Met blames terror pressures for phone-hacking failure

Met blames terror pressures for phone-hacking failures
Met blames terror pressures for phone-hacking failures

By Oliver Hotham

The Metropolitan police has blamed its focus on counter-terrorism after a judicial review condemned its original phone-hacking investigation as unlawful.

In a statement made following the judicial review on the original phone-hacking inquiry, the Met conceded it had not sufficiently warned people that they were victims and that their original investigation fell short.

Ex-deputy prime minister Lord Prescott, Labour MP Chris Bryant, ex-Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick and others brought forward the judicial review, which today concluded the failure to notify victims was unlawful.

The Met cited restraints placed on them by other priorities, namely anti-terrorism, as responsible for their failure to deal with the problem.

"The MPS is pleased to have reached an agreement in this case and accepts more should have been done by police in relation to those identified as victims and potential victims of phone-hacking several years ago," the Met said in a statement.

"It is a matter of public record that the unprecedented increase in anti-terrorist investigations resulted in the parameters of the original inquiry being tightly drawn and officers considered the prosecution and conviction of Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire as a successful outcome of their investigation."

News of the World journalist Clive Goodman and private investigator Glenn Mulcaire were jailed for hacking the phones of royal aides, but the Met did not see fit to investigate if phone-hacking was more widespread.

Following last year's phone-hacking revelations the Met is now engaged in an extensive re-examination of the evidence through its Operation Weeting.

The police now believe 829 people have been victims of phone-hacking by newspapers.


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