Phone hacking investigation - update
09 February 2011
The recently formed Specialist Crime Directorate 'Operation Weeting' team is conducting the new investigation into phone hacking whilst adopting a fresh approach towards informing victims and potential victims in this case.
The new evidence recently provided by News International is being considered alongside material already in the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) possession to determine which lines of enquiry should be pursued as priorities. At the same time, all actions and decisions taken by the previous investigation are being reviewed and all the evidence gathered to date is being checked to ensure it is catalogued correctly and accurately.
"I am conscious there remains significant interest in this case and we are determined to ensure that we conduct a robust and thorough investigation."
Having begun an analysis of the documents seized in 2005 alongside the new evidence, the team have been able to make some links not previously identified. As a result, the team have also identified some individuals who were previously advised that there was little or no information held by the MPS relating to them within the case papers and exhibits and this is now being reviewed.
At this stage, there is no evidence to suggest that their voice mails were hacked but this will be an important and immediate new line of enquiry. As a result detectives are taking urgent steps to advise them of this development at the earliest opportunity. If any others are identified as possible victims in due course they will also be contacted.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, leading the new investigation, said: "I am conscious there remains significant interest in this case and we are determined to ensure that we conduct a robust and thorough investigation which will follow the evidence trail to its conclusion.
"We will build on the previous commitment to all those victims whose phones we already have reasonable evidence to believe may have been hacked by establishing or renewing contact with them. With this new investigation we will be as open as we can be and will show them all the information we hold about them, while giving them the opportunity to tell us anything that may be of concern to them.
"In time, we will go beyond this group of individuals and make contact with everyone who had some of their personal contact details found in the documents seized in 2005. This will ensure all of those who have been affected in some way are made aware of the information we have found relating to them.
"Until I am satisfied that we have validated the data we are re-examining I am not prepared to discuss any of the numbers involved, but I intend to make this information public at the earliest opportunity.
"This is clearly a major task with a considerable amount of work to be done which will take a significant amount of time and resources. We will complete this new investigation as soon as we possibly can, but I am unable to predict at this early stage as to how long it will take to complete.
"It would be inappropriate for me to discuss any further details regarding this case at this time."