The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) found that former senior officers at Surrey Police were “afflicted by a form of collective amnesia” in relation to the force’s failure to investigate an allegation that the voicemail of Milly Dowler had been hacked by the News of the World.
The IPCC investigation found that there was knowledge of the allegation in 2002 at all levels in Operation Ruby, Surrey Police’s investigation into the abduction and murder of Milly Dowler, but that no action was taken to investigate it.
We will never know what would have happened had Surrey Police carried out an investigation into the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone in 2002.
We have not been able to uncover any evidence, in documentation or witness statements, of why and by whom that decision was made: former senior officers, in particular, appear to have been afflicted by a form of collective amnesia in relation to the events of 2002. This is perhaps not surprising, given the events of 2011 and the public outcry that the hacking of Milly Dowler’s phone produced.
However, it is scarcely credible that no-one connected to the Milly Dowler investigation recognised the relevance and importance of the information Surrey Police held in 2002 before this was disclosed by Operation Weeting.
Surrey Police has apologised to the Dowler family for their failure and they were right to do so.
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.
A journalist arrested during a new police investigation into phone hacking has been released on bail, police said.
The 39-year-old man was arrested in Greenwich over a suspected conspiracy that took place between around 2005 and 2006.
He will answer bail in May, pending further inquiries, Scotland Yard said.
The man was one of six former News of the World journalists arrested yesterday as part of a new line of inquiry that is separate from allegations under the existing Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking called Operation Weeting.
They have all now been bailed until mid-May.
Five people arrested on suspicion of phone hacking have been released on police bail, Scotland Yard has said.
The individuals had been interviewed at various police stations in London and Cheshire and searches were carried out at a number of addresses, the force added. A 39-year-old man arrested in Greenwich remains in police custody.
A Met spokesman said: "In due course officers will be making contact with people they believe have been victims of the suspected voicemail interceptions."
Six former News of the World journalists have been arrested under a new police investigation into phone hacking. Three men and three women were all held today under a suspected conspiracy, that took place around 2005 and 2006.
They are understood to be Jules Stenson, Matt Nixson, Rav Singh, Jane Atkinson, Polly Graham and Rachel Richardson. Ms Richardson and Ms Atkinson both work for The Sun.
The arrests, five in London and one in Cheshire, were made as part of a new line of inquiry that is separate from allegations under the existing Scotland Yard investigation into phone hacking called Operation Weeting.
An internal message has been sent to News International employees confirming that two of those arrested are journalists currently working for The Sun.
The pair have been provided with lawyers.
Police believe this latest suspected conspiracy took place primarily during 2005 to 2006 and is separate from the alleged conspiracy already being investigated by Operation Weeting in which a number of people have already been charged.
As part of the new lines of inquiry six people were arrested this morning on suspicion of conspiracy to intercept telephone communications All of them are journalists or former journalists:
- A 46-year-old man was arrested in the London Borough of Wandsworth
- A 39-year-old man was arrested in the London Borough of Greenwich
- A 45-year-old man was arrested in the London Borough of Wandsworth
- A 39-year-old woman was arrested in Cheshire
- A 33-year-old woman was arrested in the London Borough of Islington
- A 40-year-old woman was arrested in the London Borough of Lambeth
All six of those arrested worked for the News of the World.
Six current and former journalists in London and Cheshire have been arrested by detectives investigating "a further suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails by a number of employees who worked for the now defunct News of the World newspaper", Scotland Yard said.
A number of high profile phone-hacking cases are to be settled at the High Court today.
It is the latest in a series of case management conferences, ahead of a hearing in June.
At that time, compensation will be assessed in any outstanding claims for the second wave of the litigation.
Agreed statements of around 15 claimants could be read out to Mr Justice Vos today, with an estimated 160 claims on the register, and more coming forward.
Actress Sienna Miller was the first to publicly settle her privacy and harassment claim, for £100,000, in June 2011, with her ex Jude Law receiving the highest pay out so far, with compensation of £130,000.
Sentencing, Mr Justice Fulford told April Casburn she had been guilty of "a corrupt attempt to make money out of sensitive and potentially very damaging information".
The judge went on:
Activity of this kind is deeply damaging to the administration of criminal justice in this country.
It corrodes the public's faith in the police force, it can lead to the acquittal or the failure by the authorities to prosecute individuals who have committed offences whether they are serious or otherwise.
We are entitled to expect the very highest standards of probity from our police officers, particularly those at a senior level.
It is, in my judgment, a very serious matter indeed when men or women who have all the benefits, privileges and responsibilities of public office use their position for corrupt purposes.
He said he was particularly concerned about Casburn's child, and admitted that her absence while she is in prison could be damaging.
But he said that, had she not been arrested, the detective would have returned to work by now, and therefore the child would be cared for by others anyway.