Wiltshire Police 'sorry' for wrongful arrest

image copyrightIain Gould
image captionMrs Boxford-White was held in a cell for seven hours after being wrongfully arrested for breach of the peace

A woman has received £9,000 and an apology from Wiltshire Police after being unlawfully arrested and held in a cell for hours.

Pamela Boxford-White, 72, was arrested for breach of the peace on 4 June 2012 and taken to Swindon police station, her solicitor Iain Gould said.

She was left in a cell for seven hours and denied access to a solicitor.

The letter from the head of professional standards admits the arrest "should not have occurred".

Mr and Mrs Boxford-White had been involved in a long-running neighbour dispute.

On 4 June 2012, two police officers came to arrest Mr Boxford-White for allegedly assaulting a neighbour near their home in Abbey Meads.

His wife became distressed and was also arrested.

They were taken to a police Station while Mr Boxford-White was questioned about the assault complaint.

Mrs Boxford-White was kept in a cell for seven hours while her husband was interviewed.

The assault charges were later dropped but Mrs Boxford-White complained to Wiltshire Police over their "high-handed and arbitrary treatment".

Her complaint was not upheld and she was told the officers had no case to answer and no further action would be taken.

Mrs Boxford-White then pursued a civil action, which resulted in the apology.

It states: "It is accepted that your behaviour did not, and could never, constitute a breach of the peace and therefore your arrest was unlawful and should not have occurred."

Iain Gould, the solicitor who represented Mrs Boxford-White, said there was a "complete failure of applying common sense" to the situation.

"Mrs Boxford-White was very upset about the arrest of her husband. She did express indications of upset and shock," he added.

"These expressions were expressions of frustration, they certainly weren't expressions of self-harm.

"This really should have been obvious to the police officers concerned and they should have acted accordingly.

"Instead what they do is arrest her for breach of the peace, which is just outrageous."

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