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Norfolk And Suffolk Police Data Breach Compensation Claims

On 15th August 2023, Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies made a statement after identifying that a small percentage of Freedom of Information (FOI) requests has led to some raw data belonging to the constabularies being included within the files. At, we’ve taken a look at what happened in the Norfolk And Suffolk police data breaches, what data was included and the constabulary’s response. 

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The Data Protection Act 2018 and the UK General Data Protection Regulation (UK GDPR) are the two main pieces of leading legislation when it comes to protecting the personal data of UK residents. Those who process personal data must abide by these laws. If there is a failure in adherence, this could lead to the avoidable exposure of personal data. 

Norfolk And Suffolk Police Data Breaches - What Happened?

The Norfolk and Suffolk police released a statement stating that raw data of 1,230 people had been breached in responses to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests for crime statistics. Responses to the FOI requests were issued between April 2021 and March 2022. 

In these cases, the breaches impact the personal data of victims, witnesses and suspects. It also includes descriptions of the offences. 

The Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) has released a statement confirming that they are currently investigating this, and an earlier one, which was reported to them in November 2022. The ICO is an independent public body tasked with enforcing data protection laws.

Norfolk & Suffolk police data breach
Norfolk & Suffolk police car

What Types Of Data Were Included In The Norfolk And Suffolk Police Data Breaches?

Norfolk and Suffolk constabularies said that a technical issue led to the personal data of 1,230 people being compromised. Personal data is any information that can be used to directly or indirectly identify a living individual. It is this data that is protected by data protection laws.

As well as identifiable data such as names, addresses and dates of birth being included within the breached data, so was information relating to hate crimes, thefts and assaults, as well as sexual offences and domestic instances. 

Who Can Make A Data Breach Claim?

There are two main entities responsible for personal data when it is being processed: a data controller, which is generally an organisation that decides the means and purpose of processing personal data, and a data processor, who can process the data on their behalf. Should these entities fail to comply with data protection law, they can become liable for the suffering caused to a data subject if their personal data is compromised. 

You must meet the eligibility requirements set out in Article 82 of the UK GDPR in order to seek data breach compensation. You must be able to prove that:

  • The data controller or processor failed to adhere to the data protection laws. 
  • Your personal data was breached as a result of this. 
  • You suffered harm, either to your financial state or your mental health, because of the breach of your personal data. 

Additionally, you must file your claim before the time limit expires. This is typically six years to start a data breach claim unless you are claiming against a public body. In this case, the time limit is reduced to one year.

Norfolk And Suffolk Police Response To The Data Breach

In their statement, Norfolk and Suffolk police forces said they have completed a thorough analysis of the data that has been impacted. The personal data itself was concealed from anyone opening the files. However, it should not have been included in the responses to the FOI requests.

They went on to say that they will be notifying a total of 1,230 data subjects whose personal data was impacted. They will do this with a letter, phone call or in person. 

If your personal data is involved in the Norfolk and Suffolk police data breaches, then you may be informed of this through a letter of notification. If you have received such a letter, you can call our advisors to see what your next steps could potentially be. 

What Can Those Affected By The Norfolk And Suffolk Police Data Breaches Do In The Meantime?

You may wonder what steps you could take if a Norfolk or Suffolk data protection officer for the police forces has notified you of a breach, or what you can do if you have not been notified of a data breach but suspect your personal data has been compromised.

An organisation should let you know that your personal data was breached without undue delay if your rights and freedoms could be impacted. They must also alert the ICO of a reportable breach within 72 hours. 

Your potential options include:

  • Firstly, if you suspect your data has been breached, you should inform the organisation. For example, if you receive spam emails or unusual text messages or emails, this could be due to a data breach. You could ask whether your data has been involved in a breach, and, if so, what data was included. 
  • If you are unsatisfied with the response from the organisation, you could report your concerns to the ICO. However, you must do this within three months of the last meaningful correspondence between yourself and the organisation. 
  • You may also wish to seek legal advice, such as from our No Win No Fee solicitors specialising in data breach claims. 

Get in touch with an advisor if you received a letter of notification from the police forces for Norfolk and Suffolk about the data breach. Compensation claims can be assessed by our advisors for free, in a no-obligation chat. Our advisors are available so get in touch:

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Peter is a solicitor who has worked as a professional litigator for 3 years. More recently Peter has specialised in data breach compensation claims and over the last 2.5 years has gained a wealth of knowledge in this sector. Peter now works with us to share his knowledge and inform the general public.

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