Express Solicitors has revealed that the Metropolitan Police Service has been ordered to pay several thousand pounds in legal fees by the High Court after taking 34 months to respond to requests for information on a serious pedestrian crossing accident.
The firm, which incurred costs on behalf of a brain injured person involved in the accident, says that it sent 12 letters and 26 emails as well make some 50 telephone calls simply trying to establish whether or not the Met had prosecuted the offending driver.
Eventually, Express made an application to the High Court for an order for the documents to be provided. It also also made a request that the Met pay the legal costs incurred in chasing the information, which the High Court granted.
The Met, which has agreed to pay the costs, admitted that it had not charged the driver as it had classified the accident as non-serious, despite the fact that officers could not at first find a pulse on the victim and that the victim was assessed to have a very low level of consciousness after the head injury by the London Ambulance Service.
Daniel Slade, a partner at Express Solicitors said the case had not followed the normal course of events.
“For once the police are paying for their own inefficiencies and the trouble that caused the lawyers,” he said.
“We are acting for a brain damaged man in what is a very serious case, but have been messed around for almost three years by the Met, which could have told us at the beginning it couldn’t provide the documentation we needed.
“Why? Perhaps it was because the officers classified the accident as non-serious and didn’t even investigate, let alone charge, the driver.”
Slade said that he hoped the High Court’s decision would force the Met to accept that it had serious administration problems and would take steps to refine its processes.
“Delays like this are totally unacceptable,” he added.