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UK RAPE VICTIMS MUST HAND OVER MOBILE PHONES TO POLICE or risk cases being dropped as prosecutions may not go ahead if victims do not allow police access to their messages, photos, emails and social media accounts.
Rape victims are being told they must hand over their mobile phones to police or risk prosecutions against their attackers being dropped. Privacy campaigners branded the move akin to a ‘digital strip search’
At least two complainants are planning a legal challenge against new consent forms which ask permission to access messages, photographs, emails and social media accounts.
The forms have been rolled out across the 43 forces in England and Wales after a string of rape and serious sexual assault cases collapsed when crucial evidence emerged at the last minute.
Police and prosecutors say the forms are an attempt to fix a gap in the law which means police cannot currently force complainants or witnesses to disclose their phones, laptops, tablets and smart watches.
But privacy campaign group Big Brother Watch branded the move akin to a “digital strip search” and said “treating rape victims like suspects” could deter people from reporting crimes. Sky News