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Response to ICO Report concerning digital evidence in criminal investigations

18 Jun 2020

The Information Commissioner has published an investigation report into the use of mobile phone extraction (MPE) by police forces when conducting criminal investigations in England and Wales.

Jointly, the National Police Chiefs' Council, Crown Prosecution Service, and the College of Policing said:

“Police investigators must balance the need to follow all reasonable lines of enquiry, guaranteeing a fair trial, with the need to respect privacy. We thank the Information Commissioner for this detailed and thoughtful report which acknowledges the complexity of this issue, and the growing volumes of data which exist in criminal cases. We will now carefully consider the recommendations of the report.

“We note that the Commissioner recognises the need for consistency in how digital evidence is processed for use in criminal investigations. We have all committed to working with stakeholders to get this right and will be continuing this work in light of the recommendations in this report.”

The National Police Chiefs' Council and Crown Prosecution Service added: 

“The principles underpinning all work to date were to seek to provide that clarity and consistency, both to victims and to forces. We accept that more work is needed to make sure that the information provided to victims and witnesses about how their data is used is clear and easily understood.”