Reinforcement of police immunity
- January 29, 2015
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The recent decision of the Supreme Court not to allow a claim for negligence to be brought against the police following their failure to act in such a way as to prevent to murder of 25 year Joanna Michael reinforces the decision made in the 1989 case of Hill v Chief Constable of West Yorkshire (the Yorkshire Ripper case).
In a 5-2 majority the court confirmed that the police have ‘immunity’ in civil claims for negligence where the cause of action arises from ‘the investigation or suppression of crime’.
In a separate decision, permission was given for the matter to proceed with the matter under Article 2 of the European Convention on Human Rights – the right to life – on the grounds that this right was breached by the failure of the police to take act in such a manner as to protect Joanna.