Learn About Making A Claim For Police Data Breach Compensation

A police data breach that has compromised your personal data may have caused you a great amount of distress and possibly financial losses as well. You may, however, also be entitled to claim compensation for the harm you have experienced following a personal data breach. Within this guide, we’ll explore the eligibility requirements your case will need to meet when claiming for police data breach compensation.

Furthermore, we will also discuss how a police data breach could occur due to human error or a cyber incident. You may also be wondering how much compensation you could potentially receive. We will share how compensation is calculated in data breach claims.

Additionally, you can contact our team of advisors at any time for free to ask any questions you have about claiming. If you have valid grounds to claim, then our advisors could also connect you with a No Win No Fee solicitor on our panel. To get in touch, you can:

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Select A Section

  1. Can You Claim Police Data Breach Compensation?
  2. How Can A Police Data Breach Happen?
  3. How Do You Know If You’ve Suffered From A Data Breach?
  4. What Police Data Breach Compensation Could You Receive?
  5. Why Choose Us To Make A Police Data Breach Claim?
  6. More Resources About Claiming Data Breach Compensation

Can You Claim Police Data Breach Compensation?

Personal data refers to any information which could identify you. The police may hold various personal data about you if you have reported an incident to them or are involved in a case. This information could include your name, home address and personal phone number.

As a data controller or processor, the police must adhere to the rules and regulations set out within the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) and the Data Protection Act 2018. These pieces of legislation sit together as data protection laws.

A data controller is an organisation that determines why and how your personal data will be processed. Data controllers are usually an organisation. Data processors are usually an organisation or agency that’s external to the controller. They may be assigned to process personal data on behalf of a data controller.

If the police fail to follow data protection law, this could be considered wrongful conduct, and it may result in your personal data being breached. A data breach is a security breach incident that leads to the accidental or unlawful destruction, loss, alteration, unauthorised disclosure of, or access to personal data.

However, to be eligible to make a police data breach compensation claim, the following must apply to your case:

  • The breach occurred due to wrongful conduct by a data processor or data controller, such as the police.
  • Your personal information has been affected in the data breach.
  • You suffered psychological or financial harm due to the personal data breach.

In the next section of this guide, we’ll look at examples of how wrongful conduct could lead to a police data breach. Alternatively, for more advice about your eligibility to claim data breach compensation, contact our advisory team.

A digital glowing blue ring with 'data breach' written inside of it.

How Can A Police Data Breach Happen?

There are numerous ways in which a police data breach could occur. It could be the result of a deliberate and illegal act, such as hacking or theft, or it could happen because of human error by the police force.

If a breach involving your personal data occurs, that does not always mean you’re eligible to claim. However, as mentioned before, you could have a valid case if wrongful conduct contributed to the police data breach occurring. You must also suffered harm as a result.

Some examples of how a police data breach could occur include:

  • A police employee sent an email containing your personal data to the wrong recipient. Or they failed to use BCC correctly when sending an email, exposing your email address and potentially other personal data to unauthorised recipients and causing you emotional distress.
  • A letter containing your personal data was sent to the wrong address, despite having your new current address on file. This causes you stress, as the address the letter was sent to was your previous address where your ex-partner lives, whom you had reported for domestic violence.
  • Your personal data is stolen during a cyberattack because the police have not updated their cyber security measures. This causes you anxiety because you do not know who has access to the stolen data and what they may do with it.

These are only a few potential causes of data breaches. Contact our advisors to learn whether you may have a valid claim for a police data breach compensation.

How Do You Know If You’ve Suffered From A Data Breach?

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) enforces data protection laws in the UK. They state that if an organisation becomes aware of a data breach that has compromised your personal data, they must inform you of the breach without undue delay if they believe your freedom or rights may be at risk. This may be in the form of a letter or email. This notification could then be used within your police data breach compensation claim to prove what personal data of yours was affected.

Other evidence that could potentially be gathered to support your claim includes:

  • The findings of an ICO investigation. After becoming aware your personal data has been breached, you can report the breach to the ICO. You must do this within 3 months of the last meaningful communication you had with the organisation responsible for the breach. Their findings could be used as evidence in your claim if the ICO choose to investigate the breach.
  • Proof of your psychological injuries. For example, you may have suffered anxiety due to a data breach. Your medical records or confirmation of your diagnosis from a psychologist could be used as evidence within your claim.
  • Proof of your financial harm. This could include payslips, credit card and bank statements. Later in this guide, we will discuss in more depth the financial harm you could potentially suffer following a data breach.

If you contact our advisors for help with starting a police data breach compensation claim, then they may connect you to a solicitor on our panel. Our panel of solicitors can assist with the process of gathering evidence to build your claim.

A man holding a laptop affected by a data breach

What Police Data Breach Compensation Could You Receive?

Compensation for a successful data breach claim could be awarded for your material and non-material damage. Non-material damage is the mental injuries you have suffered due to the personal data breach.

Those valuing your psychiatric damage may refer to the Judicial College Guidelines (JCG) for guidance. This document features compensation guidelines for numerous types of physical and psychological injuries. You can view some of the compensation figures relating to psychological harm from this document in the table seen below. The first entry in the table is not based on the JCG.

Injury/ConditionLevel of SeverityApproximate Guideline
Severe psychological injury with significant financial lossesSevereUp to £150,000+
Psychological HarmSevere£66,920 to £141,240
Moderately severe£23,270 to £66,920
Moderate£7,150 to £23,270
Less severe£1,880 to £7,150
PTSDSevere£73,050 to £122,850
Moderately severe£28,250 to £73,050
Moderate£9,980 to £28,250
Less severe£4,820 to £9,980

Material damage refers to any financial losses you have suffered as a result of the personal data breach. For example, if you have suffered with depression because of the data breach, you may have taken unpaid time off work in order to recover. The earnings you lost from this period of recovery could potentially be claimed back as material damage.

As we previously mentioned, to claim for financial losses, you’ll need to provide evidence. This could include wage slips or bank statements.

For more advice on how much police data breach compensation you could potentially claim, contact our team of advisors for free today.

Why Choose Us To Make A Police Data Breach Claim?

If you’re looking for support in starting a police data breach claim, then you are welcome to speak to our team of advisors. They can review your case for free and could potentially connect you with one of the No Win No Fee solicitors on our panel.

The solicitors on our panel can represent data breach claims under a Conditional Fee Agreement (CFA). Under such an agreement, you won’t need to pay your solicitor for their work at the start of your claim. Furthermore, if your claim fails, then you still don’t need to pay for the services of your solicitor.

Alternaitvely, if your claim is successful, then your solicitor will take a success fee. This means that the solicitor will take a small, legally capped percentage of the police data breach compensation awarded for your claim. The cap ensures that you will receive the majority of the compensation provided for your case.

Get in touch with our advisors today to learn more about starting a claim on a No Win No Fee basis with a data protection solicitor from our panel. Additionally, our team can also answer any other questions you might have about the claiming process. To contact us, you can:

A solicitor working on their clients police data breach compensation claim.

More Resources About Claiming Data Breach Compensation

Additional data breach guides you can read:

Additionally, you can check out these external resources:

If your personal data has been compromised by a police force, you can contact our friendly team of advisors. They can discuss your eligibility to start a claim for police data breach compensation.