Edward Pleeth

Call 2005

Overview

Edward advises and represents police forces across the country in all areas of police civil law. These include judicial review, inquests, civil actions for false imprisonment, assault, malicious prosecution, misfeasance, and negligence. He is instructed in a wide range of advisory work, including operational advice to police forces on matters such as the implementation of new legislation, surveillance, searches and the disclosure obligations in civil and family litigation. Edward also regularly advises and acts for police forces at misconduct hearings, including the Police Appeals Tribunal and deals with judicial review relating to misconduct issues.

Police

‘Always on top of the law, and at his best when cross-examining the accused.’
The Legal 500

Edward is a member of the Attorney General’s B Panel of Junior Counsel to the Crown.
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Experience and Expertise: Civil actions involving the police

Edward is often instructed to provide advice and representation in the whole range of damages claims brought against the police including false imprisonment, trespass to the person and to property, malicious prosecution, misfeasance in public office, negligence and breach of the Human Rights Act 1998. He has appeared for the police in both jury and judge-only trials. Recently, he successfully represented West Yorkshire Police in a test case brought by two Liverpool FC supporters for false imprisonment arising out of an alleged ‘rolling containment’ when traveling on coaches between Sunderland and Liverpool.

Operational Advice

Edward has undertaken a wide range of general advisory work and is often asked to advise (including during ongoing operations) on public order, firearms, detention, RIPA and PACE powers. He is particularly experienced at advising on the impact of human rights legislation on police work. He is accustomed to giving tactical advice concerning covert human intelligence sources and undercover police operations.

Professional Misconduct

In the field of police misconduct he is regularly instructed to prosecute and defend in serious police misconduct allegations in misconduct proceedings, the Police Appeals Tribunal and on Judicial Review. He was instructed in Operation Alice, the series of misconduct hearings arising out of the investigation in to the Plebgate incident at the gates of Downing Street and recently defended two officers at a Ministry of Defence Police Gross Misconduct Hearing arising from events at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield.

Disclosure

Edward has developed a particular expertise in representing and advising police forces on Public Interest Immunity, Legal Professional Privilege and non-disclosure. He represented a Chief Constable in a leading PII case, BCC v FZ and Others [2012] EWHC 1154 (Fam). Edward is regularly instructed by the Police to assert PII in cases involving ongoing criminal investigations, covert human intelligence sources, witness protection and targeted surveillance operations.

Inquiries and inquests

Edward specialises in inquest law. He has acted for a variety of statutory bodies at inquests across the country. Edward has particular interest and expertise in inquests held under Art 2 ECHR investigating deaths in police or prison custody. Recently, Edward acted for West Mercia Police in an Inquest involving the use of telephone analysis to locate missing persons.

Firearms Licensing

Edward often represents the police at Crown Court appeal hearings relating to firearms and shotgun licensing.  He has defended in numerous revocation appeals arising out of concerns about an individual’s behaviour or criminal conviction.

Administrative & Constitutional Law

Edward has been instructed in a number of judicial reviews on matters as diverse as use of public order powers, police misconduct regime and arrests involving the alleged interference with religious rights.

Licensing

Edward represents police forces before Licensing Panels in matters concerning the Licensing Act 2003.

Cases and work of note

  • BCC v FZ and Others [2012] EWHC 1154 (Fam)
    Edward appeared on behalf of a Chief Constable of Police in this Public Interest Immunity application (“PII”) before Lady Justice Eleanor King sitting in the High Court of Justice Family Division.
  • Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police v PC Ryan
    Edward represented the Chief Constable of North Yorkshire Police in their first public misconduct hearing. PC Ryan was assisting in the search of a property as part of an investigation into a sexual offence involving a child. During the search PC Ryan found a typed CV belonging to the occupant of the address. He wrote on the CV words to the effect of: “paeodophile”, “paedo” and/or “kiddy fiddler”. On two other occasions PC Ryan wore a wooly hat stating, “I love weed” or words/pictures to that effect. The panel found that PC Ryan’s behaviour breached the standards of professional behaviour and amounted to gross misconduct. PC Ryan was dismissed without notice.
    The case was widely reported in the national press, including by the BBC, The Telegraph, and by ITV.
  • Ministry of Defence Police v Police Constable EM
    Edward was instructed to defend Police Constable EM during this Ministry of Defence Police Gross Misconduct Hearing arising from events at the Atomic Weapons Establishment Burghfield in Berkshire. Police Constable EM was one of the Officers responsible for the maintenance of the Establishment’s security.
  • The Chief Constable Of Essex Police v Detective Constable B
    It was alleged that T/DC B behaved in a manner, which amounts to gross-misconduct by accessing restricted information on force intelligence systems and disclosing that information to family members. Edward presented the case on the behalf of The Chief Constable Of Essex Police.
  • Operation Alice
    Operation Alice was the title given to the misconduct investigations initiated by the Metropolitan Police following the ‘Plebgate’ incident at the gates of Downing Street. Edward was instructed to act as the legal advisor to the panel in three of the hearings convened by the Metropolitan Police.
  • P v The Chief Constable of Wiltshire Police
    Edward acted for the Chief Constable in this appeal against the decision to revoke the Appellant’s Firearms and Shotgun Certificates. The Appeal was dismissed.
  • Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis v Police Constable L.D
    Edward acted for the Appropriate Authority in this gross-misconduct hearing involving allegations of racism. The allegations were found proved and the police officer was dismissed without notice.
  • Commissioner of the Police of the Metropolis v Police Constable D.B
    Edward acted as Legal Advisor to misconduct panels in this gross-misconduct hearing involving allegations of suppression of evidence by a Sapphire Investigation Unit.