25 September 2016

Compensation Paid by Sussex Police


FOI By Proxy can exclusively reveal that Sussex Police paid almost £400,000 in compensation to members of the public wrongly arrested or detained by its officers since 2010.

During the same time period the force paid almost £3,000 to members of the public wrongly injured by its police dogs.

A few months ago we requested this same information from all 43 territorial police forces across England and Wales, as well as the British Transport Police and Civil Nuclear Constabulary.

Sussex Police was one of the few forces to provide a timely and concise response, for which it is to be commended. It was also one of the highest paying, which is why it is worthy of special mention in this article.

The full text of our request appears below:

Public Authority:
Sussex Police

Their Reference Number:
FOI 003/16

Request by FOI By Proxy (sent 12th January 2016):
Dear Sir/Madam,

I am making this request under the terms of section 1 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

Please provide the following information in relation to your police force:

1. The number of members of the public paid compensation for wrongful arrest/detention by your officers. Please provide this as an annual breakdown since 2010.
2. The cumulutive amount in compensation paid to members of the public for wrongful arrest/detention by your officers. Please provide this as an annual breakdown since 2010.
3. The value of the largest compensation payment made to a member of the publlc for wrongful arrest/detection by your officers. Please provide this as an annual breakdown since 2010.
4. The number of members of the public paid compensation after being injured by a police dog. Please provide this as an annual breakdown since 2010.
5. The cumulative amount in compensation paid to members of the public after being injured by a police dog. Please provide this as an annual breakdown since 2010.
6. The value of the largest compensation payment made to a member of the publlc after being injured by a police dog. Please provide this as an annual breakdown since 2010.

For the sake of clarity, "wrongful" means any arrest/detention not conducted in accordance with current legislation or regulations; "your police force" means the police force receiving this request for information; "member of the public" means any person not employed by your police force; "your officers" means anyone employed by your police force as a sworn constable or PCSO..

In accordance with section 11 of the Act, please provide your response in electronic format to the return email address associated with this request.

Many thanks for your help with this matter.

Yours faithfully,

[Name]
On behalf of FOI By Proxy

Response by Sussex Police (received 29th January 2016):
Sussex Police provided the following information in relation to the amount of compensation paid to members of the public for wrongful arrest/detention:
  • 2010: Compensation was paid in relation to nine claims, in the total amount of £32,050. The largest individual payment was £16,500.
  • 2011: Compensation was paid in relation to fifteen claims, in the total amount of £77,950. The largest individual payment was £11,000.
  • 2012: Compensation was paid in relation to fourteen claims, in the total amount of £59,133.60 The largest individual payment was £10,000.
  • 2013: Compensation was paid in relation to twenty seven claims, in the total amount of £110,267.50. The largest individual payment was £20,000.
  • 2014: Compensation was paid in relation to eighteen claims, in the total amount of £92,362.50. The largest individual payment was £15,000.
  • 2015: Compensation was paid in relation to ten claims, in the total amount of £17,500. The largest individual payment was £3,750.
It provided the following information in relation to the amount of compensation paid to members of the public injured by police dogs:
  • 2010: No payments were made.
  • 2011: Compensation was paid to one person, in the total amount of £2,050.
  • 2012: No payments were made.
  • 2013: Compensation was paid to one person, in the total amount of £750.
  • 2014: No payments were made.
  • 2015: No payments were made.
Supporting Material:
You can view Sussex Police's letter of response here.

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