Press and PoliceMore than 100 Scotland Yard detectives are investigating allegations of hacking, bribery and other crime by British newspaper journalists, official figures reveal. New Metropolitan Police statistics show that 46 police officers are still looking into phone hacking, while a further 53 police are inquiring into payments by tabloids to police and other public officials.

A further 14 officers and other staff are investigating allegations of computer hacking, though some of these involve private detectives only loosely connected with the press.

In all, London’s police force is carrying out 10 separate inquiries into the use of illegal data-gathering techniques.
Among them are three hitherto un-announced inquiries examining “allegations of computer misuse act offences”: Operations Sabinas, Carrizo and Kerville.

In total, detectives have carried out 210 arrests and interviews under caution, including 96 of journalists, 26 of police officers and 13 of private investigators.

So far these have led to 71 charges, 19 guilty pleas, 7 acquittals and 15 journalists and public officials being sentenced for offences ranging from phone hacking to misconduct in a public office.

The total cost of the investigations so far is £32.7m.

The Met launched Operation Weeting, its new inquiry into phone hacking, in January 2011, after telling Parliament, press and the public for four years there was no evidence of widespread wrongdoing at the News of the World.

Part two of the Leveson Inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press is due to look at, among other things, exactly what went wrong at the Sunday newspaper.

The terms of reference include..

3. To inquire into the extent of unlawful or improper conduct within News International, other newspaper organisations and, as appropriate, other organisations within the media, and by those responsible for holding personal data.

6. To inquire into the extent of corporate governance and management failures at News International and other newspaper organisations, and the role, if any, of politicians, public servants and others in relation to any failure to investigate wrongdoing at News International.

It can only take place after the police investigations and criminal trials are complete and no date has yet been set for it to start.

The 10 Scotland Yard inquiries – confirmed by a police briefing for reporters at the phone hacking trial – include:

  • three inquiries into phone hacking (Operations Weeting, Pinetree and Golding)
  • three into “computer misuse offences” (Sabinas, Carrizo and Kerville)
  • two into computer hacking (Tuleta and Kalmyk)
  • one into corruption of public officials (Elvedon)
  • one into allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice (Sacha)

The investigations into phone hacking are Weeting and Pinetree into the News of the World and Golding into Mirror Group Newspapers.
Operations Sabinas, Carrizo and Kerville are sub-investigations of Operation Tuleta into “allegations regarding breaches of privacy which fall outside the remit of Operation Weeting, including computer hacking.”

In 2013/14, a total of 174 staff (148 police officers and 26 support staff) worked on the inquiries.

In the current year, that figure is estimated to fall to a total of 130 staff (112 police officers and 18 support workers.)

The Met Police revealed the extent and costs of its investigations in a briefing circulated to reporters attending the phone hacking trial at the Old Bailey.

The Metropolitan Police press bureau declined to give a more informal briefing to reporters attending the trial, as usual with high-profile trials.

One police source said that as officers dug deeper into the national press they kept discovering new leads.

The Invesigations


Police officers: 46
Support staff: 9
Total: 55
Cost: £18,723,141


A) Operation Weeting is the investigation into conspiracy to intercept communications in the course of their transmission without awful authority (phone hacking) at News International. Contrary to Section 1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977.

Arrests: 21
Interviews under caution: 4

B) Operation Pinetree is the investigation into the second suspected conspiracy to intercept telephone voicemails by a number of employees who worked for the News of the World newspaper. It is being investigated as part of Operation Weeting.

Arrests: 6
Interviews under caution: 2

C) Operation Sacha is the investigation into allegations of conspiracy to pervert the course of justice, contrary to S1 (1) Criminal Law Act 1977, relating to Operation Weeting and Operation Elveden.

Arrests: 9
Interviews under caution: 1

D) Operation Golding is the investigation into the suspected conspiracy by individuals to intercept telephone voicemails at Mirror Group Newspapers. It is being investigated as part of Operation Weeting.

Arrests: 4
Interviews under caution: 5


Police officers: 53
Support staff: 8
Total: 61

Cost: £9,978,138

One operation
A) Operation Elveden is the investigation into Conspiracy to commit misconduct in a public office contrary to S1 (1) of the Criminal Law Act 1977. (Allegations of inappropriate payments to police and public officials). It is being supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC).

Arrests: 85
Interviews under caution: 40


Police Officers: 13
Support staff: 1
Total: 14

Cost: £2,699,018

A) Operation Kalmyk [not mentioned above] is an investigation into allegations under the Computer Misuse Act 1990 (computer hacking) by Private Investigators.

Arrests: 15
Interviews under caution: 8

B) Operation Sabinas is an investigation examining allegations of computer misuse act offences.

Arrests: 1
Interviews under caution: 1

C) Operation Carrizo is an investigation examining allegations of computer misuse act offences.

Arrests: 6
Interviews under caution: 2

D) Operation Kerville is an investigation examining allegations of computer misuse act offences.

Arrests: 0
Interviews under caution: 5


A) Operation Appleton is the MPS team that provided support to the Leveson Inquiry in 2012/13

Police officers: 9
Support staff: 1
Total: 10
Cost: £1,310,000


Operations Weeting, Elveden and Tuleta:

Police officers: 165
Support staff: 30
TOTAL: 195

Police officers: 148
Support staff: 26
TOTAL: 174

2014/15 (Estimate)
Police officers: 112
Support staff: 18
TOTAL: 130

TOTAL COST AS OF JULY 2014 (All operations)