Living in a digital-led world definitely has its pros and cons. Technology continues to advance in ways we never thought possible and connecting with your loved ones across the globe has never been easier.
But what happens when that very same technology is used to hurt you?
Being on the receiving end of harassing phone calls and text messages is certainly no fun and we hope that you never have to go through it. However, it does happen more often than you think and it’s extremely important to report this as soon as possible.
With the help of your local police department, tracing unwanted or threatening text messages is possible and is taken very seriously. And the good news is that the police can access data as far back as two years depending on the service provider.
On the flip side, if the police have reasonable grounds to suspect a mobile device contains important evidence, your phone may be confiscated for ongoing investigation.
Today, we explore when exactly the police can get involved and how far back they can trace text messages. Let’s dive in!
When can police access your text messages
The police can rightfully access your text messages if you are subject to an ongoing investigation. If your mobile device has been seized, the police have the power to access whatever is stored in your phone if they have reasonable grounds to believe that the phone itself contains information relating to a crime.
During such times when your phone is being held for evidence, it’s important to note that the police maintain the right to store/retain any information deemed relevant to the investigation. And this data could be used in future criminal proceedings.
If the police believe you are involved in something far more complex, there is also a possibility that they could access your phone remotely – more commonly known as ‘tapping your phone’. However, this method usually requires a warrant to do so and is only used in extreme circumstances.
Additionally, it is your lawful right to report any unwanted, threatening, or harassing text messages to your local police department. In this instance, police officers will gather evidence from your phone to build a case against the perpetrator.
Reasons why police access your text messages
The reasons for police accessing your text messages widely vary from case to case. For example, if the police have reason to believe that you are involved in a crime, they may search for evidence contained in your text messages.
Before taking a phone in for evidence, the police will first have to consider the nature of the crime and have good reason.
During an ongoing investigation, your phone could be retained for quite some time. Since departments are often understaffed, there is no set time limit for seizing your phone.
On the other hand, if you are a victim of unwanted and threatening messages, the police will need access to your mobile phone to efficiently build a case and gather as much evidence as possible. Again, the duration in which your phone is seized can vary depending on the nature of the crime and how quickly staff can work on your case.
How far back can police track text messages?
At present, the police can track your text messages as far back as two years. While it really depends on which service provider you use, this is the standard timeframe for all text messages.
There are a few exceptions to this, however. For example, if the text messages are still on the phone, the two-year rule doesn’t apply since the history has not been wiped off the phone. However, if the text messages have been deleted, the police will have to work with the service provider to restore its history.
With advances in technology, tracing text messages and their senders has become increasingly easier throughout the years. Typically, the sender’s information can be traced back to the contract provider where personal information has previously been stored. Additionally, the location from where text messages have been sent can also be easily identified.
The good news is that if you are on the receiving end of unwanted messages, and even if the texts have been deleted, it is still possible for the police to track down the data with the help of service providers.
In conclusion, tracing text messages has become a lot easier for the police department in today’s current climate. Previously, before advancements in technology, tracing calls and texts was a bit of a lost cause and criminal investigations certainly took a lot longer to resolve.
It is the police force’s duty to protect and serve the community and you should report a crime to your local force as promptly as possible.