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Why did Met not know of Milly phone-hacking?


8:49 pm - July 4th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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In March this year the Met commissioner John Yates appeared in front of MPs at the Culture, Media and Sport Committee.

At the time, Tom Watson MP asked:

Third, we know from the Information Commissioner’s inquiry into the convicted private investigator Steve Whittamore that private information about a family member of Milly Dowler was obtained.

If it transpires from the review of the Mulcaire evidence that, when Sky News were broadcasting it round the clock, Glenn Mulcaire was instructed to hack the phones of the family members of children killed at Soham, would that warrant an adequate use of police resources to investigate it?

John Yates replied:

I am sure it would, but that is the first I have ever heard of that aspect.

via @helenlewis

And yet the Guardian’s own investigation today reports:

The [NotW] newspaper also made no effort to conceal its activity from Surrey police. After it had hacked the message from the recruitment agency on Milly’s phone, the paper informed police about it. It was Surrey detectives who established that the call was not intended for Milly Dowler. At the time, Surrey police suspected that phones belonging to detectives and to Milly’s parents also were being targeted.

There’s something very wrong here.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


If this doesn’t make someone in authority sit up and pay attention then nothing will.

“There’s something very wrong here.”

Yes, there is but not in the way you imply. Surrey Police are distinct from the Metropolitan Police. The Metropolitan Police didn’t investigate Milly Dowler’s disappearance. There’s no reason for these two bodies to be in communication.

I accept that the forces are separate, but the Met investigation is very high profile and it seems very odd that no-one would even pick a phone and ask if they were interested.

I’m no apologist for Yates, but he appears to be answering a question about the possibility of hacking related to the Soham inquiry.
The mention of Milly Dowler seems to be related to electoral roll enquiries made by NotW, also referred to in the guardian article.
Nevertheless, some big questions to be answered here, and a sickening development in the #metgate saga.

5. John reid

2 and 4 beat me to it, didn’t you think of this when you wrote this article Sunny?

“The Metropolitan Police didn’t investigate Milly Dowler’s disappearance. There’s no reason for these two bodies to be in communication.”
But which force is leading the investigations into alleged phone hacking? Yates appeared before the committee in March 2011 and operation Weeting was already underway. Whilst the Met wasn’t involved in the initial investigation one would have thought they would have contacted Surrey with respect to phone hacking in light of the widespread allegations of hacking into the phones of relatives and friends of those involved in high profile murder case. And, if they didn’t then it’s might be a reason for Yates’ statement but not an excuse

7. Mr S. Pill

NOTW clearly has blackmail on the Met. Hence why the Met is dragging its feet so much – c’mon, if NOTW were hacking everyone from Royalty to murdered schoolgirls do you really think they weren’t hacking the top dogs at Scotland Yard?

2 + 2 = 4.

8. Steve Davies

Matt Flaherty; “Surrey Police are distinct from the Metropolitan Police. The Metropolitan Police didn’t investigate Milly Dowler’s disappearance. There’s no reason for these two bodies to be in communication.”

Good grief. Two neighbouring Police Forces have no reason to be in communication?

Seriously?

What really amazes me is the likes of the NOTW claiming the need to engage in underhand snooping in order to uncover and protect us from abuses of power like say – a national organisation bribing the Met to turn a blind eye to its illegal activities…

Bad phrasing. There’s good reason for two neighbouring forces to be in contact. Of course. This probably doesn’t happen though most of the time. Since the Met knew very little about phone hacking before Operation Weeting (because it failed to investigate), I don’t doubt that Yates was unaware of these aspects back in March. The evidence is vast and has been coming out bit by bit. If there had been better cooperation between the Met and Surrey Police, I believe Levi Bellfield would have been linked much sooner. Communication has been poor.

@7,

rather than blackmail, my hunch is that there has long been a cosy relationship of mutual backscratching between the police and these elements of the press, and this is what the police don’t want to reveal.

I think @11 has the gist of it. It’s very convenient for the police to have friends who can do stuff the police aren’t allowed to.

Questions:
1) Did they routinely delete messages in other hacking cases?
2) Did the NI internal investigation know about this?
3) If NI found out about this, what did they do?
4) If NI didn’t find out about this, what kind of an investigation did they conduct?
5) What coppers knew what?
6) What does David Cameron, friend of Rebecca Brooks and James Murdoch and once employer of Andy Coulson, know?

13. John reid

7 where’s your evidence for this?

Well it is no surprise to see the Met fucking it up as usual. And they usually can rely on News International to cover their backsides.

Why is Boris so quiet on this issue? He normally can’t wait to interfere with the Met if he thinks it is in his interest. But them Boris like so many politicians is a Murdoch bottom sniffer.

15. John reid

14. After the mcpherson report, the Sun got a black person to go up to some Me police and give it large same as a white person with the intention to see if the cops arrested the black p[erson so the sun would have the headline “the police are racist, heres the proof,” the sun were huge critics of the police, when the police complainbed about the Tories giving the police a pay cut in the 1992 sheehy reforms, thew sun and Even littlejohn crticised the police over operation swamp 81 that lead to the Brixton riot

16. grumpsical

Why did Met not know of Milly phone-hacking?

They probably did and were busy selling NOTW lists of the telephone numbers they wanted to hack.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
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