Hampshire police make thousands of communcations data requests

Oxford Circus tube station has been closed after a police incident

UPDATE: Reports of shots fired in Oxford Street and Oxford Circus tube station, police responding as if terror incident

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PRIVACY campaigners have revealed Hampshire police requested 11,750 communications records.

The force used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act to uncover data including who people called, texted and emailed between January 2012 and December 2014.

Big Brother Watch, which obtained the information, said accessing communications data is intrusive.

It comes as the group reveals 733,237 requests were made nationally by forces.

Just 259 requests by officers in Hampshire were rejected.

The report said: ‘Despite persistent claims that the police’s access to communications data is diminishing, this report shows that the police are continuing to access vast amounts of data on citizens.’

Big Brother Watch has made five recommendations

It wants police to publish transparency reports detailing how requests are approved, how many people affected and the crime involved.

The group also wants judicial approval for any final step in requesting data.

A note on Hampshire’s figures said: ‘These figures are based on applications authorised rather than applications originally submitted as some these may have been returned for rework by the applicant and never resubmitted.’