IT Pro is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more

UK police deny they'll seize mobile phones after all road traffic accidents

The Association of Chief Police Officers has rubbished reports that officers will seize mobile phones in the wake of every car accident

Police

The Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) has denied reports that drivers involved in road traffic accidents will have their mobile phones automatically examined or seized at the scene.

Over the weekend, several national newspapers reported that police officers had received guidance instructing them to seize the mobile phones of drivers whenever a road traffic accident takes place.

The move, it was claimed, would help reduce the number of deaths caused by drivers using their mobile phones while behind the wheel, and would help police officers ascertain if a driver had used their phone in the lead up to a crash.

A report on the Daily Mail website over the weekend stated the guidance had been issued by Gloucestershire Police Constable Suzette Davenport, who oversees the ACPO's road policing efforts.

However, ACPO has since released a statement distancing itself from the weekend reports, which it has described as "inaccurate."

In it, Davenport categorically denies that she has instructed police officers to seize drivers' mobile phones in the wake of a collision, but stated that making people aware of the dangers of using mobile devices while driving is a priority.

"At no point have I issued guidance to officers to seize mobile phones from drivers at the site of every road traffic collision," she said.

"It has been standard practice to seize mobile phones from drivers at the scenes of very serious collisions for some time as part of the information and evidence gathering process, but it is not now, nor will it be, standard practice to seize phones from drivers after every collision."

It is illegal for drivers and motorcyclists to use mobile devices while operating their vehicles, and people found doing so can receive three penalty points and a 100 fine.

If the case goes to court, people can face being disqualified from driving or using their motorbike, and receive a maximum fine of 1000.

"It is fair to say that we as a service are looking at ways of making officers and drivers more aware of the difference between the offences of driving while not in proper control of the vehicle which is a distraction offence and driving while using a mobile phone," Davenport added.

"Part of this process involves making sure officers know the best means of using information within a driver's mobile phone when building evidence for a successful prosecution, such as finding from call or text logs if the phone was ain use at the time of the incident."

Featured Resources

Four strategies for building a hybrid workplace that works

All indications are that the future of work is hybrid, if it's not here already

Free webinar

The digital marketer’s guide to contextual insights and trends

How to use contextual intelligence to uncover new insights and inform strategies

Free Download

Ransomware and Microsoft 365 for business

What you need to know about reducing ransomware risk

Free Download

Building a modern strategy for analytics and machine learning success

Turning into business value

Free Download

Recommended

Met Police faces legal action over "racist" Gangs Matrix database
Policy & legislation

Met Police faces legal action over "racist" Gangs Matrix database

2 Feb 2022
NICE's E-Request expedites 911 evidence sharing
Cloud

NICE's E-Request expedites 911 evidence sharing

16 Aug 2021

Most Popular

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack
hacking

Russian hackers declare war on 10 countries after failed Eurovision DDoS attack

16 May 2022
Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies
Server & storage

Windows Server admins say latest Patch Tuesday broke authentication policies

12 May 2022
IT admin deletes company’s databases and is jailed for seven years
Policy & legislation

IT admin deletes company’s databases and is jailed for seven years

16 May 2022