish, it was not and the court found there was no case to answer and subsequently Keir Starmer apologised agreeing that I should not have been charged. I am proposing to sue the police for wrongful arrest and have a contingent fee solicitor on the case. However, I want to be confident of winning so am trying to work out exactly why I was arrested as what I was originally told - the email and video - are just too flimsy grounds. I complained about my arrest to the police but the response was a meaningless whitewash. I took it to the IPCC who agreed that the email and video could not justify the arrest but said that the police told them that there was also "further information" that lead to them deciding to arrest me. However neither the IPCC nor the Police will tell me what that Further Information was. I understand I have a right under Human Rights Act to be told why I was arrested and so wish to enforce that right against the IPCC and the Police. I have sued organisations in the small claims court before and prevailed (e.g. vs Natwest) but dont know what form to use and which court to apply to to sue the IPCC and the Police. Also, would be handy to know of any human rights precedents so I can see how the courts apply the right to know reason for arrest. Hope that makes sense, thanks

You have a right under PACE to be told the reason for your arrest but surely you were told that at the time. It is in the words of the arrest?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

They lied. My investigations using Subject Access Request and IPCC revealed that there was this "further information" that was the reason for the decision to arrest, not what I was told at the time which was just too flimsy to justify arrest. But what this "Further Information" was is being withheld from me. My ex wife's brother was a senior police officer and I believe I was arrested as a "favour" to a mate in the force. Now they are protecting each other making it difficult for me to get to the truth. I see no alternative than to sue them, please tell me how to go about it, both in regards ***** ***** IPCC and the MPS. They are both public bodies so should be subject to the act. thanks

It wasn't anything to do with any of that. I am really sorry and nobody hates the waste of resources on this stupid domestic twaddle more than me but you are reading too much into this.
They arrested you because there is a positive arrest policy across the entire force. That policy is the biggest load of nonsense I have ever heard since somebody suggested the moon was made of cheese! The reason for it is that in the 1970s probably we didn't take domestic violence seriously enough so now to compensate for that we have to arrest everybody who breaths on their partner. That is stupid and pointless. I entirely agree. However, it is the position.
The police were called by your former wife to gain revenge. Of course. She made an allegation that probably was without merit as most domestics amount to things that no reasonable woman would think suitable to invite the police along about. However, the officers were in a position where it was easier to arrest you than it was to justify not doing so and so they relied on this evidence.
If there is a hidden reason then that will be it.
You are not seeking to be told the reason for your arrest. That is your right under PACE and it would have been given to you at the time. They do often arrest for anything they can think of and then correct the charges at the police station. Police officers are not often intellectual giants. What you are seeking is the intelligence that lay behind the report - the CRIS and CAD messages effectively.
The HRA does not give you a right to the CRIS and CAD messages.
You could try using the FOI legislation but they will say it is exempt.
You can get access to this information if you are charged. You are not. That is why it has been refused.
You can also get a court to direct it be disclosed by only as part of an ongoing claim.
Matters before the IPCC can lead to the disclosure of this information but you seem to be saying that you have been before them and they have decided in your favour.
That said, you may well have a claim for unlawful arrest. A positive arrest policy does appear to me to be an unlawful one. Any arrest policy that leads to every person being arrested would seem to be contrary to the powers of arrest in PACE. There is absolutely no point in pursuing that by writing to the police and asking for sight of the CRIS and CAD messages. You need to see a solicitor who deals with that and pursue the matter properly.
I would like to see a force taken to task over this as a positive arrest policy is one that should be considered and domestic violence is a massive waste of public money.
Sorry if that is bad news.
Can I clarify anything for you?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Hi Jo,

I agree with all you say and I do have a solicitor ready to sue the Police for wrongful arrest.

The solicitor will not charge if I lose, but I could face Police costs. They have offered £2,500 but that is moot. I am a respectable man with a public profile and a reputation to protect. I don't care about the money, I want my name cleared, fully, without reservation. The arrest and wrongful charge lost me a lot of friends and damaged my relationships with my children. So, I will have to go to Court. But before I do I want to know exactly what their case will be. In that context the IPCC agreed that the reasons I had been given for my arrest were insufficient to justify arrest, but they then had a private call with the Officer who made the decision to arrest me who said there was "further information" and the IPCC felt that this further information DID justify my arrest so they did not uphold my appeal. I do have the CRIS reports. The email and video had both been reported by my wife months before the arrest decision. Both were dismissed as not crimes. Then in October 2012 we have the following entry: "After consultation with DI Teodorini, it has been decided that this matter be re-opened and investigated. VIWI [about 8 words blanked out] has reported further incidents with VIW2 some of which amount to harassment. I have therefore added VIW2 as Suspect 1 on this report and will refer to him as Suspect 1 from now on. A request has therefore been sent to the CMU to have this crime report reclassified as harassment." Now, it is the case that the wife made a statement to the police around this time, but it re-hashed matters she had raised before - the email, the video and she complained that I was harassing her by my solicitor writing to hers in the divorce case (this had also been dismissed before). So there were no "further incidents". I must have a right to know what they were as I was arrested and charged, and then to sue either the Police or the ex wife accordingly. But at this stage I need to know how to find out what were these further incidents, surely HR law gives me that right? How then do I enforce it? thanks

Yes, I understand. Why should people bear the inconvenience of being arrested essentially over a relationship issue.
However, forcing them to pay compensation is an admission that their policy is unlawful or that their actions then were. A few more of those claims and they will soon take a different view. The police are in the business of bottom covering. It is safer for them to arrest all and sundry at the moment than to exercise discretion. It won't be if all and sundry start suing.
If you are suing for unlawful arrest then the CRIS and CAD messages should be disclosed.
I have managed to get them under FOI once or twice but they are all so heavily redacted that there is no point.
I think what is becoming clear is that your wife has either made other reports previously or she said at the time of your arrest that there had been other incidents. So there wasn't enough to justify an arrest for the crime that you were arrested for but there was enough to arrest for another. That is not uncommon.
If you want to clear your name then shouldn't you be acting against your former wife as well?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

possibly, but at this stage I don't know whether the wife actually made other allegations which were false or whether she just made the same allegations a second time and the Police were influenced by her claims of "distress" and over-reacted. We wrote to the Police solicitors and they claimed Mrs Ainsworths statement was the "further information" - but it contains no further information, its just a re-hash of old allegations, so I suspect them of lying (sorry, I have completely lost faith in the integrity of the police).

This is why I feel I first need to find out for definite, under a Court Order, what these supposed "other incidents" were. Is the Human Rights Act truly useless? I would have thought that the IPCC, in particular, will capitulate as soon as they are served - it really cannot look good for them to be withholding information about why I was arrested - but dont know what form to use and which court to apply to to enforce my HR rights.

In relation to the police, getting compensation will not help me clear my name with friends and family, its just not about money.

No, but what they are saying is that she made other allegations within that statement. They always do that with domestics.
The HRA isn't all that relevant here. Article 5 does apply to arrests but the domestic law does as well
If you are suing for wrongful arrest then that information would be relevant then and can be sought under that action. Then if other avenues open up you could pursue them.
You could always seek an injunction forcing them to reveal her statement under the law of defamation if you intend to act against her.
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