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College of Policing issues guidance on obtaining evidence from digital devices


Mark Say Managing Editor

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The College of Policing has published guidance on how police officers can lawfully extract information from electronic devices.

This follows the Government’s conclusion of a consultation on the issue with an indication that it will set out an updated code of practice for approval by Parliament.

There have also been continued questions about police officers requiring the smartphones of the victims of some crimes – notably sexual assaults.

The college said its guidance is intended to help sanctioning officers – at the rank of inspector – follow the new rules and highlighted the need for a person to be authorised to extract information from a device.

This has to come as part of a reasonable line of enquiry and a belief that it needs the information on the device. It is also necessary to inform the device’s user.

In addition, new digital processing notices have been developed by the National Police Chiefs Council in collaboration with the college and the Crown Prosecution Service. The college is working on guidance on how to complete these.


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