Police Data Breach – Who Could Make A Claim?

This guide will explore the steps you could take if your personal data was compromised in a police data breach. As a data controller, those who decide on the purpose for processing, the police have a responsibility to keep your personal data safe. We will explore the data protection legislation in place that outlines their responsibilities throughout this guide.

police data breach

Police data breach

We will also discuss what a data breach is, how one could occur and when you might be eligible to seek compensation for a data breach.

Please continue reading for more information. Alternatively, you can contact our advisors for more information. They are available to provide you with free legal advice regarding data breach claims. 

To get in touch, you can:

  • Call using the number provided at the top of this page.
  • Contact us online.
  • Interact with an advisor via our live chat option.

Choose A Section

  1. Police Data Breach – What Is It?
  2. How Can A Data Breach Occur?
  3. What Should I Do If My Data Was Involved In A Police Data Breach?
  4. What Potential Compensation Could I Receive From A Data Breach?
  5. No Win No Fee Solicitors – What Are The Benefits?
  6. Learn More About What You Can Do After A Police Data Breach

Police Data Breach – What Is It?

A data breach is a security incident that can involve your personal data being destroyed, lost, or altered either accidentally or unlawfully. It can also involve your personal data being disclosed or accessed without authorisation. Personal data is any personal information that can identify you directly or in combination with other information, such as your name, telephone number, and personal email address. 

The Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) set out the responsibilities of data controllers and data processors to protect your personal data. A data controller sets the purpose for processing and can process the data themselves. A data processor acts on behalf of the controller. Both must adhere to data protection laws.

If they fail to do so, it could lead to your personal data being compromised in a data breach. This could lead to you experiencing financial loss or psychological harm. In these cases, you may be able to seek compensation.

To learn about what you could do after a police data breach compromised your personal data, get in touch on the number above.

How Can A Data Breach Occur?

Organisations can hold physical and digital personal data about you in paper files or hard drives. As such, a data breach could happen due to a cyber attack, as well as human error. A cyber security incident can involve an organisation failing to update its cyber security systems making them more susceptible to an attack, such as a ransomware attack or phishing scam. 

Some examples of how your personal data could be breached due to human error are:

  • Someone emailed your personal data to the wrong person in an email data breach.
  • Someone sent details about a report you made to the police to the wrong postal address.
  • Someone disclosed information about your criminal record verbally without authorisation to do so.
  • Files containing a witness statement you gave weren’t disposed of or destroyed properly.

In order to receive data breach compensation, you must prove that the breach occurred as a result of the organisation’s failings and that you experienced monetary loss or emotional harm as a result.

To find out what steps you could take after a police data breach compromised your personal data, please get in touch on the number above. An advisor can help you understand whether you’re eligible to seek compensation.

What Should I Do If My Data Was Involved In A Police Data Breach?

You may be wondering ‘what should I do if my data is breached?’. There are different steps you and the organisation can take. Firstly, you can contact the organisation directly if you have concerns that your personal data has been affected by a breach.

If they fail to respond or they don’t respond adequately, you could notify the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent body that was set up to uphold information rights. They may investigate your report, however, they cannot award compensation. If they do investigate, the findings from their assessment can be used as evidence to support your potential claim.

The organisation must inform you without undue delay if your rights and freedoms have been impacted. They must also notify the ICO within 72 hours of the data breach happening. 

For more information on the steps you could take if your personal information was compromised in a police data breach, get in touch.

What Potential Compensation Could I Receive From A Data Breach?

Any mental suffering you endure due to a personal data breach is considered non-material damage within data breach claims. This can include depression, anxiety, or distress. Compensation can be awarded for non-material damage within your settlement if your claim succeeds.

In the table below, we have included compensation brackets for different types of psychological injuries. These figures are from the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG).

Legal professionals, such as data breach solicitors, can use the JCG to value the non-material damage head of claim. Please only use the following figures as a guideline though as how much you receive is likely to depend on the specific circumstances of your case.

Type of Harm
NotesAmount
Psychiatric Damage Severe (a) - The person will have significant issues coping with life, education, work and their relationships. They have a prognosis which is very poor.£54,830 - £115,730
Psychiatric Damage Moderately Severe (b) - The person has significant issues with different areas of their life but they have a better prognosis.£19,070 - £54,830
Psychiatric Damage Moderate (c) - The person will have experienced significant issues with different aspects of their life but they will have made a significant improvement and will have a good prognosis.£5,860 - £19,070
Psychiatric Damage Less Severe (d) - The amount awarded will consider the time the person suffered and how the harm impacted various activities.£1,540 - £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderSevere (a) - There will be lasting effects, and the person will struggle to live the same as they did before the trauma.£59,860 - £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerately Severe (b) - There will be the potential for recovery with help from a medical professional.£23,150 - £59,860
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderModerate (c) - There will have been a large recovery, and any persisting symptoms won’t majorly affect the person’s life.£8,180 - £23,150
Post-Traumatic Stress DisorderLess Severe (d) - A practically full recovery will happen within a year or two.£3,950 - £8,180

What Else Could I Claim For After A Personal Data Breach?

As part of your settlement, you could also receive compensation for material damage. Material damage relates to the financial losses caused by the data breach. This could include money taken from your bank account, charges made on your credit card, and loans taken out in your name.

Providing records of these losses can act as evidence when claiming compensation for material damage. 

Please speak with our advisors for more information on whether you are eligible to seek compensation after having your personal data compromised in a police data breach.

No Win No Fee Solicitors – What Are The Benefits?

A data breach solicitor from our panel may be able to offer you a type of No Win No Fee agreement called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). 

You may find it beneficial to opt for this type of arrangement as there are no upfront fees required for your solicitor’s services. There are also no fees required for their services whilst your claim is ongoing or if the claim fails.

In successful cases, you pay a success fee out of your compensation. This is subject to a legal cap.

Contact Us Today

Speak with our advisors about the steps you could take if your personal data was compromised by a police data breach. They are available to help you 24 hours a day. 

To get in touch, you can:

  • Call using the number provided at the top of this page.
  • Contact us online.
  • Interact with an advisor via our live chat option.

Learn More About What You Can Do After A Police Data Breach

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Please speak with our advisors for advice regarding the steps you can take if your personal data was affected by a police data breach.

Writer Megan Robin

Editor Cat Harley/ Meg Monsoon