ACPO lead for organised crime, Chief Constable Mick Creedon, said:
"The impact of communications data on serious criminal investigations should not be underestimated: it is critical to the ability of the police service to protect the public. Data from landline and mobile telephone networks has proved invaluable in bringing successful prosecutions, for example against the serial killer Levi Bellfield, and it is imperative that this capability is maintained.
"What is becoming clear within police forces and organisations such as the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre and the Serious Organised Crime Agency, is that criminals have adapted to take advantage of the opportunities that social media and other new telecommunications networks and platforms have created. As the behaviour of criminals has changed, there is a need to look at how the police and law enforcement agencies can continue to investigate crime, save lives and keep pace with criminality. It is a matter for government to ensure the right boundaries are set so that our approaches are justified, necessary and proportionate."