Date Responded 18 August 2021

Provision of information held by Northumbria Police made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 (the 'Act')

As you may be aware the purpose of the Act is to allow a general right of access to information held at the time of a request, by a Public Authority (including the Police), subject to certain limitations and exemptions.

You asked:

1. On how many mobile phones has mobile phone data extraction technology been used in criminal investigations between 01/01/2019 and the present day (15/06/2021)?  Please provide a breakdown by:

1. a) Serious crimes

1. b) All other crimes

Please could you also provide a breakdown by year.

Note: "Serious crime" is defined in section 93(4) of the Police Act 1997 as: Conduct which (a) involves the use of violence, results in substantial financial gain or is conducted by a large number of persons in pursuit of a common purpose or (b) the offence or one of the offences is an offence for which a person who has attained the age of twenty-one and has no previous convictions could reasonably be expected to be sentenced to imprisonment for a term of three years or more.

By ‘mobile phone data extraction technology and/or software’, I refer to the hardware and/or software used by the force to conduct such digital searches, which can include the extraction of pictures, text messages and information on the Cloud. Examples of such technology include Cellebrite kiosks or MSAB XRY software, allowing the force to access information on a suspect/witness’ device, as per the definition of digital forensics laid out by the NPCC and College of Policing’s definition: Digital forensics is the process by which information is extracted from data storage media (eg, devices, remote storage and systems associated with computing, imaging, image comparison, video processing and enhancement [including CCTV], audio analysis, satellite navigation, communications), rendered into a useable form, processed and interpreted for the purpose of obtaining intelligence for use in investigations, or evidence for use in criminal proceedings.

 

2. a) How many police officers have been disciplined AND/OR dismissed for their use of mobile phone data extraction technology between 01/01/2019 and the present day (15/06/2021)?  Please could you provide a breakdown by:

2. a) i) Year

2. a) ii) Whether the officer was disciplined or dismissed

2. b) Please could you also provide details of the officer’s actions that led to the dismissal i.e. if they had misused mobile phone extraction technology for personal gain, passed on private information, failed to retain information safely, etc.

 

3. Please could I have a copy of any Police Crime Commissioner (PCC) reports AND/OR Tactical Assessments AND/OR internal reports produced relating to the force’s use of mobile phone data extraction technology between 01/01/2019 and the present day (15/06/2021).

In Response:

1. The following relates to mobile devices only: 

Offence

01/01/2019 –

31/12/2019

01/01/2020 –

31/12/2020

01/01/2021 –

15/06/2021

01/01/2019 –

15/06/2021

Adult Sexual Offences

39

48

19

106

Arson

5

27

2

34

Assault

43

68

35

146

Blackmail

14

17

5

36

Breach of SHPO

20

17

17

54

Computer Misuse

25

4

1

30

Conspiracy

66

127

73

266

Criminal Damage

5

2

2

9

CSE – Contact Offense

84

53

36

173

CSE – Distribution IIOC

114

132

59

305

CSE – Grooming

93

87

35

215

CSE – IIOC

196

260

156

612

Drugs Offense

153

278

205

636

Fatal Road Traffic Collision

7

7

2

16

Firearms Offences

99

71

30

200

Fraud

20

47

12

79

Homicide

114

168

24

306

Human Trafficking

0

16

2

18

Immigration Offences

0

0

3

3

Kidnapping

19

7

6

32

Misconduct

1

13

4

18

Misper

3

1

0

4

Misuse of Drugs Act

14

17

7

38

Modern Slavery

7

3

12

22

OAPA

0

0

1

1

Other

83

100

61

244

Public Order

8

17

3

28

Rape

50

39

31

120

Road Traffic Offences

9

4

5

18

Robbery

13

15

10

38

National Security

1

4

2

7

Theft

25

27

16

68

Voyeurism

4

0

1

5

Wireless Telegraphy Act

0

1

0

1

Wildlife Offences

1

0

0

1

 

Please note that there are limitations to data which will fulfil the date range requirement of this request as Cellebrite kiosks do not record crime type after 14/12/2020.  The below figures from Cellebrite Kiosks include extractions for mobile phones, sim cards, memory cards and screenshots:

Offence

01/01/2019 –

31/12/2019

01/01/2020 –

14/12/2020

01/01/2019 –

14/12/20

Assault

331

549

880

Assault Sexual

734

782

1516

Breach Of SHPO

60

127

187

Crim Damage

93

44

137

Drugs

852

1209

2061

Grooming

215

288

503

Harassment

958

922

1880

Homicide

235

271

506

IIOC

129

101

230

Illegal Porn

14

20

34

Misconduct

5

13

18

Misper

41

9

50

Other

1098

1377

2475

Robbery

60

79

139

Sexual Assault

138

132

270

Sudden Death

86

99

185

Theft Fraud

176

208

384

Traffic

95

126

221

Voyeurism

9

13

22

 

2. None.

 

3. No information held specific to this part of your request.

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