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Cumbria Police Data Breach Compensation | Claims Guide

In this article, we are going to look at what could happen after a Cumbria Constabulary data breach. In particular, we examine the Cumbria Police data breach which took place in March 2023.

Several laws are in place in the UK to help protect your personal data. One of the most important pieces of legislation is the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA) which was updated following Brexit. Another is the UK General Data Protection (UK GDPR). Both of these laws are enforced by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) who have the power to issue fines for breaches of data protection legislation.

One thing the ICO can’t do, though, is compensate you if a data breach causes you to suffer. For that reason, we’ve written this guide to explain your options. As we continue, we’ll look at the types of harm that could be claimed for following an avoidable data breach. They include psychological suffering and financial harm.

We are able to help if you are thinking of beginning a claim. Our advisors can provide free legal advice after reviewing your case. Where there are valid grounds and evidence to proceed with a claim, we could connect you with our data breach solicitors. If they accept you as a client, they’ll fight your corner and try to win compensation for you on a No Win No Fee basis.

Please give us a call today on 0800 073 8804 if you’re ready to discuss your options. Otherwise, please continue reading to learn more about the claims process.

cumbria constabulary data breach

Select a Section

  1. Cumbria Police Data Breach – March 2023 Incident
  2. What Is A Cumbria Constabulary Data Breach?
  3. Could The Police Breach The Data Protection Act?
  4. Cumbria Constabulary Data Breach Statistics
  5. Steps To Take After A Police Data Breach
  6. What Compensation Is Paid For A Data Protection Breach?
  7. How No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors Can Help You
  8. More Advice On Cumbria Police Data Breach Compensation Claims

Cumbria Police Data Breach – March 2023 Incident

In August 2023, it was reported in the media that Cumbria Police has admitted to a significant data breach involving all members of staff.

The breach took place in March 2023 and hasn’t been publicised until August. The breach occurred when Cumbria Police posted the information on their own website. The cause was human error, according to the constabulary.

The Cumbria Police data breach is said to have affected all if its employees—over 2,000 in all—including community support officers, police officers and support staff. Crucially, the data breach disclosed the names of those in covert and sensitive positions.

What Information Was Exposed In The Cumbria Police Data Breach?

Cumbria Police has confirmed that the following pieces of information was shared online:

  • Names
  • Salaries
  • Allowances
  • Job position

The constabulary has confirmed that the disclosed information does not contain details about where officers are based, not details of their date of birth or address.


What Is Cumbria Police’s Response To The Data Breach?

It is understood that Cumbria Police has already contacted every affected individual. A spokesperson for the constabulary has said that they explained:

“The impact of this breach was low and the measures the constabulary had put in place to manage the breach and to prevent it happening again”

The ICO has also confirmed that the force does not need to conduct any further action.


What Can I Do If Impacted By The Cumbria Police Data Breach?

If you’ve been notified by Cumbria Police that your data has been affected in the breach, there are steps that you can take.

Some affected individuals may feel distressed about the data breach. Everyone’s circumstances are different so the breach can impact people in very different ways.

If you are feeling worried or anxious, it’s important to speak with your employer, Cumbria Police, to work out what they can do to help you. You could also visit your GP for extra medical support.

You can also seek legal advice with the view to making a data breach compensation claim. Our team specialise in police data breaches and can offer you the help and support you need. 

It’s also important to be mindful of is any suspicious calls, messages or emails. Criminals may get hold of the data and try to use it to commit fraud, such as taking credit out in your name.

It’s also important to be watchful of your bank accounts or credit score in case anyone has again tried to commit fraud.

What Is A Cumbria Constabulary Data Breach?

Personal data is any information that could be used to identify you directly or indirectly. Data breaches involving personal data are incidents that mean your information is unlawfully accessed, changed, destroyed, lost or disclosed.

However, just because a data breach has happened doesn’t mean you’ll be eligible to claim compensation. To make a valid data breach claim, you’ll need to show that the incident:

  • Happened because of the constabulary’s actions or inaction; and
  • You were injured psychologically and/or lost money because of the breach.

Therefore, the police could argue that your claim isn’t valid if they’d done everything possible to keep your personal data safe.

If you have evidence of a valid claim, why not call today?

Could The Police Breach The Data Protection Act?

All organisations, including the police, have a legal duty to try and protect personal data relating to individuals if they collect, hold or process it. This is clear under the Data Protection Act.

Therefore, organisations should implement procedures and processes to try and keep such information safe. It also means training staff on how to meet their obligations under the UK GDPR.

That said, data breaches do still occur. That might be because of deliberate actions or human errors. Let’s look at some examples that could lead to a data breach:

  • Where a fax, letter or email containing personally identifiable data is sent to the wrong address without a lawful reason.
  • If unencrypted laptops or other digital devices are lost or stolen and contain personal information.
  • Where staff discuss cases in public areas, allowing a data subject to be identified by unauthorised parties.
  • If police access computer records containing personal data about friends, colleagues, neighbours or others without lawful reason.
  • Where paperwork containing personal data is left behind on a train or other public location.
  • If documents containing personally identifiable information is not securely destroyed.

As each of these scenarios is avoidable, any data subject who is harmed because of them could have the grounds to start a data breach compensation claim. In instances where breaches occur despite the authority doing all that’s reasonably feasible to secure the personal data, a claim would not be possible.

