The police and the Crown Prosecution Service cancelled a meeting with victims and rights groups, including Big Brother Watch, to discuss urgent reform to their mobile phone extraction policy which applies to victims of crime and is used disproportionately against victims of rape and serious sexual offences.
The police and Crown Prosecution Service blamed legal action brought by the Centre for Women’s Justice against the new policy, which Big Brother Watch is supporting.
Director Silkie Carlo, said:
“There is a massive failure within our justice system and yet it seems the very people who are supposed to protect it are not willing to listen. We’ve told them our concerns before and we were prepared to explain them again today, but the doors have been shut in our faces.
“The fact is that victims of crime are being forced to choose between their privacy and justice. Police are now seeing phones and data as digital character references and victims’ private lives as open to scrutiny.
“This goes far beyond reasonable investigations and towards intrusive fishing expeditions. This policy sets a dangerous precedent for how data and devices are used in the criminal justice system and must be urgently reformed.”