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Prisoners: Smart Devices

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 179686, tabled on 12 April 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, what the average waiting time was to examine digital devices at Digital Investigation Units across the UK in the most recent period for which figures are available.

Answered on

15 April 2021

HMPPS Digital Media Investigation Unit is a specialist Digital Team whose responsibilities include the extraction of data from illicit mobile devices found in prison custody.

Average waiting times for centrally processed devices are relatively short – under 5 days.

In addition, Digital Media Investigation Unit has put in place capability for local extraction within prisons. The average waiting time for these interrogations is not held centrally.

It is important to note that these waiting times are not directly comparable with Law Enforcement Partners due to different operating contexts. DMIU does not extract data from every illicit device found in custody and on occasion some devices may be sent to Law Enforcement partners when dealing with specific investigations. Data for such waiting times is not held centrally.

The data provided is specific to those extractions completed by HMPPS relating to HMPPS cases and therefore does not include any other Digital Investigation Units such as the Police or related Law Enforcement Agencies.

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