ACPO principles for digital evidence: Time for an update?

Graeme Horsman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Despite remaining largely unchanged for over 10 years, the Association of Chief Police Officers’s [1] Good Practice Guides for Digital Evidence and their four governing principles for evidence handling are amongst some of the most cited pieces of digital forensic best practice advice. However, given the pace of change in both technology and the field of digital forensics, this work debates whether it may be time to evaluate whether these principles remain wholly valid given the current forensic analysis landscape and their lack of updating or periodic evaluation. A discussion of the existing four ACPO principles is provided followed by an offering of eight new revised principles as a means of acknowledging the current challenges faced by practitioners in this field. It is hoped that this piece will spark a debate surrounding the principles we so frequently acknowledge as a mark of quality assurance in our investigations, and be a catalyst for evaluative considerations in this area.
Original languageEnglish
Article number100076
JournalForensic Science International: Reports
Early online date18 Feb 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Feb 2020


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