Businesses at Risk of Losing Police Response and Prosecution under the Data Protection Act

Mon 05 Sep, 2011

Following the recent review and reissue of British Standard 8484:2011 for Lone Worker device and services, Argyll, the UK’s largest Lone Worker monitoring provider has warned that both public and private sector procurement processes lack the detailed understanding required to make an informed choice when sourcing a Lone Worker monitoring solution. Fundamentally businesses are generally unaware of the potential integrity of supplier sub-contract relationships and the associated processes for handling personal staff data. Organisations can be exposed to a threat of losing police response and the threat of a potential prosecution under the Data Protection Act and the Corporate Manslaughter & Corporate Homicide Act 2007.

A confusing choice of suppliers and devices (claiming compliance with industry standards) coupled with a general lack of awareness of the solution components by organisations, has resulted in difficult procurement decisions for business managers and loose specifications during tender processes. This has lead to the procurement of ‘solutions’ that are not properly certified to BS8484, the minimum acceptable standards for police response, and a range of suppliers that are using sub-contractors and requiring distribution of staff personal data in order to deliver solutions.

Argyll has launched a Blog providing free access to independent expertise and opinion for managers. The site contains valuable commentary from a panel of independent industry experts, including risk managers, health & safety lawyers, conflict resolution trainers and other respected industry professionals. One of the first entries comes from Patrick Dealtry the founder of BS8484.com and Chairperson of the BSI review group for BS8484 and of the BSIA Lone Worker Industry Steering Group. Patrick outlines the recent changes to BS8484:2011 and explains what suppliers need to provide in order to guarantee police response services to customers.

Argyll has also produced a helpful guide for procurement professionals and it’s website support page offers further policy guidance to assist business managers and aide their compliance with the new revised BS8484.

BS8484 has already been adopted by ACPO in 2010 and following the comprehensive review of 2011, is being adopted imminently by ACPO(S).