Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Met Police and their social contacts with News of the World

Paul Waugh has written about the social contacts between the Metropolitan Police and the News of the World at the time when the Met were meant to be investigating the phone hacking scandal.

As Lib Dem Assembly Member Dee Doocey has said:

"I find it quite extraordinary that when allegations about illegal phone hacking relating to the News of the World were still unresolved that the Met Commissioner thought it was appropriate to be regularly dining with the News of the World and News Corporation. Imagine the outcry there would be if the Commissioner was seen dining with a member of the public who was the subject of a police investigation."

Another aspect which occurred to me - when the News of the World uncovered the alleged plot by Pakistan cricketers to deliberately bowl no balls, it was their legal duty to hand that information over to the Police. But why did Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick have to attend the meeting? AC Dick is one of the three top police officers in London. Surely this sort of thing would normally be handled by detectives at inspector or superintendent rank.

It seems unlikely that the Met decided that they needed to be so cosy as to send along such a senior officer. Is it the case that the NotW demanded the presence of such a senior officer before they would hand over the evidence? And does that not show just how out of balance the relationship between the paper and the Met had become?

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