The following Corporate Crime practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:
False imprisonment is a common law offence but it is more common as a civil action in tort (see Practice Note: False imprisonment).
It is triable only on indictment. It may be classified in class 2A, 2B or 3 in accordance with the Criminal Practice Directions.
The offence is closely related to the common law offence of kidnapping. The difference is that unlike the offence of kidnapping, there is no requirement to prove that the victim was 'taken and carried away'. (R v Hutchins  Crim LR 379 (not reported by LexisNexis®)).
See Practice Note: Common law offence of kidnapping.
In R v Rahman (1985) 81 Cr App Rep 349 (not reported by LexisNexis®), it was held that, on a charge of false imprisonment, the prosecution must prove:
intentional or reckless
restraint of a victim's freedom of movement from a particular place
False imprisonment at common law involves an act of the defendant which directly and intentionally (or possibly negligently) causes the confinement of the claimant within an area delimited by the defendant. To amount to a criminal offence, the act requires a distinct mental element (see further below).
The methods which might be used to keep a person in such an area are many and various. They could include physical barriers,
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