Police close ranks over phone-hacking criticism

The police have been heavily criticised over their response to the scandal.
The police have been heavily criticised over their response to the scandal.

By politics.co.uk staff

Senior policemen are continuing to defend the force against accusations that it failed to assess the evidence it already had on phone-hacking.

Speaking on the Today programme the president of the Association of Chief Police Officers (Acpo) said blame should be aimed squarely at News International and not the Met.
"This was not Billy the Burgler saying nothing. This was a global company that had some responsibility," he said.

"What we have here are the police service of this country, probably one of the most accountable services in the world, standing up and being counted.

"What we don't see yet is equal transparency or explanation from a very large multi-national company who should frankly be explaining why they held information from such an important investigation."

The comments come after an astonishing committee meeting yesterday in which Andy Hayman and Peter Clarke, who were in charge of the original phone-hacking investigation, joined John Yates, who took just eight hours to decide against re-opening the investigation in 2009, to answer questions from outraged MPs.

All the officers laid the blame squarely on News International for failing to provide evidence and misleading the police investigation but their failure to conduct a thorough analysis of three bin bags of evidence which would have revealed the extent of the phone-hacking at News of the World was met with bemusement and disdain by the committee.


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