Big Brother Watch has joined with victims’ rights campaigners and MPs to urge police to reform policies that result in digital investigations of rape victims.
The call, backed by Centre for Women’s Justice, End Violence Against Women, Liberty, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) victims lead Vera Baird, Jess Phillips MP and Caroline Lucas MP follows new national police policy on mobile phone extractions, which is an abject failure to protect victims’ privacy rights from spurious investigations. The policy requires victims of rape to agree to mass data downloads from their phones, or even a full copy of their phone data to be taken, even if only a single message or photo is relevant.
Griff Ferris, Legal and Policy Officer at Big Brother Watch said:
“There has been an abject failure to protect victims’ privacy rights from spurious investigations, with police forcing victims into signing away their privacy and data protection rights. No victim should have to make a choice between privacy rights and justice.”
“Treating rape victims like suspects delays investigations and trials, deters victims from reporting serious crimes and ultimately obstructs justice. We urge the police and the CPS to take action to protect victims of rape from these excessive digital investigations.”