A NSW police officer was subjected to an unlawful search by another officer
Unlawful search on the street
Anya* is a serving NSW Police Officer. Anya and her friends were in the city walking to a local bar when two police officers stopped them. Anya reached to her bag to get her police badge. However, one of the officers grabbed her arm to stop her. The officer asked for Anya’s bag, and she handed it over.
Then, the officers emptied the contents of Anya’s bag and searched the items, finding Anya’s police badge. Anya asked for her belongings back and the officers complied. One of the officers asked the destination of Anya and her friends, and at what police station Anya worked. However, Anya did not answer the questions, and left to get a taxi home.
Then, on Anya’s journey home, she received a call from a local police station informing her that there would be an internal investigation into her conduct. However, the issues of the investigation were not sustained.
Police sue police: Compensation for unlawful stop, search and assault
O’Brien Solicitors acted for Anya to seek compensation from the State of NSW. The conduct of the police officers was inconsistent with their powers and responsibilities under the law. The officers involved did not have a lawful reason to stop Anya under section 21 of the Law Enforcement (Powers and Responsibilities) Act 2002 (NSW) (‘LEPRA’). The officer who grabbed Anya also did not have a lawful reason to do so. This gave rise to a claim for assault. Further, in stopping and detaining Anya, the officers restrained her liberty. This gave rise to a claim for false imprisonment.
In conclusion, O’Brien Solicitors successfully secured compensation for Anya, as well as payment of her legal costs.
*We change names to protect the identity of our clients.
Not all stops or searches are legal. If you want to sue the police for an unlawful stop and search, contact O’Brien Criminal and Civil Solicitors on (02) 9261 4281. We can set up a free appointment with the civil lawyers in our Sydney office.