Victims of crimes, including those alleging rape, are to be asked to hand their phones over to police – or risk prosecutions not going ahead.
Written by BBC News
Consent forms asking for permission to access information including emails, messages and photographs have been rolled out in England and Wales.
It comes after a number of rape and serious sexual assault cases collapsed when crucial evidence emerged.
Victim Support said the move could stop victims coming forward.
But police and prosecutors say the forms can plug a gap in the law which says complainants and witnesses cannot be forced to disclose relevant content from phones, laptops, tablets or smart watches.
Director of Public Prosecutions Max Hill said such digital information would only be looked at where it forms a “reasonable” line of inquiry, with material going before a court only if it meets stringent rules.