Cleveland Police has approved more requests to seize private communications than nearly any other force in the UK.
The force has made 4,276 requests to access the public’s communications data over the past three years under controversial anti-terror powers.
According to statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act, of these requests, only 14 were turned down.
This means that in 99.7% of cases, Cleveland Police has been able to access private information. Only two other forces had a higher success rate for their requests.
The force today defended its use of communications data as “a vital asset in the prevention and detection of crime”.