The case of Ms M
On 22nd May 2017, a horrifying attack took place as people were leaving the Manchester Arena, following a music concert by US pop singer Ariana Grande. Sadly 22 people died and many more were injured. The city was in mourning as police began the task of investigating the latest terrorist attack in the UK.
Two days after the incident our client Ms M, had returned home from work and begun preparing her evening meal in her flat in an area of Manchester. She had lived at the property for 3 years.
That evening she was on the phone to her boyfriend when she noticed armed police gathered outside the flat on the ground floor. A few minutes later while on the phone she was stunned by a loud explosion at her front door. She saw approximately 10 police officers dressed in black, wearing gas masks and helmets enter her property. Ms M was shouted at and told to get down to the floor while a gun was pointed directly at her and handcuffs placed behind her back. She lay scared on the floor as officers searched the flat with sniffer dogs. Ms M was given no explanation from the police as to why they had forced their way into her property. She was then escorted out of her flat in full public view into a police van and taken to the police station to be detained for questioning.
It was not until she arrived at the police station that she was informed she had been arrested under the Terrorism Act in relation to the Manchester bombing. Ms M has no previous convictions and it should have been clear to police very early on into their investigations that she has no links to the suspected Manchester bomber. Yet she remained detained for 7 hours before being released with no further action.
Following the ordeal Ms M was signed off work briefly and received telephone counselling. She was prevented from returning to her flat and offered alternative accommodation pending further investigations into her flat and neighbouring properties.
Ms M was represented by Waleke Munthali, Solicitor in our Actions Against Police department at Broudie Jackson Canter, who assisted her with a claim for compensation against Greater Manchester Police. Her case settled for £10,000.
While the police have a difficult task in protecting the public from suspected terrorist activities, it was clear that on this occasion the police at the scene could have resolved the situation without the need for heavy-handed policing tactics, against a young woman who was obviously an ordinary citizen.
If you have a query about a potential case against the police please contact our Actions Against the Police department on 0151 227 1429.