|[Home] [Databases] [World Law] [Multidatabase Search] [Help] [Feedback]|
England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions
You are here: BAILII >> Databases >> England and Wales Court of Appeal (Civil Division) Decisions >> Williams v Dyfed and Powys Police  EWCA Civ 1627 (22 November 2010)
Cite as:  EWCA Civ 1627
[New search] [Context] [View without highlighting] [Printable RTF version] [Help]
ON APPEAL FROM HIGH COURT OF JUSTICE
QUEEN'S BENCH DIVISION
(HIS HONOUR JUDGE CHRISTOPHER VOSPER QC)
Cardiff Civil Justice Centre
2 Park Street
B e f o r e :
LORD JUSTICE ELIAS
LORD JUSTICE PITCHFORD
| MR AND MRS WILLIAMS
|- and –
OF DYFED AND POWYS POLICE
WordWave International Limited
A Merrill Communications Company
165 Fleet Street, London EC4A 2DY
Tel No: 020 7404 1400 Fax No: 020 7404 1424
Official Shorthand Writers to the Court)
Mr Jeremy Johnson (instructed by Messrs Dolmans) appeared on behalf of the Respondent.
Crown Copyright ©
Lord Justice Pitchford:
"34. The fact that the police did not act maliciously is not decisive under the Convention which is geared to protecting against abuse of power, however motivated or caused (see, mutatis mutandis, McLeod, cited above, where the police suspected a breach of the peace might occur). The Court cannot agree that a limitation of actions for damages to cases of malice is necessary to protect the police in their vital functions of investigating crime. The exercise of powers to interfere with home and private life must be confined within reasonable bounds to minimise the impact of such measures on the personal sphere of the individual guaranteed under Article 8 which is pertinent to security and well-being … In a case where basic steps to verify the connection between the address and the offence under investigation were not effectively carried out, the resulting police action, which caused the applicants considerable fear and alarm, cannot be regarded as proportionate.
35. As argued by the applicants, this finding does not imply that any search, which turns out to be unsuccessful, would fail the proportionality test, only that a failure to take reasonable and available precautions may do so."
"39. Applying those principles to this case I must accordingly ascertain whether in the circumstances of the case the entry of the claimants' home was proportionate to the legitimate aim being pursued by DC Lavin in the sense that it struck a fair balance between their right to respect for their home on the one hand and the prevention of crime on the other. I must carry out that exercise by assessing whether the reasons adduced to justify the search were relevant and sufficient."
The judge then reached the following conclusions of fact at paragraph 40 of his judgment:
"40. Here the position as DC Lavin and his inspector understood it was:
(1) the first claimant had two years before the date of the Crimestoppers report been released from prison, having been sentenced for "car ringing" offences;
(2) there was a Crimestoppers report saying that he was doing the same thing, in which the caller had correctly given the first claimant's name and address;
(3) he had placed three advertisements in the Hereford Times offering three different cars for sale over a relatively short time;
(4) DC Lavin had seen three cars in the driveway of his house;
(5) one of those cars was the Alfa Romeo, which was registered to somebody living in Gloucestershire;
(6) the Alfa Romeo was at that time the subject of an advertisement in the newspaper."
Lord Justice Elias:
Lord Justice Carnwath:
Order: Appeal dismissed