In the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches, which were recently revealed, a small percentage of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests that constabularies received last year were returned with raw data still attached. This breach affected the personal data of a number of witnesses, victims, and suspects that were being stored on a specific police system. In this guide, we’ll discuss in more detail how this breach occurred, and what data was affected.
We will also explore when you could potentially claim for a personal data breach, and the steps that you could take during this process. This will include discussing the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018 (DPA), two pieces of legislation that protect UK residents’ personal data.
Following this, we’ll explore data breach compensation. This includes the types of damage which you could pursue compensation for following a breach, and what a payout for a successful claim could look like.
Finally, we’ll discuss how a solicitor could help you. Our team are available to answer any questions you may have about personal data breaches. Read on to learn more about the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches, or get in touch by:
- Calling our team on 0800 408 7825
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- What Are The Norfolk and Suffolk Police Data Breaches?
- Has Norfolk And Suffolk Police Issued A Press Notice Regarding The Data Breaches?
- Can I Make A Data Breach Compensation Claim?
- Useful Evidence In Police Data Breach Claims
- Potential Data Breach Compensation Payouts
- Get Help From A No Win No Fee Data Breach Solicitor
- Learn More About The Norfolk And Suffolk Police Data Breaches And Compensation Claims
Recently, the personal data of 1,230 witnesses, suspects, and victims of crimes was affected in the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches. They identified that the breach occurred when raw data containing this information was mistakenly included in files being released as part of a series of Freedom of Information requests (FOIs).
These FOI requests were made regarding crime statistics between April 2021 and March 2022. The constabularies have noted that the information was hidden from anyone opening the files, but it still should not have been included.
Our team could help if you’ve been harmed by a police force data breach. Get in touch today to learn more.
Norfolk and Suffolk Police Data Breaches – What Information Was Included In The FOI Requests?
The personal data included in the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches was stored previously on a specific police system and regarded the victims, witnesses, and suspects relating to a range of offences. Some of these included hate crimes, thefts, domestic incidents, and sexual offences.
Personal data is any information that can be used to identify you, such as your name, phone number, email address, or postal address. It’s important to note that while all personal data is protected under the UK GDPR, data about criminal offences is given extra protection.
Criminal offence data refers to personal data that relates to criminal convictions and offences or other related security measures. It refers to any information regarding offenders or suspects in the context of criminal proceedings, activity, allegations, or investigations.
Whilst it doesn’t cover information relating to witnesses and victims of crime, the personal data of these individuals is still likely to be sensitive and extra care should be taken when processing it. This is because of its sensitive nature, and its ability to impact the lives of those it belongs to.
There is also another type of personal data that requires extra protection under the UK GDPR known as special category data. This can include data concerning your health, such as your medical records, or data revealing your ethnic and racial origin.
If you have evidence that your personal data was affected in the data breaches by Norfolk and Suffolk police, please contact an advisor on the number above. They can discuss the potential steps you could take.
The Suffolk Constabulary has issued a press notice regarding the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches. This notice confirmed that the personal data of 1,230 people was affected by the breach. It also outlined how the Constabulary intends to notify those affected, stating that they would be contacted by letter, telephone, or through a face-to-face meeting.
Additionally, they have conducted a full and thorough analysis into the impacted data and have reported the breaches to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). The ICO is an independent body set up to uphold the information rights of data subjects in the UK. They have also issued a statement in which they have highlighted the importance of having robust measures in place to protect personal information, especially data that is more sensitive. An ICO investigation is currently ongoing.
Our team can give you more information on the possible steps you could take if you were affected by the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches.
One definition of a data breach is a security incident that affects the confidentiality, availability, or integrity of your personal data. This definition of a personal data breach is provided by the ICO.
In order to form the basis of a valid personal data breach claim, you must be able to prove that:
- A data controller and data processor didn’t uphold the responsibilities they have as set out by the UK GDPR and DPA 2018. Data controllers set the purpose for processing, whilst data processors act on their instruction. Both must adhere to data protection laws.
- A breach occurred in which your personal data was compromised.
- You have suffered emotionally, financially, or both as a result.
Additionally, you need to start your claim within the relevant time limits. Usually, you would be given six years to initiate the legal proceedings for a personal data breach claim. However, in cases where the claim is brought against a public body, you would have 1 year.
Get in touch with one of our advisors to learn more about time limits and eligibility criteria for data breach claims.
