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Van Colle v Chief Constable of Hertfordshire Police [2008]


  • After her left his job, Van Colle left hid job and was pressured by his employer into not giving evidence about a crime he knew his employer had committed.
  • The employer made death threats to Van Colle, which were reported to the police if Van Colle were to give evidence against him
  • Van Colle was later shot dead and the employer convicted


  • Could the estate of Van Colle recover for the police’s lack of action in protecting the witness


  • Claim dismissed


  • Due to the minor nature of the crime at stake and a lack of previous convictions of the emplyer, the police had no reason to act
  • The police would only need to act if they feared a ‘real and immediate risk to life’
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