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Dhesi v Chief Constable of West Midlands Police

16 May 2000
The issues

Unlawful arrest – by one Police Officer but not informed of the grounds of his arrest by that Officer.

The facts

The Police while responding to earlier incident came across Claimant and others fighting in the street. The Claimant was carrying a hockey stick and was angry and aggressive. He threatened the Police with the stick. Whilst the Police were speaking to the other youths the Claimant and his brother ran off and hid on wasteland. They were tracked by a Policeman and his dog. They remained hidden despite 2 warnings by the Officer that he would release the dog if they did not come out. The brother stood up and surrendered after the dog was released. The Claimant remained hidden.

The dog was released from the lead but on a check chain and went back to the area where the brother had been found. The Officer heard “thrashing and crashing” and found the Claimant sitting on the ground fighting the dog. The Claimant was bitten several times (by the dog). He was told to walk to another Police Officer who handcuffed him and arrested him for affray.

The decision

For the purpose of Section 28 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act PCEA 1984 was that the person under arrest should know why he was arrested as soon as possible. It was not necessary that the Officer giving the reasons should be the same Officer as he who deprived the subject of his liberty. The arrest was therefore lawful. The Claimant had also submitted that the Defendants were liable under the Animals Act. It was held that there was no liability in that the Claimant had voluntarily accepted the risks of sustaining damage within Section 5 of the Act.

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The content on this page is provided for the purposes of general interest and information. It contains only brief summaries of aspects of the subject matter and does not provide comprehensive statements of the law. It does not constitute legal advice and does not provide a substitute for it.

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