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Usually how long does it take for the police to acquire IP details from the ISP now they no longer need a warrant to serve them under the snoopers charter.

Would they usually then come and search your house for devices if it was cyber related?

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Usually how long does it take for the police to acquire IP details from the ISP now they no longer need a warrant to serve them under the snoopers charter.

The Acquisition and Disclosure of Communications Data Code of Practice published by the UK Home Office in March 2015 encourages service providers to furnish a disclosure notice within a fortnight:

3.50. Ordinarily the CSP should disclose, in writing or electronically, the communications data to which a notice relates not later than the end of the period of ten working days from the date the notice is served upon the CSP.

In practice, it is impossible to tell what "usually" looks like because historical data is not available.

Would they usually then come and search your house for devices if it was cyber related?

It depends on what grounds an offence is believed to have taken place. In any case, unless you are arrested a search warrant would be required, and a constable (authorised by an inspector) must apply to a court. Lord Widgery CJ in Williams v. Summerfield [1972] 2 QB 512 described a search warrant as:

... a very serious interference with the liberty of the subject, and a step which would only be taken after the most mature careful consideration of all the facts of the case.

Warrants that are governed by legislation for specific offences (The Theft Act 1968, section 26; The Firearms Act 1968, section 46; The Misuse of Drugs Act 1971, section 23(3); Obscene Publications Act 1959, section 3; and Protection of Children Act 1978, section 4) require specific information as to the suspected offence. For example:

If it is made to appear by information on oath before a justice of the peace that there is reasonable cause to believe that any person has in his custody or possession or on his premises any stolen goods, the justice may grant a warrant to search for and seize the same… (Theft Act 1968)

More general search warrants are issued under the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 (PACE) and the would first need to persuade a justice that there are reasonable grounds for believing:

  • that an indictable offence has been committed
  • there is material on the specified premises which is likely to be of substantial value to the investigation of the offence
  • it is likely to be relevant evidence
  • and it does not consist of or include items subject to "legal privilege", "excluded material" or "special procedure

The justice would normally want to ensure there are reasonable grounds to believe that you would prevent access to that evidence (e.g. by refusing entry or by destroying it first), which make a warrant necessary.

If you are arrested because a constable has reasonable grounds to suspect that you have committed an offence, and the offence is indictable, PACE also grants a power to search premises following arrest:

32(2)(b) if the offence for which he has been arrested is an indictable offence, to enter and search any premises in which he was when arrested or immediately before he was arrested for evidence relating to the offence

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