Cops; just a gang of thugs/bullies with a taxpayer supplied uniform.
One very important things to remember. When served with an illegal Search Warrant, make sure you are wearing your reading glasses and not your computer ones like I was.
I found an image of a naked male on a computer of a catholic primary school principal and so I reported it. I made a Ghost image of the HDD so there would be an "untouched copy" of the drive so investigators would not stuff up the timestamps of any remaining images on the machine. On Valentines Day 2008, I was hit with the search warrant so that day is now ruined and because of its prominence I find I am unable to forget this event. The warrant said they were looking for images of children though I am unable and at the time was unable to describe the image that I inadvertently opened. I subsequently gave a statement to the plods and thought that was the end of it until 14 February. The lead dick was an obnoxious little prick and even thought he was my lawyer saying I was free to leave my home but he advised me not to.
They were really unpleasant for about 45 minutes when their mood seemed to change but they spent the next 2½ hours searching or rather going through the motions. I did pretty pissed off when their software monkey attempted to break my new laptop coz he had no idea how to remove the battery. I was livid that the lead dick searched my 13 year old underwear drawer but he didn't make use of the female dick that came with them to do that. They bundled up a few of my IT items but left the 10 or so HDDs I had sitting on the bookcase in my office and left the digital camera with the memory card behind. I was told it would be 3 months before I got my gear back because the forensics department was backed up with work.
That all happened on a Tuesday. On Friday I rang them saying the battery on my iPAQ PDA needed charging because it has several thousand dollars with of invoicing hours that I couldn't afford to lose, was told the lead dick was on leave and was put through to a uniformed SGT who told me I could come and collect my gear on Monday. I guess they just took my gear to justify their great adventure. My daughter was scared and in tears because she thought they were going to take her computer away and she needed to do school work on it. I told her we would buy a new one and restore her backups so she applied some resistance by hiding her school USB stick on her person as a matter of defiance.
Like AC above, I got my desktop computer back and it never worked properly again. They really don't like bouncing around in the boot of a car with the only protection a paper bag. During their initial 45 minute mauling of my office they broke my colour laser printer, my portable DVD burner and damaged the hinge on my fairly new laptop. The screen would never sit properly upright ever again.
Cops, IMO, are just arseholes who don't want to find the truth but just want to find someone they can charge and have them found guilty even if they aren't. This is proven out by the above stories and the ones that make the news especially when evidence that could prove innocence is withheld, or damaging evidence magically appears or the pricks lie in the witness box especially when it contradicts their previous written statements and the judge allows the contradictions.