Lucy McHugh's murderer remains unconvicted, and Hampshire police think they know who did it. They believe there is evidence on his Facebook account, but to get it, must apply to the US courts for access. Facebook only grants immediate police access worldwide to user accounts in the event of imminent serious harm to a child, or of immediate risk of death or serious injury, for example from a terrorist act.
Cressida Dick has waded into the debate by voicing her opinion that social media companies should give unquestioned access to the police 'within minutes' of being asked. It is the sort of fatuous saloon-bar comment that is usually the preserve of the deeply stupid, and as such is hardly worthy of serious rebuttal. But this woman, remember, is the nation's senior police officer with operational responsibility for terrorism and the most serious investigations.
Hard cases make bad law. I am sorry for the family of Lucy McHugh but would ask them to be patient; if there is sufficient evidence to do so, police will be given access to the suspect's account. There may or may not be evidence that will secure a conviction. No one else is at risk, and immediate access cannot reverse the family's loss and grief. There is no pressing reason for change.
Cressida Dick should learn that she polices in a democracy, not in a police State. I'm sure she would like the ability to access whatever accounts are of interest to officers, and allow them to go fishing to take down opponents of the State, critics of the police and those who fight for freedom of thought and expression. If she seriously thinks we should let her, she's lost her mind.