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Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:25 pm

shootist wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:That would be any that occur where the public are present, or might arrive before the arrest is completed.

You are repeating myself.


It may be notable for its rarity on this board and so be hard to recognise, but you could perhaps take that as agreeing with you.

Hairyloon wrote:
shootist wrote:The risk may be slight, it's true, but it's there for sure, and not always at all obvious.

If it is sufficiently not obvious, then that would likely make it not reasonably foreseeable.

I don't think that there was a mention or 'reasonably' in respect of foreseeable.

I suggest that perhaps they should have been.

Hairyloon wrote:OK, so how did it happen?

I shall resist the opportunity to say that I wasn't there so I don't know. I'll try an explain. If I could prove that the odds against it happening were a million to one against, what does that prove? The answer is, I would have just proved it's possible...

I meant how did the incident occur, not how was it not foreseen.

According to the blog wrote:One officer saw W drug dealing. The officer made an operational assessment that he could not immediately make an arrest. He called for support. In the meantime W had moved locations and was standing outside a shop in the town centre. Other officers arrived. The officers considered that if they did not arrest W at that point the opportunity would be lost and also that there would a risk of a loss of important evidence. The decision was made that two officers would approach W from one side and two from the other side. The latter two officers were to arrive momentarily after the first two, in order to avoid spooking W. The officers approached W and took hold of him. He resisted arrest and there was a struggle. W's efforts to avoid arrest took him and the officers some metres away from the initial point of contact. Due to W’s force the group then fell to the ground, colliding with and injuring the Claimant, a completely unconnected pedestrian – in the process.


Not a million miles from what I had assumed and seems to me not dissimilar from a pedestrian stepping in front of a car: it might be the driver's fault, but significant blame attaches to the pedestrian: they could see the car coming and stepped out nonetheless.
Here, it seems the bystander could see there was an altercation ensuing and chose to ignore it rather than give it space. Hard to comment though, from that description.
Do we know if the judge had CCTV footage to look at?
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby atticus » Fri Feb 09, 2018 1:56 pm

CCTV footage is referred to in the judgment, para 9. This follows a recitation of the facts, which starts at para 4.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 3:29 pm

atticus wrote:CCTV footage is referred to in the judgment, para 9. This follows a recitation of the facts, which starts at para 4.

Thank you. That is a lot more helpful. Was it so difficult?

Mrs Robinson was one of a number of pedestrians walking along the pavement. She passed Willan and Dhurmea, and then
Williams, very shortly after two other pedestrians.
Almost immediately after she passed Williams, and when she was within a yard of him, Willan and Dhurmea approached him. Mrs Robinson was then in their
line of sight.
The officers took hold of Williams and attempted to arrest him. Williams resisted arrest. As the men tussled, they moved towards Mrs Robinson and collided with her. The initial contact was between her and Williams, who backed into her. She fell over, and the men fell on top of her.


From that reading, it seems that there was nothing to be lost from waiting a moment longer to let the old lady get clear before initiating the arrest.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby shootist » Fri Feb 09, 2018 8:41 pm

Hairyloon wrote:From that reading, it seems that there was nothing to be lost from waiting a moment longer to let the old lady get clear before initiating the arrest.


It's not quite that simple. When under the stress of a physical threat, which the officers would have been experiencing as they walked towards a possibly violent arrest, senses narrow. Tunnel vision starts, hearing becomes interrupted except for those things relevant. In the USA, officers have given evidence that they did not hear a colleagues .357 service pistol discharged when it was only a yard or two away. Anyone who has stood that close to such a pistol would find that very difficult to believe, but the possibility has been corroborated by scientists. I have a friend who fired three rounds from a .44 Magnum revolver with very heavy duty cartridges. He swears he only vaguely heard a 'pop, pop, pop' sound. He was, though, quite distracted by the polar bear that was on top of him expressing a sincere intent to eat him.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby Hairyloon » Fri Feb 09, 2018 11:43 pm

shootist wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:From that reading, it seems that there was nothing to be lost from waiting a moment longer to let the old lady get clear before initiating the arrest.

It's not quite that simple. When under the stress of a physical threat, which the officers would have been experiencing as they walked towards a possibly violent arrest, senses narrow. Tunnel vision starts, hearing becomes interrupted except for those things relevant...


What about a technological solution?
Couldn't control hook into the CCTV and direct the situation? And/or body cams.

The answer to that is probably not, but it would not be difficult to make it so. At least, not technologically difficult...
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby shootist » Sat Feb 10, 2018 8:50 am

Hairyloon wrote:
shootist wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:From that reading, it seems that there was nothing to be lost from waiting a moment longer to let the old lady get clear before initiating the arrest.

It's not quite that simple. When under the stress of a physical threat, which the officers would have been experiencing as they walked towards a possibly violent arrest, senses narrow. Tunnel vision starts, hearing becomes interrupted except for those things relevant...


What about a technological solution?
Couldn't control hook into the CCTV and direct the situation? And/or body cams.

The answer to that is probably not, but it would not be difficult to make it so. At least, not technologically difficult...


Unless you include expense as part of the difficulty. That and the very high level of skill and knowledge required of the 'controller'. And who has the final call and consequential responsibility. And on what jobs? To work, such a solution would requite CCTV supervision of every public facing officer 24/7. Definitely not difficult, just bloody impossible.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Feb 10, 2018 9:35 am

shootist wrote:
Hairyloon wrote:What about a technological solution?
Couldn't control hook into the CCTV and direct the situation? And/or body cams.

The answer to that is probably not, but it would not be difficult to make it so. At least, not technologically difficult...


Unless you include expense as part of the difficulty.

I understand that body-cams are increasingly coming in, and so they should. Many, CCTV systems are already web-connected, and this is becoming increasingly common: I don't see a need for a great deal of expense.
That and the very high level of skill and knowledge required of the 'controller'. And who has the final call and consequential responsibility.

Who gets the blame now? There were 4 officers in the case we have been looking at; who was the case against?
And on what jobs? To work, such a solution would requite CCTV supervision of every public facing officer 24/7.

It wouldn't at all. Consider the case on the table: how long were those four officers busy that day, and for how much of that would direction have been significantly helpful? From a minute or two before the suspect was approached until the arrest was complete: a few minutes out of several hours. One controller should be able to handle multiple officers on the ground.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby atticus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 10:47 am

The title of the case indicates who the claim was brought against: the Chief Constable, i.e. the force in question. The force is insured, so that makes this a good choice of defendant, as well as the right choice given that the force has vicarious liabilty.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby Hairyloon » Sat Feb 10, 2018 11:51 am

I had expected people to infer that point from the question, but thank you for spelling it out.
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Re: Supreme Court Case - Police negligence

Postby atticus » Sat Feb 10, 2018 12:26 pm

Happy to help.
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