Phones and the courts
GUIDANCE issued by the Director of Public Prosecutions is explicit that police and prosecutors must not seek to examine mobile phones of complainants and witnesses in every case.
The policy has not changed. For a police investigation to be fair for complainant and suspect, all reasonable lines of inquiry must be pursued.
If mobile phone evidence is relevant, there are strict limits on how material is used to minimise unnecessary intrusion.
The new consent forms bring consistency to investigations. We must balance a complainant’s right to privacy against a suspect’s right to fair investigation and trial.
SUE HEMMING, Crown Prosecution Service,