Statement regarding Operation Weeting

07 July 2011

New Scotland Yard

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who is in charge of Operation Weeting, said:

I have huge sympathy for those who may have been the victims of phone hacking or intrusion into their private lives. It must be incredibly distressing to see details of the information held, or speculation about what may be held, about them in the media. This is forcing them to relive devastating experiences.

I stand by my commitment that Operation Weeting will contact all those who have some personal contact details found in the documents seized in 2006 and my officers are working hard to ensure it is fulfilled as soon as possible.

This is taking a significant amount of time and resources. I think it is important that I further explain the scale of the task and the challenges we face.

We are going through approximately 11,000 pages of material containing almost 4,000 names. In addition we have been contacted by hundreds of people who believe that they may have been affected.

We have contacted many people already and will contact others whose details appear as quickly as possible. We are also making contact with organisations that represent the large groups of people reported to be affected to provide reassurance.

I understand that many people may be upset and will want to seek information from us. I ask them to be patient and reassure them we will contact them if they are affected - have confidence in us to keep our promise but also realise it will take time.

To protect the privacy of those people who do not want to be identified we are not going to comment on individual cases or be drawn on details of those allegedly affected published in the media.

I will be reiterating and expanding upon these points when I appear before the Home Affairs Select Committee on Tuesday 12 July.