Collecting evidence is crucial when making a personal data breach. Evidence can help you demonstrate how the breach occurred, and the effect that it has had on you. Some examples of evidence that could strengthen and support your claim include:
- Medical records: Your medical records can help illustrate the effect the breach has on your mental health. For example, you may have experienced distress or anxiety as a result of the breach.
- Financial documentation: Bank statements and wage slips can prove any financial losses incurred due to the breach. For example, lost earnings incurred due to needing time off to recover from the impact of the breach.
- Correspondence with the ICO: Communication with the ICO, such as the results of an investigation, can be helpful in supporting your claim.
- A letter of notification: A letter of notification is often sent by the organisation to inform you that a breach has occurred and what data was affected.
These are just a few pieces of evidence that could help you. If you choose to work with a solicitor on your claim, they could provide further insight into what evidence could be helpful.
Contact our team to find out what you could if the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches have affected your personal data and caused you mental harm or financial damage.
The value of a data breach claim varies on a case-by-case basis, so we can’t offer an average compensation amount. However, we can offer information on what your compensation award could be made up of and how it will be calculated.
If you make a successful data breach claim, your compensation could contain up to two heads. The first is non-material damage compensation. Non-material damage is the damage the breach has done to your mental health.
For example, a personal data breach could lead to anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. If your personal data is breached, this could also make any existing mental health problems worse.
When legal professionals, such as solicitors, value this head of claim, they may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG). This is a document that offers guideline award brackets for different types of psychological injuries.
The table below includes some figures from the JCG. Please note that these are only guidelines, and compensation amounts can differ.
|Injury & Severity
|Severe Psychiatric Harm
|£54,830 – £115,730
|There is an very poor prognosis in this bracket, as there are severe symptoms that affect all areas of life, such as work and relationships.
|Moderately Severe Psychiatric Harm
|£19,070 – £54,830
|This bracket comes with a slightly better prognosis, though there are still significant problems similar to those mentioned above.
|Moderate Psychiatric Harm
|£5,860 – £19,070
|Symptoms in this bracket will show some improvement. This leads to a good prognosis.
|Less Severe Psychiatric Harm
|£1,540 – £5,860
|This bracket takes into consideration the symptoms that remain, how long they last, and how they affect the claimant.
|£59,860 – £100,670
|Severe symptoms result in no ability to work or function at the pre-trauma level.
|£23,150 – £59,860
|This bracket comes with a slightly better prognosis, because there is some chance of recovery with professional help. However, issues are still likely to persist for the foreseeable future.
|£8,180 – £23,150
|A large recovery occurs and the symptoms that remain are not grossly disabling.
|Less Severe PTSD
|£3,950 – £8,180
|Only minor symptoms remain, if any, after an almost full recovery within a couple of years.
How Do I Claim For Material Damage?
Material damage refers to the impact the breach has on your finances. For example, if your financial information is revealed in a breach, then this could result in money being stolen from your bank account. It can also result in illegal purchases on a debit or credit card, and debt accrued falsely in your name.
Material damage compensation can also cover other losses. For example, it could cover the cost of counselling, or moving house as a result of feeling unsafe as a result of the breach.
Contact our helpful team today to get more information on data breach compensation.
Working with a solicitor can bring many benefits to your claim. For example, a solicitor may help you strengthen your claim with evidence. Alongside this, a solicitor can explain any legal jargon or complex areas of the claims process that you may not otherwise understand.
Our panel of solicitors work with claimants from all over the country. This means that you do not have to work with local solicitors. They also work on a No Win No Fee basis. They do this by working under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Going into this kind of contract means you do not need to pay anything upfront for your data protection solicitor’s work. Similarly, if your claim doesn’t succeed, then you won’t pay for their services.
If your claim succeeds and you receive compensation, your solicitor will take a success fee. This is taken as a percentage of your compensation, which is subject to a legal cap. The cap helps to ensure that the majority share of what you receive stays with you.
Contact Our Advisors
When you contact our team, one of our advisors can offer you a free consultation. During this consultation, they can evaluate your claim, and answer any questions you might have about the claims process. Then, if they find that your claim could be valid, they may connect you with a solicitor from our panel.
If you’d like to start your free consultation or to learn more about the potential steps to be taken following the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches, contact our team today:
For more informative articles about the data breach claims process:
- Get information on making a housing association data breach claim from our guide.
- Find out if you could make a private healthcare data breach claim.
- Learn how to claim for a data breach by a pharmacy and get more information on the claims process.
Or, to get further help:
To learn more about the potential steps you could take following the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches, contact our team today.
Article by AA