In quotes: Met officers' evidence to MPs on hacking
- 12 July 2011
- From the section UK
Senior Metropolitan police officers have given evidence on the phone hacking scandal to MPs at a home affairs select committee. Here are some key quotes:
News International's conduct
Peter Clarke, former Met deputy assistant commissioner:
"This is a major global organisation with access to the best legal advice, in my view, deliberately trying to thwart a criminal investigation... We were unable to spread the inquiry further with News International because of their refusal to co-operate more broadly."
John Yates, Scotland Yard assistant commissioner:
"It is a matter of great concern that, for whatever reason, the News of the World appears to have failed to co-operate in the way that we now know they should have with relevant police inquiries up until this year. They have only recently supplied information and evidence."
The original hacking investigation
Mr Yates [On choosing not to reopen the case in 2009]:
"It is a poor decision. That is clearly the case and I cannot say more than that. But the fact is we did not have the information that we should have done and that is very clear.
"There was an assurance that I had from the Department of Public Prosecutions that there is nothing here that requires further investigation. Hindsight is a wonderful thing. In July 2009 to the best of my knowledge and in good faith, I made that decision."
Mr Clarke [On not fully investigating the 11,000 seized documents between 2005-7]:
"Given the complete lack of co-operation from News International, the only way to get into this would have been to do an exhaustive analysis of the material.
"Because of the range of other life-threatening activity going on at the time, in terms of terrorist offences, I took the stance that we could not pursue it.
"When set against the criminal course of conduct that involved gross breaches of privacy but no apparent threat of physical harm to the public, I could not justify the huge expenditure of resources."
Andy Hayman, former Met assistant commissioner:
"Everything possible that they were able to do, given the resources and parameters, was done. I stand by that. And Peter has. But now? Now, it looks very lame.
"What we know now, this is a horror story. This is absolutely awful. The people that are going through the pain, second time around as victims, just appalling."
Current investigation - Operation Weeting
Sue Akers, Met deputy assistant commissioner:
"There are nearly 4,000 names in the original Glenn Mulcaire documentation. We have undertaken to go and visit each one of these people... There are 5,000 landline telephone numbers about and another 4,000 mobile numbers.
"So we have started - and again we had to prioritise the people who had written in as well as other high profile people we have seen. Sorry to refer to the person that is dealing with this, but he tells me 170 people have been informed [so far].
"I've gone on record as saying we will go where the evidence leads us. At the moment, we started with News of the World and that is where we are."
Metropolitan Police reputation
"When an organisation has 50,000 people we have always said from time immemorial that some of those people will be corrupt and accept payments. We will always accept we can learn from these investigations. As I have said, it is likely there is corruption in the Met and we want to investigate properly to make sure they are brought to book."
"I think it is everybody's analysis that [public] confidence has been damaged in the Metropolitan Police. If we do not get this right, it will continue to be damaged but I am confident that we have an excellent team, working tirelessly to get this right.
"I hope I do not have to come back here in five years' time to explain why we have failed."