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Met police clarify access to hack operational info

The Metropolitan Police had full access to all material relating to the Serious Organised Crime Agency's (Soca's) investigation into blagging of private details, which led to the jailing of four private investigators, the agency said.

A spokesman for the Met confirmed detectives received all of Soca's information from Operation Millipede between May and December 2011, but said:

This was essentially huge quantities of electronic data, the hard drives of which were supplied to the MPS.

This material was only put into list format for the Home Affairs Select Committee, and the MPS only provided with the information in that format on July 30.

The statement from the Met added:

In common with Soca, the MPS is not alleging that the individuals or companies on the list have, or even may have, committed a criminal offence.

The MPS is checking the list against its open investigations and will inform the committee when this is complete.

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Vaz surprised 'hack' list was not shared with Met

Keith Vaz has said Soca should act with "urgency" to reveal the names of the 102 firms and individuals on its list. Credit: Anthony Devlin/PA Wire

House of Commons Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz has said it is "very surprising" that the list of firms linked to rogue private investigators was not shared with the Met given the investigations into alleged hacking.

Detectives are carrying out inquiries codenamed Weeting, Elvedon and Tuleta into allegations of phone-hacking, illicit payments to public officials and computer-hacking by journalists, some linked to private investigators.

The Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca) provided Mr Vaz's committee with the list - containing 102 firms and individuals, including blue chip companies, law firms and financial services groups - on condition that the names are not revealed.

But following the shock resignation of Soca chairman Sir Ian Andrews, Mr Vaz has said he will ask his successor to review the decision. He today said that Soca should act with "urgency", arguing that further delay would be unfair to those on the list who want the affair cleared up.

Met police did not see 'hack' list until last Tuesday

Home Affairs Committee chairman Keith Vaz said it was "very surprising" that the list was not shared with the Met. Credit: Simon Galloway/EMPICS Sport

The Metropolitan Police has said it did not see a controversial list of 102 firms and individuals linked to rogue private investigators until last week.

The list was compiled by the Serious Organised Crime Agency (Soca), which is coming under pressure from MPs to publish the names of those found to have used investigators to obtain private information.

The Met confirmed it had access since 2011 to the information compiled by Soca that led to the jailing of four private investigators and was the basis for the agency's compiled list.

But a spokesman said police had not seen that list until last Tuesday, after it had been confidentially submitted to the House of Commons Home Affairs Committee.

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Vaz: We need to find out how this information was used

Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee, Keith Vaz, says questions need to be answered about why personal data was illegally obtained by more than 100 firms and what the information was used for.

Chairman of the Commons Home Affairs Select Committee Keith Vaz. Credit: Daybreak/ITV

He said: "What did they do when they got this information? Some of the information we received on the committee showed that they were getting the most personal details from people. Why would they want all this information? I think that's the next stage."

The firms that hired rogue private investigators

The Times (£) newspaper is reporting the 102 companies found to have commissioned rogue private investigators include:

  • 22 law firms
  • Ten insurance businesses
  • Eight financial services companies
  • Four management consultancies
  • Four food services companies
  • A car rental business
  • An accountancy business
  • Clients from the chemical and construction industries
  • Nine personal clients
  • Two celebrities
  • 16 other private detectives
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