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Defamation claim against the police

A defamation claim against the police is often coupled with claims for breach of privacy and misuse of private information. The reason for this is that in most cases, police investigations are private matters in the sense that the individual questioned or investigated is considered innocent until proven guilty.

The fact that an individual is being named as a suspect, formally or informally, could give rise to a defamation claim against the police, should the investigation result with no further action taken against the suspect. In high profile cases, which attract a degree of media attention, it is inevitable that as a result of the publication of the suspect’s arrest, the media will take steps that are likely to infringe the suspect’s right to private life.

For example, if the media publishes the suspect’s name or if the suspect is being chased by the press or being followed by paparazzi, the result is likely to be an infringement of the suspect’s right to public life as well as harming the suspect’s good reputation.

If it can be shown, on balance of probabilities, that the details of the suspect’s arrest were leaked by the police, then a potential claim could arise against the police for defamation, breach of privacy and misuse of private information and such claim may result in the police having to pay substantial damages to the innocent suspect.

Defamation by the police legal advice
  • Defamation Claim Against The Police

    The Claimant was the Chairman of the Oriental Fine Arts Academy of London (“OFAAL”), a registered charity. He was a well-regarded community worker and a leader within the Tamil community in England and across Europe. Allegations were made to the police against the Claimant, that he committed fraud. Part of the alleged fraud was that he unlawfully altered an official charity document. Those were false allegations for which the Claimant successfully sued his accusers for defamation.

    Defamation claim against the policeThe Detective Sergeant, who investigated the allegations on behalf of the Metropolitan police wrote an email to the accusers where he said the Claimant abused his position as

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