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Dowler hacking inquiry: Full police statement

Bob and Sally Dowler, parents of murdered school girl Milly Dowler and her sister Gemma (centre) Photo: PA

Surrey Police has co-operated fully with the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) following the Force's referral of two officers in July 2012.

All documentation and evidence from Surrey Police's internal investigation, Operation Baronet, was made available to the IPCC and every effort to locate documentation and witnesses was made and passed to their investigators.

Both Operation Baronet and the IPCC have faced challenges when investigating matters dating back more than ten years including the inability of individuals to recall events from this time.

It remains the intention of Surrey Police to report its findings from Operation Baronet to Lord Justice Leveson and to make this report public when able.

In respect of the two officers referred, the IPCC has concluded there is no case to answer for misconduct. The Force has therefore taken the following actions:

In respect of the actions of Craig Denholm in 2002, the Chief Constable has taken management action and issued words of advice in relation to not assessing some of the material sent to him referring to phone-hacking.In respect of the actions of Maria Woodall in 2007, the Chief Constable has taken management action and given words of advice in relation to not making the connection betweenthe convictions for phone-hacking in 2007 and theevents of 2002.Chief Constable Lynne Owens said: "Surrey Police acknowledged in 2011 that the hacking of Milly Dowler's voicemails should have been investigated and both the former Chief Constable and I have met with and apologised to the Dowler family for the distress this has caused.

"As a result of the Force's internal investigation, two officers were referred to the IPCC. The IPCC has concluded that neither officer has a case to answer for misconduct.

"As the IPCC Commissioner has acknowledged, at the time Surrey Police became aware of phone hacking, the focus of the investigation team was on finding Milly Dowler and then bringing her killer to justice.

"This was the largest and most high-profile murder investigation in the country at the time and remains the largest enquiry ever undertaken by Surrey Police. It was right that Milly was the primary focus of the investigation but the matter of phone-hacking should have been revisited at a later stage.”

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