Date lodged: 9 April 2018
To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the police searching mobile phones without (a) a warrant and (b) having the power to do so under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000.
Answered by: Michael Matheson 26 April 2018
When the police seize a phone or another electronic device under the authority of a judicial warrant, statutory power or following a suspect’s arrest, it is lawful for them to examine that device for evidence. A person may also voluntarily provide their electronic device in the knowledge that it will be examined for evidence in relation to the particular crime under investigation.
The powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers (Scotland) Act 2000 are not relevant to searches of phones for evidential purposes.