Police apologise after campaigner arrest

Lindis Percy was arrested during the Olympic Torch Relay in Harrogate Credit: Press Association

Britain’s most famous peace campaigner has won compensation and received an apology from West Yorkshire Police after she was arrested during the Olympic Torch Relay in Harrogate last year.

Lindis Percy, who lives in the town, was detained as she protested to US military officials as the Olympic torch passed through Harrogate.

West Yorkshire officers had been drafted in to help colleagues in North Yorkshire. Ms Percy, who is a regular protestor at the Menwith Hill spy base near Harrogate, sued the force. West Yorkshire Police has now admitted wrongful arrest, false imprisonment, assault and human rights infringements.

Her solicitor Andrew Gray, said:“My client was arrested for alleged breach of the peace by West Yorkshire Police in order to stop her from exercising her freedom of expression. Such heavy-handed and arbitrary use of State force was wholly unnecessary in the circumstances.”

Ms Percy said:“I was surprised and shocked by the actions of West Yorkshire police. The outcome of this claim restores the precious right to protest peacefully”.

In a statement, West Yorkshire Police said: "This lady was arrested in good faith following a complaint by a member of the public. When the evidence was reviewed it was decided that the grounds for arrest were not sufficient and consequently liability was admitted by West Yorkshire Police..."