Inspector Knacker of the Yard has been showing off his latest toy which can extract your personal data from a suspects' phones while they are held in shark infested custody.
The gizmo would have been useful last August during the riots which were coordinated mainly via BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) as no one knew if police could access the data from rioters' phones. As it turned out they couldn't - if they had, they could have banged up more people for the terrible crime of suggesting McDonalds was a good place to meet before a riot.
According to Computerworld, the Radio Tactics' ACESO data extraction system has been rolled out across 16 boroughs in the capital. Similar gear has been seen in other third world police states which regard personal data the property of the government, like the United States.
It is a warning that if you and your phone are parted while you are helping the police with their inquiries, the chances are your phone will be sniffed and the topless pics of your missus will be distributed during the CID Christmas party.
The system is to be used on phones that are suspected of having actually been used in a crime. The owner does not have to have been there, just the phone. So if a friend calls you while he is on the job, police can snuffle your phone too.
Stephen Kavanagh, deputy assistant commissioner of the Metropolitan Police said that when a suspect is arrested and found with a mobile phone that we suspect may have been used in crime, it is submited it to a digital forensic laboratory for analysis.
This can lead to months of delays, particularly for "low level criminal cases", said the Met.
The ACESO kiosk data extraction system involves a touchscreen desktop data acquisition tool which is so simple that even PC Jon Summerson, not his real name, can use it.
More than 300 Met officers will be trained to use the system. It is not clear at this stage as to what will happen to the extracted data off a suspect's mobile if he or she is not charged with an offence.