There are two pieces of legislation under which it may be possible to make a claim for compensation in those cases where there has been a breach of privacy rights by the police:
The Data Protection Act ensures that any information the police hold on record about an individual cannot be disclosed to a third party unlawfully – the police can only disclose data they hold about people if there is a lawful reason for doing so.
In cases where the police have disclosed data unlawfully – even if this was done casually in a conversation – if the disclosure results in damage or loss to the person, it may be possible to make a claim for compensation from the police force involved.
The Human Rights Act confers a range of rights on the individual, including the right to privacy for the family – if the police unlawfully disclose data about a person, which infringes their right to respect and privacy for the family under Section 8 of the Human Rights Act, it may also be possible to make a claim for compensation.
Police complaints have to be made within 12 months of an incident occurring or a reasonable cause for the delay must be given. After 12 months, however, it is at the discretion of the police force concerned whether a complaint is investigated.
We advise anyone wishing to pursue a complaint and make a claim for breach of privacy rights to get in touch as soon as possible to discuss making an initial complaint and pursuing a compensation claim.
Duncan Lewis may be able to secure legal aid, or to offer a no win no fee arrangement for advising on police complaints and claims – with competitively priced rates for privately funding a claim or After the Event (ATE) insurance, if either legal aid is unavailable or where a no win no fee basis is not possible.
For expert legal advice on actions against the police and breach of privacy rights, call Duncan Lewis Action Against Public Authorities solicitors in confidence on 0333 772 0409.