The Police Service of Northern Ireland has created a guidance policy on Mobile Phone Extraction (MPE) and the examination of digital devices.
In June 2020 the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) released its investigation reports into the mobile phone extraction conducted by police in England and Wales. In the same month, the Court of Appeal passed judgment in R v Bater-James and Mohammed (Bater-James). The Police Service of Northern Ireland has created a new guidance policy on Mobile Phone Extraction (MPE) and the examination of digital devices to ensure the service acts in line with the ICO report and the Court of Appeal judgement.
Chief Superintendent Sam Donaldson is leading the MPE working group and said; “The application process for examination of digital devices will change to require further information from investigators. This will cover reasonable lines of inquiry, proportionality, strict necessity and the legal basis for the examination.”
"As a result of the ICO Investigation Report on MPE in Northern Ireland, and in line with the Authorised Professional Practice issued by the College of Policing, Inspectors will now be responsible for authorising applications to lawfully obtain material from a personal digital device and ensure that authority is only given when the strictly necessary criterion is met."