Metropolitan Police Admits Failure to Warn Phone Hacking Victims
A judicial review has ruled that the Metropolitan Police Service failed to warn the public that they were being victimised by phone hacking at the News of the World. The Met Commissioner has accepted and admitted the failure. The review was pushed ahead by former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, former Scotland Yard deputy assistant commissioner Brian Paddick, Labour MP Chris Bryant and two others - arguing that their human rights were breached due to the hacking.
Hugh Tomlinson QC, who represented Lord Prescott, said that the Met and claimants have agreed to a “declaration” that consists of the Met admitting to breaching its duties under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The article provides that everybody has the right to respect of a private and family life, home and correspondence.
In a statement, the Metropolitan Police Service said that they are pleased to have reached a deal in this case. They accept that more should have been done by officers in relation to the identified and potential phone hacking victims several years ago. There are over 130 officers involved in the current inquiry and the two operations being run along with it. This partially reflects the lessons learned about how police need to deal with the victims of such criminal offences. The way police treat victims is at the heart of what they do. All the claimants will receive personal apologies, and the settlement doesn’t include paying damages, they added.
Lord Prescott said that it’s taken him 19 months to get justice. He was told over and over by the Metropolitan Police that he hadn’t been targeted by News of the World, but he refused to accept that. Thanks to the judicial review, the service has finally apologised for failing to properly investigate and notify victims of phone hacking committed by the newspaper.