Mobile Weapons and Seizure Procedure
The MTEB (Mobile Telephone Examination Board) is preparing the Eighth Edition of Section 4 Mobile Telephone Seizure Procedure (Mobile Weapons) and will update on new items and handling procedures for them.
There has been a slow but persistent level in mobile/smart phones being adapted for use as some form of weapon.
Back in 2008 trewmte.blogspot reported about the mobile phone that fires bullets. The story of this wasn't new, by any means, but was highlighted to illustrate the variety and exposure of devcies that those involved in seizure procedure and mobile phone examiners can come into contact.
Over time the trewmte.blogspot has highlighted other weapons, such as Stun Guns:
But mobile/smart phones that propel objects or inflict severe shock are not the only adaptations out there. Take for instance the age old weapon of a knife adapted for use with a mobile phone ( seized 2005):
And now in 2012 we now have another weapon that uses an adapted iPhone case which the manufacturers purport can be used for personal protection to spray pepper in the eyes:
The above are by no means the end of mobile/smart phones adapted for some form of weapons. We only know too well how mobile phones have been rigged to set off incendiary devices etc, which the MTEB labels IMD (improvised mobile devices):
Yes the photos above all present disburbing images, but not for sensational purposes. Thankfully, it is not common for those involved with seizing items and examiners to come into contact with adapted and improvised devices like these on a regular basis. We still need to be aware and have a proposed handling procedure in place to deal with them though. That is on the basis that mobile/smart phone seizure and examination happens globally. The trewmte.blogspot is not simply local to the UK but deals with international matters and therefore articles like this are not only for UK consumption but for other countries that are involved in and employ seizure and examination procedures.
Lastly, and of specific relavance to seizure and examination procedure, it is priority to deal with mobile/smart phone weapon/s as opposed to figuring out what a person may have intended to do with it/them; figuring out is a thought process that can come later on. Why? One very good reason, the person who is seizing an adapted device (e.g. iPhone case above) and accidently sprays pepper into his/her face because s/he had no prior knowledge about the adapted device is clearly a priority. It is immaterial that the owner of such a device may have had genuine reasons (attacker pepper spray) for having such a device. Apart from mal-intention and recklessness of IMDs etc, for the majority of persons seizing or examining the device they wouldn't be the intended target and are nothing more than innocent bystanders.