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The police service holds some of the most sensitive information about the population, including the data of many perpetrators and victims of crimes. Police domestic abuse data is among the most private information there can be, due to the safety risks it could provoke if compromised. A data breach could potentially endanger victims and they could be located by their former abusers.
The police force, like any other data controller, is obliged to protect information in accordance with the GDPR, the primary data protection law in the UK. However, there have, unfortunately, been cases in which unacceptable breaches of privacy have occurred, affecting the information of victims of domestic abuse.
Most of us would expect the police to be fully aware of its responsibilities to maintain strong data security, but it seems data protection is still not a high enough priority or focus in some cases. Where mistakes are made, those responsible must be held accountable, and those affected should be fairly compensated for any harm caused. If you have fallen victim to a data breach at the hands of the police, you can contact us for free, no-obligation advice on your potential compensation claim.
In recent years, there have unfortunately been a number of police domestic abuse data breaches in which the rights and safety of the victims appears to have been completely disregarded. One such incident occurred at Kent Police in 2016, when the police reportedly disclosed data from an alleged victim’s phone to the solicitor of her abusive partner. The phone had been taken to obtain video evidence for the woman’s case, but it also held sensitive information. In 2020, Greater Manchester Police found themselves at the centre of scrutiny when it was alleged that the branch had accidentally published the details of crime victims online, including those who had suffered sexual abuse.
These examples of police domestic abuse data breaches demonstrate how severe a leak of confidential records can be. Because of the seriousness of such data leaks, those affected can be entitled to significant compensation awards.
For example, as part of a data breach claim, you could be eligible to recover compensation for any distress suffered, which could be severe in cases of domestic abuse victims, as they may fear for their safety when their details are exposed. In similarly negligent incidents, we have represented victims for claims against the police. Some of them make up the over £1m that we have recovered so far for victims to date, and claims can be valued in the thousands of pounds region. You can read more about data breach compensation amounts here.
If you have been affected by a police domestic abuse breach, we know how scary and worrying this can be. Please do not hesitate to contact us for free, no-obligation advice.
As leading specialists in data breach claims, Your Lawyers – The Data Leak Lawyers – has represented victims in a number of extremely sensitive cases, and we can use our expertise to make the process as stress-free as possible for you.
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