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Essex Police Data Breach – Can I Claim?

Essex police data breach

A guide exploring what steps could be taken after an Essex police data breach

Every day, the police work with members of the public to keep our communities safe. The police collect, process and store personal data belonging to individuals to operate. For example, they may have collected your personal data if you were the victim of a crime or a witness. The police also collect employee data. Legislation such as the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) requires organisations to protect the personal data they handle.

If a police data breach involves your personal data, you could suffer psychological harm or financial loss as a consequence. If you have evidence of a valid claim, Legal Expert could connect you with an experienced data protection lawyer to handle your compensation claim. Why not call us today on 0800 073 8804 for your free consultation? Or contact us via our claim online form.

Select A Section

  1. What Is An Essex Police Data Breach?
  2. How Could The Police Breach The Data Protection Act?
  3. Statistics On Data Breaches At Essex Police
  4. What Action Can You Take If The Police Breached Your Data Privacy?
  5. Compensation For Breach Of Data Protection – How Much Can I Claim?
  6. Explaining No Win No Fee Data Protection Breach Claims
  7. Get Useful Advice On What You Could Do After An Essex Police Data Breach
  8. How To Contact Legal Expert?

What Is An Essex Police Data Breach?

A personal data breach is a security incident whereby personal data is lost, disclosed, accessed, destroyed or changed unlawfully or accidentally. A data breach can happen because of human error, such as an employee posting a letter containing personal information to the wrong address. However, malicious actors can also cause data breaches, such as cybercriminals hacking into a police database.

A police data breach can include the following incidents:

  • Personal data loss or theft
  • The police alter the data without a lawful basis
  • Unauthorised persons can access the data
  • The police expose or leak the personal data

The UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) protects the personal data of individuals. The Data Protection Act 2018 sits alongside the UK GDPR. Under this legislation, organisations such as the police are responsible for protecting the personal data that they handle. Therefore, organisations should take a proactive approach to data protection. For example, they can provide their employees with training to manage personal data securely. What’s more, data protection efforts could include investing in security and cybersecurity systems.

There are certain circumstances that allow someone to claim data breach compensation:

  1. The organisation’s wrongful conduct caused the breach. (For example, they failed to provide adequate cybersecurity, meaning hackers were able to access your personal data.)
  2. Because of this conduct, your personal data was compromised in a data breach.
  3. You suffered financial loss and/or mental harm as a result.

With evidence of all three, you could claim.

How Could The Police Breach The Data Protection Act?

A data breach can involve a breach of The Data Protection Act. Now, let’s look at some examples of how a personal data breach could take place.

  • Police officers lose a device that has unsecured personal data on it. Consequently, unauthorised persons would be able to access sensitive data about police investigations.
  • The police department accidentally attaches a file containing personal data to an email. This could be an email data breach if there’s no lawful basis to share the personal data.
  • The police wrongfully disclose information identifying the victim of a crime. The victim may be vulnerable, and revealing the information may endanger them.
  • The police write to a member of the public and it includes personal information relating to them. However, they use the wrong address, therefore sharing their data with an unauthorised third party.
  • The police department is the target of a hacking attack. Consequently, cybercriminals steal personal data and use it for identity theft or fraud.

Statistics On Data Breaches At Essex Police

Organisations in the UK must report serious data breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO publishes data security incident trends on its website. The ICO received 2,404 reports of data breach incidents during Q3 2021/22. Moreover, 1,773 of these incidents were non-cyber security incidents, and 631 were cyber security incidents.

These incidents were the top causes of data breaches during this time:

  • Data emailed to incorrect recipient – 419 incidents
  • Other non-cyber security incidents – 353 incidents
  • Unauthorised access – 262 incidents
  • Phishing attacks – 221 incidents

What Actions Can You Take If The Police Breached Your Data Privacy?

We now look at what you could do after an Essex police data breach. The ICO recommends raising your concerns with an organisation if you believe your personal data has been involved in a breach.

