Police Chiefs to Replace Disclosure Consent Forms
Controversial consent forms giving police access to phones and other devices in criminal cases are to be replaced, after they were criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office. In 2019 the National Police Chiefs Council and Crown Prosecution Service announced they were introducing standardised consent forms for allowing access to phones and other devices. However, the Centre for Women’s Justice said the forms were unlawful, discriminatory and led to excessive and intrusive disclosure requests. The centre brought a legal challenge on behalf of two women, which was put on hold pending the ICO’s investigation report on mobile phone data extraction by police forces.The ICO’s report, published last month, said the NPCC-circulated digital consent forms did not make clear what the underpinning lawful basis for an extraction was and that the forms should not be used as currently drafted. Today, the NPCC confirmed that the forms will be replaced with an interim version from 13 August. The College of Policing will produce guidance on investigative practice when mobile phone investigation is needed. Assistant chief constable Tim De Meyer, NPCC lead for disclosure, said: ‘Police and prosecutors have a duty to pursue all reasonable lines of enquiry in every investigation, and to disclose any material that undermines the case for the prosecution or assists the case for the accused. This is a fundamental principle of our criminal justice system, which ensures that trials are fair.
Read more: Law Gazette, Police chiefs to replace disclosure consent forms
Police chiefs to replace disclosure consent formsForms were criticised by the Information Commissioner’s Office and were being legally challenged.