Police Milly hacking 'failure'

The police watchdog has said Surrey Police knew of a claim in 2002 that murdered teenager Milly Dowler's phone had been hacked, but failed to investigate. The IPCC said officers were "afflicted by a form of collective amnesia” over the incident.

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Surrey Police 'should have investigated Dowler hacking'

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.

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.

– Chief Constable Lynne Owens

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