The Bristol Cable

It’s high time the police and Home Office came clean on the technology that snoops on your mobile phone.

Browse the interactive map to see if your local police force are known to have purchased IMSI-catchers. Read the investigation that lifted the lid on this surveillance, and check out our briefing to parliament calling for urgent reform.

A Bristol Cable investigation in 2016 revealed that at least nine police forces in the UK secretly purchased IMSI-catchers, an indiscriminate and mass mobile phone surveillance technology. The number of police constabularies with the capacity to eavesdrop on your phone calls, read your text messages, and find out where you are is likely higher. At present, 197 parliamentary constituencies are known to be covered by police forces with IMSI-catchers.

In what circumstances are IMSI-catchers used, which authorities operate them, and most importantly, how are people safeguarded from this intrusive surveillance technology? These are just some of the basic questions that urgently need to be answered.

Unfortunately, the police and Home Office have consistently refused to disclose that they operate or even own IMSI-catchers, despite mounting evidence. This has prevented democratic scrutiny and undermined the notion of policing by consent. This is where you come in, follow the guide at the bottom of the page, and together, we can lift the lid on ‘law enforcement’s worst kept secret.’

Does your local police force have IMSI-catchers?

We have mapped the police forces known to have IMSI-catcher technology. You can zoom in and browse this interactive map to see if your constituency falls within one of these areas.


Contains National Statistics and OS data © Crown copyright and database right 2017
Tip: Click an affected area to read the evidence we have for that police force.

A briefing to parliament:

The case for transparency and accountability

Download the briefing:

Contact your MP and Police & Crime Commissioner with a link to our briefing

Supported by Privacy International

Countless Freedom of Information requests have been sent to the Home Office and police, requesting information on IMSI-catchers. Almost all of these have been stonewalled and rejected. If you want answers, join people nationwide and contact your MP and PCC to raise this as a matter of urgency. Follow these simple steps to press for transparency and accountability:

  • Enter your postcode to find the email for your local MP
  • In a short email state that you are concerned by the use of IMSI-catchers in the UK, and if applicable, in your area.
  • Copy and paste the link to the briefing (thebristolcable.org/imsi-briefing), and send to your local MP.
  • Repeat the same process for your local Police and Crime Commissioner
  • Then email, share and tweet this page for others to do the same!

Find your MP
Enter your Postcode:




Avon and Somerset PCC@avonandsomerset.policeuk Sue Mountstevens
Metropolitan enquiries@mopac.london.govuk Mayor’s Office
South Yorkshire info@southyorkshire-pcc.govuk Alan Billings
Staffordshire pcc@staffordshire.pcc.pnn.govuk Matthew Ellis
West Mercia opcc@westmercia.pnn.policeuk John-Paul Campion
Warwickshire opcc@warwickshire.govuk Philip Seccombe
Kent contactyourpcc@pcc.kent.pnn.policeuk Matthew Scott
Essex pcc@essex.pnn.policeuk Roger Hirst
West Midlands david@wmpcc.orguk David Jamieson

Got any information or questions?

Want to get involved in the campaign?

Contact: imsi@thebristolcable.org / 07533718547

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