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Witness Details Disclosed By The Police In A Data Breach – Can I Make A Claim?

Do you have evidence that you have suffered harm by the police in a witness details data breach? If so, you may be eligible to claim compensation. A personal data breach can have serious and negative effects on your day-to-day life.

Witness details disclosed by the police data breach claims guide

Police witness details data breach claims guide

In this guide, we will discuss when you may be eligible to claim against the police for a personal data breach. Similarly, we will discuss how legal professionals calculate compensation in personal data breach claims.

Following this, we will touch on how one of our solicitors could guide you through the data breach claims process with the help of a No Win No Fee agreement.

Our advisors are on hand to provide support if you have any questions that are not answered by this guide. Through a free consultation, they can offer free legal advice and more guidance surrounding the claims process. Should they find your claim to be valid, they may also put you in touch with one of our solicitors. For more information:

Select A Section

  1. What Is A Police Witness Details Data Breach?
  2. How Should Witness Details Be Protected?
  3. How To Access Your Witness Data
  4. Claiming For A Breach Of Data Protection By The Police
  5. Police Witness Details Data Breach Claims Calculator
  6. Talk Us About Claiming For A Police Witness Details Data Breach

What Is A Police Witness Details Data Breach?

If you witness a crime, the police may take your details to take a witness statement from you. Personal data is any information that could identify you as a living person. Under the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), your personal data is protected information. This means that any organisation that handles it must comply with the steps laid out by the legislation above.

A police force can act as both a data controller and a data processor. A data controller makes the decisions regarding the use of your data, and a data processor processes this data for the controller. If they fail to comply with the above legislation, this could lead to a personal data breach.

A personal data breach is a security incident that affects the integrity, confidentiality, or availability of your personal data. However, in order to claim for a breach, you must be able to prove that:

  • The controller or processor’s wrongful conduct led to the breach
  • The breach affected your personal data
  • You experience harm to your mental health or finances as a result of the breach

If you have evidence that you have been harmed by the police in a witness details data breach, contact our team today.

How Should Witness Details Be Protected?

The personal data of UK residents should be protected in line with the UK GDPR and DPA. If a police force fails to do so, this could result in a personal data breach. Some examples of how a police data breach could occur can include:

  • Failure to redact data: If the police fail to redact your personal data from a witness statement before sharing it as a result of human error, this could result in a personal data breach.
  • Failure to use the blind carbon copy (BCC) feature: If the BCC feature isn’t used in an email to communicate with a group of witnesses, this could expose your email address, and allow other recipients to infer your identity.
  • Verbal disclosure: If an employee verbally discloses personal data from a recorded witness statement to an unauthorised party, this could be classed as a data breach.

If you have evidence that the police failed to protect your witness details in line with data protection legislation, contact our advisors today.

How To Access Your Witness Data

As a data subject, you have a right to access the data held about you. The Data Protection Act gives you the right to ask the police what data they hold on you through a Subject Access Request (SAR).

If the police are holding your personal data after you gave a witness statement, this should be disclosed when you make a Subject Access Request.

Can The Police Disclose Information?

If the contents of a statement assist investigations, the police can request your consent to disclose personal information. In some cases, the police may share your personal data without consent if they can establish a separate lawful basis for processing.

Contact our team of advisors today to find out if you could be eligible to make a personal data breach claim.

Claiming For A Breach Of Data Protection By The Police

There are multiple steps that you can take to help you through the claims process. These include:

  • Collecting evidence: Collecting evidence can help strengthen your claim and help you establish who is liable for the breach. Evidence can include documents that illustrate the harm caused by the breach, such as medical records or bank statements, as well as proof that the breach occurred.
  • Contacting the police: Following a breach, you can contact the police yourself and ask for more information. They may be able to confirm that the breach occurred and tell you what information was involved.
  • Contacting the ICO: If you do not hear back from the police, you can contact the Information Commissioner’s Office within three months of your last meaningful contact with them. The ICO are an independent data protection watchdog, and may open an investigation into the breach, the results of which could also be used as evidence.

If you would like to start a claim, our solicitors are here to help. Get in touch today if you have evidence that you have been harmed by the police in a witness details data breach.

Police Witness Details Data Breach Claims Calculator

A personal data breach claim can result in two heads of compensation. Non-material damage compensation aims to address how the breach has affected your mental health. For example, you may suffer psychological injuries such as depression after a data breach. In this case, you could be owed non-material damage compensation.

Solicitors will often use the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) to help them calculate non-material damage compensation. This document provides guideline awards for various injuries, including psychological injuries. Please note that these figures are not guaranteed. The compensation you could potentially receive can differ.

Description of Psychiatric Harm J C Guideline Award Bracket Supporting Notes
General Psychiatric Damage £54,830 to £115,730 (a) Severe The injured party will have significant issues with work, relationships and education
General Psychiatric Damage £19,070 to £54,830 – (b) Moderately Severe

Significant disability caused by similar issues but a better prognosis than the bracket above
General Psychiatric Damage £5,860 to £19,070 – (c) Moderate

Mental health issues that have improved by the time that the case may be heard at trial
General Psychiatric Damage £5,860 to £19,070 – (d) Less Severe

The amount awarded depends on the length of injury and how symptoms affect daily life
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £59,860 to £100,670 – (a) Severe

Permanent and radical impact on all areas of the person’s life, preventing the ability to function as you would have before the traumatic event.
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £23,150 to £59,860 – (b) Moderately Severe

Symptoms may improve with professional treatment, leading to a better prognosis
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £8,180 to £23,150 – (c) Moderate

A large recovery on the whole with any continuing effects being non-disabling
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) £3,950 to £8,180 – (d) Less Severe

A virtually full recovery within a 2-year period and only minor issues persisting beyond this period.

Material damage compensation addresses the financial impacts of the data breach. For example, if your credit card or debit card details are exposed, this could allow cybercriminals to make fraudulent purchases in your name. Material damage compensation aims to help recoup these costs.

Talk Us About Claiming For A Police Witness Details Data Breach

If you are interested in making a personal data breach claim, our solicitors may be able to help. They could offer you a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA), which is a kind of No Win No Fee arrangement, allows you to gain access to legal representation, generally without paying any upfront fees to your solicitor. Likewise, your solicitor usually won’t ask for any ongoing fees as your case progresses.

Should your claim succeed, your solicitor will take a success fee from your compensation. This is a percentage with a legislative cap which helps ensure you get the most of your award. But, if your claim fails, you won’t pay this fee.

To find out how one of our solicitors could help you start the claims process, get in touch with one of our advisors by:

Police Witness Details Data Breach & Other Resources

Or, for further resources:

To learn more about claiming if you have evidence that you were harmed by the police in a witness details data breach, get in touch with our team.

Written by Waters

Edited by Hampton

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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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