What impact will the Worboys judgment have for victims of serious crime?

Two victims of John Worboys have won their claims for compensation from the Metropolitan Police after the Supreme Court ruled that their treatment by police breached their human rights.

The London black cab driver John Worboys drugged and raped at least 85 women before he was arrested in 2008. The two victims had reported attacks to the police in 2003 and 2007 but the police failed to charge the taxi driver at this stage, due to significant investigative failings following scepticism in their claims.

The appeal followed a ruling at the High Court in 2013 which found that the Police were liable to the women for failing to investigate correctly. The police had accepted that they had failed in the case of Worboys but fought the challenge due to the implications on police forces if it were to lose.

Both women claimed to have suffered serious mental illness as a result of their treatment by officers. One of the victims said at the Supreme Court: “Had you [the Police] done your job properly there wouldn’t have been 105 victims, there would be one.”

What does this mean for the police?

The ruling that the Metropolitan Police failed to investigate correctly will have a profound effect on the way that police forces investigate crime.

The Metropolitan police said that they will need to move resources away from other areas of investigation such as fraud in order to fulfil their responsibilities following the judgment.

What could this mean for victims of serious crime?

This landmark ruling is significant for victims of serious crime who feel that they have been let down by serious failures by the police.

Previously, police could not be found to be negligent if they had failed to identify and arrest a suspect. They are now expecting to see an influx of claims from victims who feel that their cases were not adequately investigated.

Charles Derham, Head of the Abuse team at Verisona Law, said: “Victims of violent and serious crime have a right to see the crimes against them investigated properly and thoroughly, and it is only fair that the police are held accountable for their actions if they do not approach investigations in the right way.

This ruling will hopefully mean that less victims will have to go through the poor treatment that was felt by the victims in this particular case but where negligence by the police is concerned it will give victims and their lawyers the confidence to take claims forward.”

Below is a selection of organisations/instutions/bodies we are frequently instructed to pursue.


  • Private schools, boarding schools, local authority schools, closed schools, hospital schools.


  • The Scouts Association, St Johns Ambulance, MIND, the Children’s Society, Barnados.

Private companies

  • Football trainers, judo teachers, dance instructors, swimming instructors, holiday activity centres, nurseries, youth clubs.

Local Authorities/Ministry of Defence

  • County Councils, Borough Councils, City Councils, ILEA, cadets, navy/ army (forces).

National Health Service Trusts/Commissioning Boards/GPs

  • Hospitals, Disability care centres, children’s care providers.


  • Convicted perpetrators, acquitted perpetrators.

Children’s Homes

  • Respite care, full time children’s home, part-time children’s homes.

Religious Institutions

  • Roman Catholic Church, United Synagogue, Sisters of Nazareth, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Brothers Order.

Foster Carers

  • Permanent carers, temporary carers

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