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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 71053
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I have been contacted by the Police who want to visit my home

Customer Question

I have been contacted by the Police who want to visit my home to search my computer using a 'software tool' to determine if I have illegal images. Should I just allow them access to be in the clear?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is Jo and I will try to help with this.

Are they going to find anything ?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

No there is nothing that can be found, I discussed this with them on the phone yesterday and even said that if there was something that could be found then surely I would have removed it by the time I invited them to visit, it seems to be an entirely fruitless way of enforcement.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 4 years ago.
It isn't possible to delete things completely. The forensics lab can always find traces. The only way to eradicate everything is to literally destroy the device in some form of explosion. Merely hitting the delete key is not sufficient to put it beyond the reach of forensic science.

Overall, if they are not going to find anything then you might as well let them do this. If you don't they will only get a warrant or authority to search your house under S18 PACE and seize the device for weeks on end. They may seize the device anyway of course so there are no guarantees.

If there was something to be found then it would be worth making them jump through hoops but if they are not going to find anything then you may as well co-operate at least at the outset. It increases your chances of them performing this action sensitively. Ultimately they are intent upon investigating it will not go away just because you refuse entry initially.

Can I clarify anything for you?