The Home Affairs Committee of the House of Commons heard evidence yesterday from Assistant Commissioner Cressida Dick and Commander Neil Basu concerning the latest position of the police investigations into phone hacking, payments to public officials and email hacking.
Commander Basu has recently been appointed as the ACPO lead for the joint inquiries into illegal information gathering, Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta.
In relation to the phone hacking operation – Operation Weeting – the Committee was told that there were 5,500 potential victims of phone hacking (up from 4,744) of which 3,500 had been contacted by the police (up from 2,552). Commander Basu said that there were 1,ooo “likely victims”, being individuals whose names, numbers and some other information had been recorded. This is a similar figure to that given to the committee by DAC Sue Akers in September 2012 and may not include the new “Pinetree” and “Golding” victims.
In relation to Operation Elveden – which concerns payments to public officials – there were 419 victims of which 213 had been contacted. In relation to Operation Tuleta – which concerns computer hacking – there were 154 allegations, in relation to which there was good evidence in relation to 59. A total of 135 victims had been contacted.
Assistant Commissioner Dick said that since May 2013, News International’s voluntary cooperation had “significantly reduced” and that it was now necessary for the police to obtain court orders in relation to all requests for new material.
The officers said the police were coming to the end of the “arrest phase” and would be surprised if new arrests were in double figures.
Commander Basu said that he expected the investigations to conclude by the end of April 2015 and that, by that date, it was estimated that the total cost of the investigation would be £38.8 million.
The evidence from the two officers – along with later evidence from Mayor Boris Johnson and Commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe – can be viewed here on the BBC Website.