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Dorset Police Data Breach – Can I Claim?

In this article, we will explain what you could do if you suffered following a Dorset Police data breach. We’ll also provide statistics to show how many security incidents have happened in the force in the last few years.

Data protection in the UK is regulated by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The pieces of legislation that inform how data is processed in the UK are the UK General Data Protection Regulation  (UK GDPR) and an updated version of the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA). These ratified the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) into UK law.

Dorset Police data breach claims guide

Dorset Police data breach claims guide

Together, these laws are designed to help keep your personal information secure. Where the law is broken, the ICO can dish out financial penalties. However, as they can’t compensate the victims of data breaches, we’ve written this guide to show you how you could take action yourself.

As we progress through this article, we’ll show you how you could claim for any psychological injuries caused by a data breach. We’ll also provide some example compensation amounts too.

If you would like to find out more about claiming compensation, our team can help. We provide a data breach claim review and our advisors can offer free legal advice on your options. If your claim appears to have a reasonable chance of success, we could connect you with one of our data breach solicitors.

Please call our advice centre on 0800 073 8804 if you’d like to discuss your options straight away. Otherwise, please read on to find out how we can help with police data breach claims.

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What Is A Dorset Police Data Breach?

Before looking at what data breaches are, it’s important to understand what personal data is. It is described by the ICO as information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify somebody.

Data breaches can be deliberate or accidental. They happen when personally identifiable information is unlawfully disclosed to or accessed by an unauthorised person, destroyed, lost or changed as the result of a security incident. To be entitled to claim damages following a police data breach, you’ll need to show that:

  • The actions of the police force allowed the incident to occur. and;
  • The incident has caused you to suffer either financially or psychologically (anxiety or stress, for example

A data breach compensation claim will not be possible if the police did everything possible to secure your personal data.

If you’d like to discuss your options following a Dorset Police data breach, why not call today? If you have a valid claim you could be connected with a No Win No Fee solicitor to represent you.

How Can The Data Protection Act Be Breached?

In the following section, we will provide some statistics relating to Dorset Police data breach incidents. Before we do, we are going to provide some examples of errors, mistakes or actions that could lead to a data breach. They include:

  • Where items like computers or flash drives containing personal information are left in unsecured locations and stolen.
  • If police officers or staff use the force’s computer systems to look up details about colleagues, neighbours, friends or relatives.
  • Where personal data is emailed to a police officer’s private email address, and they don’t have the authorisation to see it.
  • If letters, faxes or emails contain personal information and are sent to the wrong recipient.
  • When hard drives or documents are not destroyed securely.

If you have evidence to show that you’ve been harmed by a Dorset Police data breach, please call to discuss your next steps.

Statistics For Data Breaches At Dorset Police

To find out how many data breaches had affected Dorset Police, we sent a Freedom of Information (FOI) request, asking for the number of data security incidents recorded from 2019 to 2021. In their response, they provided the table below:

Type of Security Incident Total (2019 to 2021)
Insecure email (sensitive content sent via unsure means) 18
Loss of ID card, Warrant Card 88
Loss of information (paper or electronic, CD, pocket notebook) 145
Loss/theft of electronic assets (Laptop, Mobile Data Device, Body Worn Video device, USB) 55
Loss/theft of Seized/Recovered/Found Property 10
Other 65
Physical security breach (unauthorised entry) 4
System failure / outage 1
Unauthorised/accidental disclosure 93
Grand Total 479

As you can see, the loss of information and also the loss of warrant or ID cards were the highest recorded incidents.

If you would like free legal advice on what to do following a Dorset Police data breach that has caused you harm, please call our team today.

What Should I Do If A Police Force Has Breached My Data Privacy?

When your personal data is found to have been exposed by a data breach, you should be told about the incident if it affects your rights. Generally, that will mean you’ll be sent an email or letter to advise you. We strongly suggest that the letter is kept safe as it could be key evidence in any future claim.

If you suspect a data breach has happened, but you aren’t informed about it, there are other steps you could take to try and find out what happened. They include:

  • Write a formal complaint to set out your concerns. This should be escalated as high as possible within the organisation if you don’t agree with the response.
  • Report the breach to the ICO to see if they’ll investigate. You can do this at any point within 3 months of your complaint.
  • Seek legal advice to check your options.

It’s worth noting that you can discuss your concerns with us before doing anything else. If a solicitor agrees to take on your claim, they could try to settle your claim amicably without an investigation report from the ICO. Remember, our data breach solicitors will provide a No Win No Fee service if your claim is taken on.

Calculating Police Breach Data Protection Act Compensation

So, what is it possible to claim for following a data breach? The ICO website states that you can claim for two different types of damages:

  • Material damage – to claim back any money you’ve lost or spent because of the data breach.
  • Non-material damage – this covers any distress, anxiety, depression or any other psychological suffering.

To show what amount of compensation you could be awarded, we’ve added the compensation table below. It’s based on information provided by the Judicial College. these guidelines are normally used to help value personal injury claims. However, a ruling in Gulati vs MGN [2015] means that they can now be used to value non-material harm in a data breach claim.

Injury / Illness Severity Compensation Range
Psychiatric Damage Severe (a) £51,460 to £108,620
Moderately Severe (b) £17,900 to £51,460
Moderate (c) £5,500 to £17,900
Less Severe (d) To £5,500
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe (a) £56,180 to £94,470
Moderately Severe (b) £21,730 to £56,180
Moderate (c) £7,680 to £21,730
Less Severe (d) To £7,680

To discuss the steps you could take after a Dorset Police data breach with a specialist advisor please contact us today.

How No Win No Fee Solicitors Help You Claim For A Data Breach

Our solicitors work on a No Win No Fee basis to lower the financial risks that seeking legal representation can often bring.

Before taking on a new data breach claim, a solicitor will need to review its viability. To do that, they’ll check whether:

  • Your data was involved in a data breach
  • The police force could’ve done something to prevent the breach
  • If any psychological injuries have been caused by the breach. You could also claim for financial losses too
  • Whether the claim is being made within the allowable time limits

Data breach claims can have a 1-year or 6-year time limit. The 1 year limitation period applies to claims against public bodies, whereas you have 6 years to claim against any other organisations. Therefore, we’d suggest discussing your claim as soon as possible.

If your solicitor agrees to work on your case, they’ll represent you on a No Win No Fee basis. This is a contract that shows what needs to happen before you need to pay for your solicitor’s work. Essentially, you won’t need to pay if you don’t receive compensation.

If the claim is won, however, a success fee will be deducted from your compensation. By law, the fee is capped and you’ll be made aware of it before your claim begins.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more about how we could help with police data breach claims.

Get Help With Your Dorset Police Police Data Breach Case

Have you decided that you’d like to talk to us after reading this article on police data breach claims? If so, you can:

Extra Resources

Is Consent Required – An ICO guide explaining when organisations need your consent to process personal data.

Signs Of Anxiety – Information from the NHS website.

ICO Action – A database of recent ICO action.

Bank Data Breach– This article looks at what happens if the data your bank holds on you is exposed.

School Data Breach– This guide looks at the steps you can take if you’ve been affected by a school data breach.

Social Services Data Breach– Information on the steps you could take if a Social Services security incident exposed your personal data.

Other Guides That May Be Helpful

We hope you’ve found this article about what to do following a Dorset Police data breach helpful. If you have any questions please get in touch.

Written by Hambridge

Edited by Stocks

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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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