Police Legal Bill For Abandoned Cyber Kiosks Could Rise Further
25th February 2019
The cost of Police Scotland's junked phone hacking kiosks is likely to rise again as the force considers taking legal action to prove it did not breach privacy laws.
It spent £370,684 last April on 41 of its cyber kiosks, which let officers copy data from mobile phones, but the plans were shelved following an outcry from privacy campaigners, The Times reports.
The single force sought legal guidance from the Crown Office in October last year but received none. It paid a further £316,678 to Cellebrite, an Israeli manufacturer, to licence the devices for four years.
On 30 January, COPFS wrote to Police Scotland to say that there has been a ‘misunderstanding' by the force, which thought that the request for legal advice had been passed to Crown counsel for consideration.
In the letter, COPFS warned that it would be "inappropriate" for them to comment on a request for broad guidance on police powers as they only give advice on admissibility of evidence into court on a case by case basis.
Upon receiving this from COPFS, Police Scotland wrote to the Scottish Parliament's Justice Sub-Committee on Policing, stating that it believes "the [COPFS] position outlined within to be supportive of the Police Scotland position with regard the existence of a legal basis for the examination of digital device using Cyber Kiosks".
Steve Johnson, assistant chief constable, told the committee: "Police Scotland has continued to retain a high level of confidence on the legal basis to support the proposed use of digital triage devices as part of our cyberforensic capabilities. We do not believe the position described by Crown necessarily contradicts our understanding of the legal basis.
“I have referred this updated position to our internal legal advisors for further consideration, which may include a proposal to seek further independent legal advice on this important matter."
Matthew Rice, Scotland director of the Open Rights Group, said: “They should not be spending more money on receiving more legal advice until all available advice is made available publicly.
“Police Scotland can’t keep rolling the legal advice dice until they get the response they are after. Crown Office have responded and not given them clarity. It is time now for the legal services advice to be released.”
Source Scottish Legal News - www.scottishlegal.com
Police Scotland has asked for an independent review into the death of a man whose body was recovered from Wick Harbour more than 20 years ago. Senior representatives of Police Scotland and the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service met with the family of Kevin Mcleod earlier today to inform them that, following consultation with the Lord Advocate, Chief Constable Iain Livingstone has requested Merseyside Police carry out a detailed review of the case under the direction of the Crown.
Scotland's Chief Statistician today published statistics on Police Officer Quarterly Strength, which gives the number of full-time equivalent police officers employed by Police Scotland. The key findings of the statistics are: There were 17,251 full-time equivalent (FTE) police officers in Scotland on 31 March 2019.
A multi-agency operation aimed at removing abandoned and untaxed vehicles from the roads of Caithness has led to 27 vehicles being clamped or seized. Police Scotland officers have worked with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) and Highland Council Environmental Health officers during the three day operation running from Monday, April 15 until Wednesday, 17 April 2019.
Help halt the harm doorstep criminals cause in your community. Independent charity Crimestoppers is today launching a campaign to raise awareness of Doorstep Crime and encourage people to pass on any relevant information 100% anonymously.
The following has been issued nationwide today 7th March 2019. Improvised Explosive Device Sent via Mail - 6th March 2019.
Police Scotland and the I Am Me charity have welcomed new members to the network of Highland premises which have agreed to make their premises a Keep Safe place for people to go if they feel frightened, distressed or have been the victim of crime. Nairn Citizens Advice Bureau and the Co-ops in Golspie and Brora have joined the initiative, which is delivered in partnership between I Am Me and Police Scotland.
Police Scotland can confirm that two men have been charged in relation to two vehicles detected travelling at 131mph on the A9. The two vehicles were seen by road policing officers near Arpafeelie on the Black Isle north of Inverness shortly after 11.15pm on Wednesday, February 20.
Drugs with a street value of more than £820,000 have been seized throughout the Highlands & Islands during a four week period of enforcement in January and February. Officers have been carrying out targeted activity aimed at removing illegal drugs from the streets - while causing extensive disruption to those intent on trafficking and dealing.
Eight police officers from the Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG) have achieved their HGV Class 2 Cat C driving licences in order to drive an unmarked truck. The officers were trained by the Ryder Truck Driving Academy to operate the CPMG's HGV ‘supercab', which helps identify drivers that are breaking the law.
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
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