Metropolitan Police holding phone records of Journalists (1)

Meeting: 
MQT on 2014-12-17
Session date: 
December 17, 2014
Reference: 
2014/5062
Question By: 
Jenny Jones
Organisation: 
City Hall Greens
Asked Of: 
The Mayor
Category: 

Question

Is the Metropolitan Police going to apologise for holding on to more than 1,700 News UK phone records handed over by Vodafone by error for seven months? And why was the data not returned immediately?

Answer

Answer for Metropolitan Police holding phone records of Journalists (1)

Answer for Metropolitan Police holding phone records of Journalists (1)

Answered By: 
The Mayor

The material provided by Vodafone was done so in error. It was the MPS who notified Vodafone of this error and thereafter notified and consulted with the statutory regulators, Interception of Communications Commission's Office (IOCCO) and the Information Commissioner's Office (ICO). The data was reviewed pursuant to the paragraphs 6.23-6.25 of the Code of Practice on the Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data. The data was reviewed in order to comply with our Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 (CPIA) obligations for 6 individuals who were either charged with criminal offences or a charging decision was expected imminently by the CPS. 

There is clear CPIA authority to the effect that the MPS must retain relevant material so that both inculpatory and exculpatory evidence is made available for use at trial. It was therefore in the interests of justice to ensure that our CPIA obligations were complied with in order to secure a fair trial.  Once the CPIA obligations had been discharged the data was returned to Vodafone.