Cumbria Constabulary Data Breach Statistics

Statistics based solely on Cumbria Constabulary data breach incidents are currently not published. Therefore, in the graph below, we’ve used reported data breaches to the ICO in the Justice sector.

Cumbria Constabulary data breach statistics

The data security incidents were all recorded by the ICO during the second financial quarter of 2021/22. They relate to non-cyber security data breaches. These include loss of paperwork, verbal disclosures and emails being sent to the wrong person.

This guide aims to help you understand what you could do following a Cumbria Constabulary data breach. However, if you’re left with questions, why not get in touch?

Steps To Take After A Police Data Breach

If your personal information is exposed by a data breach, the organisation responsible for protecting your personal data should inform you of it if your rights and freedoms are affected. The letter or email they send might be important evidence that could be used if you decide to claim. But what other steps could you take to try and ascertain what’s happened?

Well, some of the steps may include:

  • Seeking legal advice from a specialist data breach lawyer.
  • Contacting the data controller or data processor to raise a formal complaint. Their response could provide evidence that a breach has in fact happened.
  • Contact the ICO and ask them to investigate if you haven’t had a satisfactory response from the data controller or data processor. This needs to be done within 3 months of your last communication with the defendant.

You can contact us at any point to discuss your options regardless of whether you’ve complained or not. It is sometimes possible for our solicitors to reach an agreement over compensation directly without the need for ICO intervention.

Remember, a claim might be possible if the data breach could’ve been avoided and you have suffered financial or psychological harm as a result. Please call today if you have evidence of a valid claim to see if one of our data breach solicitors could help you on a No Win No Fee basis.

What Compensation Is Paid For A Data Protection Breach?

So, what compensation can you claim following a personal data breach? Well, the ICO explains that claims are possible for:

  • Material damage. This is based on any monetary losses or costs you sustain because of a data protection breach.
  • Non-material damage. You could also claim for any distress caused as a result of the breach. This could encompass anxiety, embarrassment, depression and also a worsening of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

We’ve used data from the Judicial College to prepare the compensation table that follows. The same figures are used by courts, lawyers and insurers when setting compensation amounts.

Claim Type Severity Settlement Range Notes
PTSD Severe (a) £56,180 to £94,470 In this category, the symptoms of PTSD will be permanent. They will impact upon all parts of the claimant’s life. A return to work will not be possible.
Moderately Severe (b) £21,730 to £56,180 There will be significant disability for some time. However, with some professional support, recovery to a certain degree will be possible.
Less Severe (d) Up To £7,680 In around a year or two, a virtually full recovery will have been made.
General Psychiatric Damage Severe (a) £51,460 to £108,620 There will be serious issues with relationships, work and life in general. The claimant will remain vulnerable because they are unlikely to respond to treatment.
Moderately Severe (b) £17,900 to £51,460 Similar symptoms as above but with a better chance of some recovery.
Less Severe (d) Up To £5,500 This category will base compensation on how long the claimant’s life was affected by their symptoms.

To discuss what options are open to you following a Cumbria Constabulary data breach, please call our advisors.

cumbria police data breach compensation

Claim Compensation For The Cumbria Police Data Breach

How No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitors Can Help You

We can help reduce the financial risks associated with funding a solicitor for data breach claims. That’s because, if your claim is taken on, your solicitor will work on a No Win No Fee basis. As a result, you will only need to pay for your solicitor’s work if compensation is awarded.

Before taking on a data breach claim, your solicitor will try to determine whether:

  • Your personal data has been involved in a police GDPR breach.
  • The actions of the police (or their lack of action) led to the breach.
  • You have suffered psychological injuries or financial loss as a result.
  • The claim is being made within the allowed time limits.

We would suggest that you get in touch to check which time limit applies to your case. For many claims against public bodies, there is a 1-year time limit. However, some claims have a limitation period of 6 years.

If one of our solicitors accepts your case, you’ll receive a document called a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). It’s also known as a No Win No Fee agreement. This will explain that you’ll pay a success fee if you are paid compensation.

The fee, which is legally capped, forms a percentage of any compensation you receive. You will not pay this fee if your case is not won.

To check whether one of our solicitors could help you to claim, why not get in touch today?

More Advice On Cumbria Police Data Breach Compensation Claims

This is the final part of our guide on Cumbria poice data breach compensation claims. If you’d like to talk to us about claiming, you can:

Further Guides & Resources

Data Protection And Consent – ICO guidance on when your consent is needed before personal data is processed.

Overview of Anxiety – NHS advice for those affected by anxiety and similar conditions.

Your Data Matters – This series of guides from the ICO provides useful information on personal data safety.

Data Breach Stress – Guidance on when you could claim for stress caused by a personal data breach.

School Data Breaches – This article looks at the ways in which schools could breach data protection rules.

PTSD Claims – Information on claiming for PSTD caused by data breaches.

Other Guides You May Find Useful

Thanks for reading this article about on Cumbria Police data breach compensation claims

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Victorine

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    • Patrick Mallon

      Patrick is a Grade A solicitor having qualified in 2005. He's an an expert in accident at work and public liability claims and is currently our head of the EL/PL department. Get in touch today for free to see how we can help you.

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