Re: Doughnut Eaters
Agreed, there should always be real evidence, not just a phone's contents (which could be planted if the phone is hacked or insecure by default). In Scotland there has always been (I'm simplifying a bit, and this might change though..) a requirement for corroborating evidence, i.e. a second aspect that is necessary for a trial to proceed, let alone to secure a conviction.
The problem with asking a policeman what they want is they will ask for whatever makes their job easier. That is basic human nature. And given most of them are honestly trying to solve crimes, they usually dismiss suggestions it can and will be misused because they (i.e. the one you are asking) is not planning on doing that.
Sadly though not all police are honest and trustworthy and once politicians are involved you are dealing with a proverbial moral slime-pit of self interest and dodgy dealings, and of course there are criminals out there as well.
That is why I am in favour of decent end-to-end encryption by default, everywhere, because you just can't trust people, of any profession or any reputation, to not fuck up deliberately or unintentionally and use whatever powers they have wrongly. They can already get the metadata of who talked to who, etc, and that should be enough for a proper investigation of the suspects in the old way of getting out there and gathering physical evidence.