I'm at a loss for who has the lesser, Justice Leveson or the fellow he is trying to whitewash, the disgraced, recently resigned, fled to Bahrain, Murdoch lackey, John Yates?
Met Police ignored "vociferous" phone hacking warnings from own detectives
Senior detectives have questioned the Metropolitan Police's version of events over phone hacking after claiming that "vociferous" warnings were ignored and that official records are "inaccurate
By Steven Swinford
02 Dec 2012
Keith Surtees, an investigating officer with the Metropolitan police's original hacking inquiry, said that in 2009 he repeatedly told John Yates, the then Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, that the phone hacking investigation should be re-opened.
He said his officers had found evidence that "criminality extended further" than a single journalist and private investigator, but that his warnings were not recorded in official minutes of meetings between senior officers.
The claims come amid growing concerns that police were let off "far too lightly" by Lord Justice Leveson, who concluded that police conducted themselves with "integrity at all times".
He said that while poor decisions had been taken, there was no evidence of corruption or that the closeness of senior officers to News International had hampered investigations.
Baroness Pauline Neville-Jones, a former Conservative security adviser, said: "One of the things I find most surprising about the Leveson review is that angle, that part of the story was not tackled in a great deal more depth than it was and I think that the police have been let off far too lightly."
In a late submission to the Leveson Inquiry, Detective Chief Superintendent Keith Surtees provided detailed information which appears to contradict the Metropolitan police's official account.
DCS Surtees was one of the lead investigators in the original phone hacking inquiry in 2006, which led to the arrest of a Glenn Mulcaire, a private investigator, and Clive Goodman, a News of the World journalist, for hacking voicemails of members of the royal household.
According to an assessment from May 2006, DCS Surtees was concerned that phone hacking extended significantly further and urged senior officers to consider "wider investigation".
In handwritten notes, he later added: "In many [cases] there is simply the name of a celebrity or well known public figure and these develop into sheets detailing home addresses, business addresses, telephone humbers, DDNS, account numbers, passwords, pin numbers and scribblings of private information."
The Metropolitan Police, however, decided not to investigate further amid fears it would detract from terrorist investigations.
In July 2009, Assistant Commissioner John Yates spent less than a day reviewing the earlier investigation into phone hacking, before deciding there were no grounds for re-opening the inquiry.
DCS Surtees said that he repeatedly raised concerns about the decision: "On more than one occasion .. I voiced my concern that the original investigation could and should be re-opened or re-examined and suggested either HMIC [Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary] or another Force should undertake such a task.
"I explained that the reasons for ending all activity in 2006, including the victim notification strategy, no longer existed in 2009." His claims were corroborated by the statement of another senior officer.
He said that minutes of the "Gold" group meeting of senior officers, which was attended by Assistant Commissioner Yates, were did not reflect his concerns. "My view is that they are not a wholly complete or accurate reflection of what was discussed," he said.
A spokesman from the Metropolitan Police declined to comment.
A friend of Mr Yates said: "He and everyone else all thought it [phone hacking] went wider but there was no evidence that they could use for prosecution. The News of the World were not co-operating and the phone companies no longer held the records. So yes, Keith may have said this but the context is vital."
Tom Watson, the deputy chairman of the Labour Party, said: "This is a remarkable submission. It shows that there was very strong disagreement over whether there was a case to be answered in 2009. He directly contradicts the account of John Yates and the official record." Telegraph
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