Gary Davies v British Transport Police

IPT 17/93/H

A finding in favour of the Claimant and subsequent remedies.

The Respondent, British Transport Police, carried out unauthorised surveillance on the Claimant, Mr Davies, who was, unknown to them at the time, a retired police chief superintendent . As a result of this surveillance, the Respondent made a public arrest and subsequently issued a press release further publicising the alleged offences, of which the Claimant was subsequently acquitted by a jury. The Respondent, whose relevant officers had no proper understanding of the legal requirements for such surveillance, plainly ought to have obtained prior authorisation. As a result the Tribunal ruled that the surveillance was unlawful.

In relation to compensation, the Respondent asserted that the breach was technical, as authorisation could and would have been obtained. The Tribunal rejected this, because of the paucity of the case against the Claimant, and the obvious need for further inquiries before authorisation would become possible. The Tribunal awarded to the Claimant his unrecouped costs of the criminal trial, on the basis that, but for the unlawful surveillance, it would not have taken place. In addition the Tribunal awarded the significant sum of 25,000 to reflect the gravity of the breach, real injury to feelings, damage to reputation and probable loss of promotion prospects suffered by the Claimant brought about by the arrest, the accompanying publicity and the trial.

Date of determination 30 April 2018.
Date of remedies 10 July 2018

Judgment dated : 10 Jul 18

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