After the IPCC concluded there was no case to answer for misconduct, Surrey Police say they have taken the following actions over the two officers being investigated:
- In respect to 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 to 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 between the convictions for phone-hacking in 2007 and the events of 2002.
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.
– Chief Constable Lynne Owens
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.
In the report the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said:
"There is no doubt, from our investigation and the evidence gathered by Operation Baronet, that Surrey Police knew in 2002 of the allegation that Milly Dowler’s phone had been hacked by the News of the World (NOTW).
"It is apparent from the evidence that there was knowledge of this at all levels within the investigation team.
"There is equally no doubt that Surrey Police did nothing to investigate it; nobody was arrested or charged in relation to the alleged interception of those messages either in 2002 or subsequently, until the Operation Weeting arrests in 2011."
Two police officers have been given "words of advice" after an Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigation in to their actions when the News of the World hacked Milly Dowler's mobile phone messages in 2002.
Surrey Police Deputy Chief Constable Craig Denholm and Detective Superintendent Maria Woodall will be given verbal and written warnings.
The pair were referred to the IPCC in November 2012, over accusations that Deputy Chief Constable Denholm knew Milly's phone was being accessed by the News of the World and that Detective Superintendent Woodall over information she provided Surrey Police during an internal investigation.
The Daily Mail and Daily Mirror were found guilty of contempt of court by the High Court over reports published after Levi Bellfield was found guilty of Milly Dowler's murder. The articles appeared while the jury was still considering evidence that he nearly abducted another girl Rachel Cowles.
Because of the articles, the judge decided to discharge the jurors before they could reach a decision in the Cowles case because of the risk that they may have been influenced. The Attorney General said: "This case shows why the media must comply with the Contempt of Court Act."
The family of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler will mark the 10th anniversary of her disappearance this week.
13-year-old Milly vanished while returning from school to her home in Walton-on-Thames in March 2002.