Dowler family lawyer calls for police clean-out

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The Independent Online

Police forces across Britain need a "root and branch clean-out" of officers who sell confidential information, the lawyer representing Milly Dowler's family said yesterday.

Mark Lewis said "certain officers" from Surrey Police appeared to have leaked sensitive information to the press during the investigation into the girl's 2002 murder by Levi Bellfield.

Mr Lewis said that although one officer was removed from the investigation, the force never revealed what happened to him, if he is still there or "whether there are other investigations or have been other investigations".

"There ought to be a root and branch clean-out of the force of anyone who's been involved in giving out confidential information, sensitive information and information that relates to the investigation of crime," he added. "It's time for the police, not just the Surrey Police, but for all police forces to clean up their act."

A Surrey Police spokesman said the officer had been suspended after a conversation with a retired officer during which it was alleged he divulged some information about the investigation. The spokesman added: "There was no evidence to suggest that any information was provided to the media."

Meanwhile, Jonathan May-Bowles, the comedian who threw a foam pie at Rupert Murdoch, had his jail sentence cut on appeal yesterday from six weeks to four. And in further developments, it was claimed that almost 300 ex-News of the World staff could be in line for £70,000 each for unfair dismissal – which would cost News International £14m. Quoting sources, the London Evening Standard reported that News Corp executives believe the employees are "too toxic" to be re-employed.