MPs call for inquiry into Dowler police 'failure'


An authoritative inquiry into Surrey Police's handling of the Milly Dowler case and its decade-long silence over illegal voicemail interceptions and links with the News of The World, has been called for by MPs who helped expose phone hacking.

The demands follow a report by the Independent Police Complaints Commission published yesterday which found no evidence that a Surrey detective leaked confidential information to the NOTW during the period in 2002 when the murdered 13 year old schoolgirl was still listed as missing. 

In a brief three-and-half page report, the  police watchdog  concluded that the unnamed officer had received no illegal payments from the now-closed Sunday tabloid. 

However the report offered no explanation why the Surrey force held  documentation from the NOTW which indicated that "two payments had been made by journalists in 2002 in connection with Milly Dowler."

The report was described by Chris Bryant MP, as  ‘very limited'. He told The Independent:  "So far Surrey police have consistently failed to come clean  about their complete failure to follow up the hacking of Milly Dowler's phone  - which they knew about 10 years ago."

Mr Bryant called for a "full investigation into exactly what went on". 

Surrey Police in contrast welcomed the report, saying it had called in the IPCC last year because it wanted to be "open and transparent".

The IPCC commissioner Mike Franklin, said allegations that a Surrey detective had provided information to NOTW journalists for cash during Operation Ruby

had not been backed up with "substantive or factual" evidence. 

The report said a "disgruntled" former police officer, who had been the subject of  "a misconduct matter" had offered information to journalists which had led to the IPCC probe.  The information was described in the report as "supposition and rumour."

But the Labour MP Tom Watson, who helped lead the Commons' culture and media select committee  inquiry into phone hacking, said the IPCC report did "not attend to the central issue of why there was 10 years of silence by Surrey Police."

Mr Watson  said the key issue of the  phone hacking scandal inside the Metropolitan Police, namely "strong evidence of wrong-doing" now had to be answered by Surrey Police

Last month Mr Watson's parliamentary committee received a letter from Surrey's deputy chief constable, Jerry Kirkby, which listed 15  separate  discussions between police officers and  NOTW journalists in April 2002 describing messages found on Milly Dowler's phone voicemails.

Neither yesterday's  IPCC report, nor the report given to the DCMS committee, acknowledges the relationship between journalists from  Sunday tabloid and the force's handling of the Dowler case.

In October last year, following an investigation by The Independent, Surrey Police's former chief constable, Mark Rowley, admitted for the first time that the NOTW had contacted the Surrey force in 2002  and disclosed to officers that it had accessed Milly Dowler's voicemails.

In a letter to the Home Affairs select committee Mr Rowley said Surrey officers had been "concentrating on retrieving evidence" when he confirmed that no criminal investigation had been launched into how the NOTW journalists had obtained personal information taken from  Milly Dowler's phone.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
i100 In this video, the late actor Leonard Nimoy explains how he decided to use the gesture for his character
Arts and Entertainment
Secrets of JK Rowling's Harry Potter workings have been revealed in a new bibliography
arts + ents
Robert De Niro has walked off the set of Edge of Darkness
news The Godfather Part II actor has an estimated wealth of over $200m
Arts and Entertainment
Fearne Cotton is leaving Radio 1 after a decade
radio The popular DJ is leaving for 'family and new adventures'
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower