Leveson Inquiry Report - MPS Statement

29 November 2012

New Scotland Yard

The Metropolitan Police Service recognised the need for this inquiry and considers that the examination of relationships between police and the media and the investigations into phone-hacking have been a healthy and valuable process.

Lord Leveson's Inquiry came about as a result of phone-hacking at the News of the World and the role of the press and police. The MPS position was, and remains, that the decision to discontinue the original 2006 phone-hacking investigation was justified and this has been accepted in Lord Justice Leveson's report.

"Our priority now is the victims of phone-hacking and making sure they get justice."

We accept that there were failings about implementing a workable victim strategy. Likewise, the decision not to subsequently re-open the investigation was taken too quickly and with a defensive mindset. Although there were incidents that left a perception of cosiness between particular senior officers and some journalists, Lord Justice Leveson found that that did not influence or taint decision-making. Indeed the Inquiry has said that the integrity of our officers directly involved in the 2006 investigation "shone through" and is not doubted. Lord Justice Leveson found that there was no evidence that police corruption is a widespread problem

Lord Justice Leveson concludes that police have responded "positively and proactively" in the wake of the public concerns that led to the Inquiry and that the MPS in particular has understood the importance of this in allaying public concerns and correcting legitimate perceptions.

Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe said: "I have already taken decisive action to address issues that emerged at the Public Inquiry concerning the Metropolitan Police. Our priority now is the victims of phone-hacking and making sure they get justice."

The Commissioner was appointed in September 2011. An agenda of Total Professionalism is being driven through to improve the culture and behaviours of the organisation. For staff this means clearer policies on areas such as gifts and hospitality, business interests and associations that can cause conflicts of interest, whistle-blowing and the reporting of wrongdoing; for the public it means greater transparency about the way the MPS manages these important issues.

We now need to study the report in detail and scrutinise its criticism - both of the MPS corporately and the actions of individuals - to ensure that the steps we've already taken to rectify past failings are fit for purpose and reflect the Leveson Inquiry's recommendations.

Meanwhile our current operations into phone-hacking, corruption involving journalists, police officers and public officials and other criminal breaches of privacy (Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta), are continuing with 20 people awaiting trial on criminal charges and 67 remaining on bail while we conduct further investigations.