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Brooks v. Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis & Ors [2005] UKHL 24 (21 April 2005)


Victims of crime: A victim of crime and eye witness to a murder could not proceed in claiming damages for negligence against the police for his treatment by the police. The Claimant argued that the police owed a duty of care to: (i) take reasonable steps to assess whether B was a victim of crime and then to accord him reasonably appropriate protection, support, assistance and treatment if he was so assessed; (ii) take reasonable steps to afford B the protection, assistance and support commonly afforded to a key eye-witness to a serious crime of violence; and (iii) afford reasonable weight to the account that B gave and to act upon it accordingly. The House of Lords held that such duties should not be imposed upon the police since to do so would cut across the freedom of action they ought to have when investigating serious crime.