Courts empowered to disconnect communications devices used in drug offences

An Act of Sederunt providing for Drug Dealing Telecommunications Restriction Orders will come into force on January 19.

Such orders will require communications providers to disconnect a device used in relation to drugs offences.

In the House of Lords last month Baroness Williams of Trafford said: “In essence, the regulations provide the civil courts with the power to make a drug dealing telecommunications restriction order, and set out the process and procedure for doing so.

“The applicant for a DDTRO—that is, the police or the NCA—will have to satisfy a court that on the balance of probabilities the device has been used, is likely to have been used, or is likely to be used in connection with drug-dealing offences.

“The court will also have to have reasonable grounds to believe that the order would prevent or restrict the use of a communication device in connection with drug-dealing offences.”