If the organisation doesn’t satisfactorily resolve your complaint, you could contact the ICO. However, please make sure you report the police data breach to the ICO within three months of the organisation’s last meaningful contact on the matter. Otherwise, the ICO may be unlikely to investigate the data breach.

If you have evidence of a valid claim, please contact Legal Expert today. We could connect you to a data breach lawyer to handle your data breach claim.

Compensation For Breach Of Data Protection – How Much Can I Claim?

If your personal information has been compromised, compensation for a breach of data protection law may be awarded to you for your material and non-material damage.

Any financial losses you have suffered due to your personal data being breached is referred to as material damage. For example, if your bank account or credit card information were to be compromised, this could result in charges being made to your account or card. Providing evidence of these financial losses could help you with your claim, e.g., bank statements.

Any of the psychological harm you may have endured due to the personal data breach is referred to as non-material damage. For example, you may suffer from depression or anxiety due to a data breach.

Using the figures listed in the 16th edition of the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG), we have created the following table. This is to help you gain a clearer understanding of how much you could receive in compensation for your non-material damage. The JCG is used by many legal professionals to help them value claims.

However, when making a claim for a personal data breach, your compensation amount in the UK might differ from those listed. This is because how much you may be awarded will depend on the specific factors affecting your claim.

Category Severity Comments On The Injury Potential Award
Psychological Damage Severe The person’s working and social life has been negatively impacted and the prognosis is poor. £54,830 to £115,730
Psychological Damage Moderately Severe Whilst the person will still struggle with various issues, the prognosis will be better. £19,070 to £54,830
Psychological Damage Moderate The person will have made significant improvements, despite struggling with various problems. £5,860 to £19,070
Psychological Damage Less Severe The compensation settlement will take things such as how long any symptoms lasted for and the effects on things like sleep and other daily activities into consideration when awarding compensation. £1,540 to £5,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Severe All areas of the person’s life will be permanently and negatively affected. They will be unable to function the same as pre-trauma. £59,860 to £100,670
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderately Severe The person will suffer with various issues for a while. However, the prognosis is better and there is room for recovery with professional help. £23,150 to £59,860
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Moderate A large recovery will have taken place with only minor symptoms persisting. £8,180 to £23,150
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Less Severe In around one to two years the person should have made a full recovery. £3,950 to £8,180

Contact our advisors today to find out what steps you could take should a police data breach compromise your personal data.

Explaining No Win No Fee Data Breach Claims

If you have evidence of a valid claim after an Essex Police data breach, you could use the services of a solicitor. We could connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor to handle your claim. You would sign a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which means that you don’t pay your solicitor’s fee upfront. Instead, you would pay a success fee, but only if the claim wins. If your data breach claim is not successful, you would not pay a success fee.

What’s more, the success fee is taken from your compensation payout. So you don’t have to worry about funding your claim upfront. You can learn more about the benefits of making a No Win No Fee claim by reading our online guide.

Get Useful Advice On What You Could Do After An Essex Police Data Breach

We hope this guide on what you could do following an Essex Police data breach has helped. if you do have evidence of a valid claim, we could connect you with a skilled data breach solicitor to handle your compensation claim.

Why not get in touch? An advisor will be happy to speak to you in-depth about the breach of data protection incident. They’re available 24/7 and there’s no obligation for you to proceed with our services.

How To Contact Legal Expert?

  • Call our claims helpline on 0800 073 8804
  • Use our claim online form, via our website
  • Or you can ask an advisor a question directly, using our Live Support widget.

To learn more about claiming compensation for a data breach, please see these guides.

University Of Essex Data Breach – What you could do after a university data breach.

Crown Prosecution Service Data Breach – What you could do after a Crown Prosecution Service data breach.

Harlow District Council Data Breach – What you could do after a Harlow Council data breach.

An ICO guide to personal data breaches.

A government guide to avoiding phishing attacks.

Other Guides That May Be Helpful

Thank you for reading our guide on what steps you could take following an Essex police data breach.

Written by Chelache

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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