Police pay out £75,000 in privacy damages after using 999 call for training
Greater Manchester Police have agreed to pay a victim of domestic violence £75,000 in compensation after using a recording of her distressed 999 call together with other information that identified her and her medical history in training exercises. The claimant had consented to the 999 tape being used for training purposes, but only on an anonymous basis.
The claimant brought a claim for the misuse of private information, breach of confidence and breach of the Data Protection Act 1998. She claimed damages for distress and the psychiatric injury she had suffered as a result of finding out that her personal information had been used for training.
It is understood that liability was initially denied by the police. Even when it was accepted in 2014 the police refused to accept that the claimant had suffered distress or injury as a result of the incident (and was not entitled to compensation).
A police spokesperson said it was an exceptional case and that "...We have apologised to the woman involved. This was an unacceptable mistake; however, it was done with the best of intentions as part of training for partner agencies around recognising the signs of domestic abuse.. . It was quite right that we adequately compensated the woman concerned for the mistakes that were made and the effect they had on her. The force has taken action to protect the individual's information to prevent any issue in the future..."
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