Since I wrote my last post, it’s been alleged that families of the 7th July bombing victims and families of soldiers killed in Afghanistan were targeted by News of the World.
And that despite having known about payments to ‘a small number’ of police officers at the Met, the Met are still in charge of the overall investigation. The original investigation (which resulted in convictions but only concerned hacking of phones linked to royalty) did have access to a huge amount of information from Glenn Mulcaire, which it has since transpired could easily have identified many other potential victims. There are real questions as to whether there are police officers who didn’t just turn a blind eye in order to maintain an easy relationship with the media, but have been corrupted into helping cover up crimes.
Quite a few of the private investigators used by the media are themselves ex-police, and so would have friends in the force. But it’s those very PIs who were having to commit the actual acts of hacking and bribery etc to obtain information, paid for by reporters. I don’t believe that the News of the World is the only paper that has been involved in this – the Daily Mail has recorded a lot of payments to PIs over the period that these actions took place, including to some of the same individuals.
Former coppers who are commiting crimes? Active coppers who are taking money? Senior officers who deny that evidence exists when it’s been sitting around at Scotland Yard for five years?
Dixon of Dock Green had it right: “There’s nothing worse than a bent copper”.