Weston woman wins settlement after police records described her as violent

Avon and Somerset Police HQ

A Weston woman has been paid more than £5,000 after Avon and Somerset Police stored false medical information in her files. - Credit: LDRS

Avon and Somerset Police has paid a Weston woman thousands of pounds after it emerged the service held false medical information on her records - citing her as violent.

The woman, referred to as Miss A, uncovered the errors after making a subject access request (SAR) in February 2019.

This allows someone to request a copy of their personal data, and other supplementary information that an organisation may have stored.

New statistics show Weston is the second most dangerous town in Somerset.

The SAR revealed Miss A's records falsely described her a "violent when not medicated". - Credit: Archant

Miss A was left “horrified” when she discovered that police records featured incorrect medical information, including a  fictitious diagnosis of ‘split personality, violent when not medicated’ and false claims about her health and personal life.

She said: “I was completely horrified when I saw the information on the police records.

"I was very conscious that the police would be using this data when interacting with me, so wanted to ensure that it was correct as some elements were completely untrue."

Miss A, who has autism and other conditions such as ADHD, secured a settlement of £5,500 from Avon and Somerset Police and had the inaccuracies wiped from her records. 

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However, this was the second settlement the service had made to her after already paying £7,000 after officers breached data regulations on three separate occasions.

The issues followed an incident in which Miss A was a victim of a hate crime.

She added: “[This has been] a very stressful time, particularly with this coming so soon after my previous case.

"Securing the settlement is great news, but my only hope is that no one else has to face such problems and that lessons are learnt by the police. These issues cannot be allowed to happen again.

“I strongly recommend that anyone who has ever had any contact with police, whether as a victim, witness or offender, checks what information police hold about them.”

For information on how to make a subject access request, visit www.ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/your-right-to-get-copies-of-your-data/preparing-and-submitting-your-subject-access-request

Avon and Somerset Police has been approached for comment but is yet to respond.