01482 778 463
Client Focussed
No Win No Fee
Specialist Legal Teams
Hudgell Solicitors™ | Latest News | More than an apology needed after police force lost recording of alleged rape victim’s interview

More than an apology needed after police force lost recording of alleged rape victim’s interview



It has been truly shocking to learn that a police force lost a recording of an alleged rape victim’s interview and had no way of discovering whether it had or hadn’t been sent on to another force.

Humberside Police has quite rightly been hit by a £130,000 fine by the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) for the error, which could have far reaching consequences.

The highly sensitive information had been left on a police officer’s desk before it disappeared

The discs had not been encrypted, meaning information including the alleged victim’s name, date of birth and signature, as well as details about the alleged rape itself, the victim’s mental health and the suspect’s name and address, were not protected.

The envelope including the case information had been due to be posted to another police force in the Teeside area where the alleged offence had happened.

It never arrived though, and such was the substandard audit trail at the Humberside force the package was not only lost, but it is wasn’t even able to be established if it had ever even be posted in the first place as intended.

The ICO found Humberside Police had failed to maintain a detailed audit trail and that the Protecting Vulnerable People unit within the force failed to adhere to its Information Security Policy in relation to removable media recording and information.

Deputy Chief Constable Chris Rowley says the force ‘deeply regrets’ the error and has apologised ‘unreservedly’. He said the force understands it has been an extremely difficult situation for the alleged victim, who has now said she cannot face giving evidence again.

In our work representing people in actions against the police, our team at Hudgell Solicitors have had a number of successful claims against other forces in which there have been very similar circumstances with regards to management of sensitive information.

When something like this happens, an apology is simply not enough. Serious questions have to be asked and answered. Lessons must be learned.

Case suggests lack of care and procedure even with regards to most serious allegations

Given our work also sees our solicitors support many victims of sexual assault and abuse, we know that making an allegation such as sexual assault or rape is something many victims find incredibly difficult to do.

It is therefore paramount that they not only feel that they will be listened to and understood, but also protected by our police forces.

This case undermines that crucial level of trust and suggests a lack of professionalism and care, even when handling the most serious and sensitive of cases.

It begs the obvious question of how other cases are handled across the force, and how often such sensitive information relating to victims and alleged crimes is not being properly protected.

There now needs to be a full internal investigation at the force with regards to the procedures and policies in place for handling such sensitive information. Those responsible for the failings in this case must also be held to account.

It is too serious of a matter to simply be dealt with through a public apology.

The alleged victim has now told the Hull Daily Mail that the matter has left her feeling guilty, as she now feels unable to face going through the traumatic ordeal of speaking to officers to give her evidence again.

That means not only do we have a situation where an alleged victim has been badly let down in terms of the duty of care owed to her by the force with regard to protecting her identity, but also the possibility that potentially dangerous person has not been brought to justice, leaving others at risk.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

*Required

The Author

author image

Andrew Petherbridge

Lawyer and Head of Civil Liberties

ap@hudgellsolicitors.co.uk

Request a callback

Request A Callback

I am an existing client.










Or call us FREE on:

01482 778 463


trust pilottrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot startrustpilot star

The data you submit will only be used by Hudgell Solicitors and only for the purpose of dealing with your enquiry.
See full privacy policy.

Looking to see if you're eligible?

Get in touch for free legal advice

0808 159 7699

Call today to speak to an expert

OR
Start your claim

What Our Clients Think

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Friendly professional service.

"Excellent service all way through."

Sakina begum

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Thrilled

"After not knowing what to do, hudgell have helped me thoroughly through the process and… "

Adam Shutt

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

helpful informative efficient and…

"helpful informative efficient and friendly these are all the qualities I found with the firm… "

Sharon Coultas

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

it took a long time but i definitely…

"it took a long time but i definitely got the result i wanted and deserved… "

Jan Mack

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very good efficient service

"Very good efficient service"

Amelia Jacobs

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service throughout my case

"Excellent service throughout my case Handled with ease and quickly"

Wayne Carter

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service in difficult…

"Excellent service in difficult circumstances Secured my compensation and won my case when other solicitors… "

Michael

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Fantastic team & Sarah :)

"Fantastic team and Sarah my Solicitor! Sarah has Handled everything for me, right up until… "

Sibel Sibel

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Third time lucky thanks to Hudgell!

"I had breast augmentation surgery three years ago for a complex assymetry case. I was… "

Bethanie Hawkins

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great customer service

"Great customer service Tasmin was very helpful Updated me on a regular basis Thanks for… "

Mr D Scannell

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Caroline was great in handling my case

"Caroline was great in handling my case, very informative and always kept me up to… "

Mr Richard Brook

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Dispute with EasyJet

"Although Hudgell offices were not local to us, there was no need for concern, as… "

Glyn

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Always on the ball

"Always on the ball! Great at what they do, very professional and fast with a… "

CHRISTOPHER CURTIS

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Excellent service

"Excellent service. Very happy with result. Thank you."

Miss Erika Panakova

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Was an easy process and the caseworker…

"Was an easy process and the caseworker was very informative and very knowledgeable on my… "

Rachel Fee

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Lovely business to deal with

"Lovely business to deal with. Would recommend to anyone."

Mrs Kelly Byrnes

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Great communication

"Great communication! My solicitor was lovely to deal with, open and listened to me."

Sue Ockendon

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very happy with how they managed my…

"Very happy with how they managed my claim. I would recommend them."

Mr Steve Roberts

trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star trustpilot-star

Very helpful and truly understanding in…

"Very helpful and truly understanding in a very sensitive case would highly recommend to anyone"

Miss Sarah Morris

Rated 9.4 out of 10 based on 465 reviews

Powered by Trustpilot

Our offices

London

55 Fleet Street
EC4Y 1JU

VIEW DETAILS

Hull

No 2 @ The Dock
46 Humber Street
HU1 1TU

VIEW DETAILS

Leeds

10 Park Place
Leeds
LS1 2RU

VIEW DETAILS

Manchester

1 St Peter’s Square
Third Floor
Manchester
M2 3AE

 

VIEW DETAILS

© 2018 Hudgell Solicitors®. All Rights Reserved.

Hudgell Solicitors is a trading name of Neil Hudgell Limited | Director Dr. Neil Hudgell MA LLB (Hons) LLD | Registered in England No. 7078429 | Authorised and Regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority | SRA No. 521372 | VAT Registration No. 254 7802 90