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Police Assault and Excessive Force Claims

Have you been a victim of police assault? Have the police used excessive force on you or a loved one? Find out if our expert panel of solicitors can assist you with a claim for compensation.

While many police officers understand the use of force should always be proportionate to the danger posed, some officers in the UK do unfortunately sometimes use excessive force on the public. While they certainly have the right to defend themselves when they are attacked or provoked they should always observe restraint as much as possible and the use of force should be within legal boundaries. 

If you believe you have been assaulted unlawfully by the police, or if they have used excessive force against you, you may be entitled to an Actions Against The Police compensation claim. Our expert panel of Police Assault solicitors will be able to tell you if you are eligible or not.

The use of excessive force when restraining or arresting someone is against the law and a police officer who commits such an act should answer to legal authorities. It is your constitutional right to ensure you are protected from excessive force and/or unjust police assault. Police officers should make you feel safe, not assault you unjustifiably.

If a police officer steps over the mark  and uses excessive force against you or a loved one, it is your obligation to report it. Our panel of highly skilled and experienced solicitors can help you with this process. 


What is classified as excessive force?

When a police officer employs an amount of force that goes beyond what is deemed necessary as they attempt to resolve a problem or situation, that officer  is said to have used excessive force. Often known as police brutality, battery, or assault, excessive force refers to any physical action that is too harsh to the point of being oppressive and/or inimical to the safety of the recipient of the police action. 

The use of excessive force typically involves physical injuries, such as when one is subjected to multiple baton blows, punches and kicks, extremely tight handcuffs, chokeholds, tear gas, guns, and tasers.

In the case of unlawful arrests, any form of restraint carried out by the police is already considered an assault or use of excessive force. 

Police assault and excessive force do not need to involve physical contact. If the action instils fear in an individual, especially in terms of physical safety, the use of excessive force is already said to be present and such an act will be classified as police battery. 

If an incident requires action from the police, the following methods are typically used to resolve the situation:

  • The police officer’s presence
  • Non-threatening verbal statements, such as when giving orders

If the situation deteriorates - such as when arresting a violent perpetrator - the use of bodily force may be necessary to subdue an individual. Such a scenario may even necessitate the use of weapons like tasers and batons. 

However, it is the police officer’s responsibility to ensure they stay compliant with the laws governing subduing individuals. Therefore, they should practice restraint when there is no more need for force and the concerned individual isn’t proving to be a threat and/or the situation has de-escalated. 

The most common circumstances of police assault and excessive force include:

  • Handcuff injury or any injury incurred during an arrest
  • Police chase injury, regardless of whether you were the driver or passenger of the vehicle the authorities pursued
  • The unnecessary use of pepper sprays and tasers
  • Injury incurred when hit by a baton or shield, and any physically threatening action, during a mass protest or demonstration and other similar gatherings

Stop and search incidents may also be a source of excessive force, particularly if there was physical contact when the action occurred. 

Lawful arrests may also trigger police assault and excessive force, specifically when the officer goes beyond the level of force allowed by law. Police officers  are expected to use force according to the severity of the situation. Therefore, force used must be proportionate to the incident. 


Claiming compensation for excessive force by the police

If you believe that police assaulted or used excessive force, your first steps should be to gather evidence. You can do this by going to the hospital or your doctor for a thorough physical exam. Throughout the checkup, you should take photos to document any physical evidence, such as handcuff marks, bruises, and other injuries. You can use these as evidence when you file for police assault and excessive force compensation claims. 

You are given 12 months to file a complaint against the police, so you must take action right away. You have two options:

  1. Go to the police station where the police officer who assaulted you belongs to and file a complaint against them.
  2. Go to a  team of solicitors for legal assistance. If you do not have one yet, be sure to find one that specialises in police assault and excessive force claims. 

Working with experienced solicitors will guarantee you appropriate legal support, counsel, advice, and personalised service.


How can help? have a panel of expert Actions Against The Police solicitors who can help you claim compensation for any police assault or excessive use of force. They can guide you through the process of bringing a civil claim against the police, and also let you know whether you are eligible for compensation.

To check you are eligible to claim, use our free-to-use eligibility checker below.

Ready To Get Started? provides a free educational service to the public, and connects potential claimants with pre-vetted legal firms operating on our panel. 

Our panel of legal firms all:

  • Operate on a No-Win, No Fee Basis
  • Require No Upfront Fees
  • Are Regulated by either the FCA or SRA

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Fairweather Group Ltd t/a do not give legal advice. You do not need to use a claims management company to make a claim. You have the right to use the relevant Ombudsman to seek redress for free. More information on your particular Ombudsman can be found on our Terms & Conditions. You can also seek legal advice elsewhere.

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There may be a termination fee if you cancel your claim with a panel member after the cooling-off period. We are paid a referral fee by our panel members for a successful introduction. Fairweather Group Ltd will not charge you for our service.

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