Express & Star

West Midlands Police in £1m compensation payouts to public

West Midlands Police has paid out nearly £1 million to the public in compensation in the last three years.


People have successfully claimed for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, trespassing and assault, among others, during the period.

The highest payout was £57,500 back in November 2012 for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, trespass and wrongful infringement of human rights.

This year alone the Police were forced to pay out £389,596.40 to the public, and this figure excludes the amount it has paid out in compensation to its own force.

This figure has risen year on year, with £243,253.08 paid out in 2013 and £297,596.40 in 2014.

Other examples of high payouts include £45,000 for assault, wrongful arrest and false imprisonment and £26,500 for wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, trespass and infringement of human rights.

The TaxPayers' Alliance raised concerns over the 'huge amount of money' that was not 'going into front-line policing'.

Alex Wild, research director at the Alliance, said: "This is a huge amount of money that is not going into front-line policing at a time when savings have to be made.

"Of course mistakes will be made from time to time and those who have been wrongfully arrested or falsely imprisoned are entitled to compensation, but forces really must minimise their errors and ensure that any pay outs aren't excessive."

But West Midlands Police insisted that the figures need to be put into perspective and that, when at fault, the police must pay out to ensure public accountability remains 'an essential pillar of modern policing'.

Lee Page, a spokesperson for the force, said: "When a civil action is brought against the Force, each case is considered and a detailed examination of the facts and circumstances is undertaken to determine whether there is any liability for the Force.

"Some cases can therefore attract a higher level of compensation.

"However, it is important that these figures are put into perspective, given the vast number of incidents officers attend and the positive effect that these invariably have on public confidence.

"Public accountability is an essential pillar of modern policing and when we are at fault, it is essential we remain accountable to the public by ensuring appropriate compensation."

Despite wrongful arrest and false imprisonment making up the majority of higher payouts, others on the list included £15,000 for assault, £15,600 for the misuse of private information and £15,000 for 'death in custody - assault, negligence misfeasance'.

Earlier this year, the Express & Star revealed that West Midlands Police has paid out over £1 million to its officers injured in the line of duty. This figure included £205,000 paid out in 2012/13, £330,100 paid out in 2013/14 an £535,200 in 2014/15.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.