Surrey Police to face IPCC over NOTW involvement in Dowler case

 

The unanswered questions in Surrey Police's handling of the investigation and subsequent murder inquiry of Milly Dowler in 2002, and the force's close contact  with journalists from the News of World, is to be investigated by the police’s internal  watchdog authority, the IPCC.

The Independent Police Complaints Authority was yesterday contacted by the Labour MP Chris Bryant who asked that a “full, new investigation into the conduct of officers involved in the Dowler case and their relationship with members of the press” be carried out.

Although Surrey Police say they are already carrying out their own review  into how the Dowler case was handled, Mr Bryant’s demand to the interim chair of the IPCC, Len Jackson, will add to the growing pressures on the Surrey force to publish a full account of why they remained silent for almost a decade despite knowing  the NOTW had engaged in illegally phone hacking during the early months of the hunt for the missing schoolgirl in March and April 2002.

A partial account was released on Monday by the House of Common’s culture media and sport select committee when they released a redacted report on the Dowler case written by the deputy chief constable, Jerry Kirkby.

The report was intended to be the formal response by Surrey to questions that had been raised by John Whittingdale, chair of the CMS select committee.

With widespread criticism that the police’s account was limited and  did not answer key allegations related to its relationship with the News International title, Mr Bryant told Mr Jackson in his letter to the IPCC, that the focus of the report was “mainly” on the period between April 13 and 14, 2002.

However he said the report’s contents “does not address relationships between officers investigating Milly Dowler’s disappearance and News of the World reporters, nor does it reveal the interactions  (legitimate or otherwise) between Surrey Police officers and the News of the World in the twenty-two days from Milly Dowler’s disappearance to 13 April 2002.”

This period remains crucial to unanswered questions about who may have deleted messages on the teenager’s phone, about the scale of the NOTW news operation that was generated when the police search began, and about the early contact NOTW reporters made with key detectives in the early stages of Milly Dowler’s disappearance.

The IPCC told The Independent last night that it too had contacted Surrey Police. An IPCC spokeswoman said they  remaining “proactive” on potential complaints about the force’s handling of the case, and were awaiting an “update” from Surrey  how the force would respond.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Attenborough with the primates
tvWhy BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
News
Campbell: ‘Sometimes you have to be economical with the truth’
newsFormer spin doctor says MPs should study tactics of leading sports figures like José Mourinho
News
news
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Voices
Lance Corporal Joshua Leakey VC
voicesBeware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Life and Style
Alexander McQueen's AW 2009/10 collection during Paris Fashion Week
fashionMeet the collaborators who helped create the late designer’s notorious spectacles
Sport
football
News
i100
News
Perry says: 'Psychiatrists give help because they need help. You would not be working in mental health if you didn't have a curiosity about how the mind works.'
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

Yvette Cooper: We can't lose the election. There's too much on the line

The shadow Home Secretary on fighting radical Islam, protecting children, and why anyone in Labour who's thinking beyond May must 'sort themselves out'
A bad week for the Greens: Leader Natalie Bennett's 'car crash' radio interview is followed by Brighton council's failure to set a budget due to infighting

It's not easy being Green

After a bad week in which its leader had a public meltdown and its only city council couldn't agree on a budget vote, what next for the alternative party? It's over to Caroline Lucas to find out
Gorillas nearly missed: BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter

Gorillas nearly missed

BBC producers didn't want to broadcast Sir David Attenborough's famed Rwandan encounter
Downton Abbey effect sees impoverished Italian nobles inspired to open their doors to paying guests for up to €650 a night

The Downton Abbey effect

Impoverished Italian nobles are opening their doors to paying guests, inspired by the TV drama
China's wild panda numbers have increased by 17% since 2003, new census reveals

China's wild panda numbers on the up

New census reveals 17% since 2003
Barbara Woodward: Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with the growing economic superpower

Our woman in Beijing builds a new relationship

Britain's first female ambassador to China intends to forge strong links with growing economic power
Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer. But the only British soldier to be awarded the Victoria Cross in Afghanistan has both

Courage is rare. True humility is even rarer

Beware of imitations, but the words of the soldier awarded the Victoria Cross were the real thing, says DJ Taylor
Alexander McQueen: The catwalk was a stage for the designer's astonishing and troubling vision

Alexander McQueen's astonishing vision

Ahead of a major retrospective, Alexander Fury talks to the collaborators who helped create the late designer's notorious spectacle
New BBC series savours half a century of food in Britain, from Vesta curries to nouvelle cuisine

Dinner through the decades

A new BBC series challenged Brandon Robshaw and his family to eat their way from the 1950s to the 1990s
Philippa Perry interview: The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course

Philippa Perry interview

The psychotherapist on McDonald's, fancy specs and meeting Grayson Perry on an evening course
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef recreates the exoticism of the Indonesian stir-fry

Bill Granger's Indonesian stir-fry recipes

Our chef was inspired by the south-east Asian cuisine he encountered as a teenager
Chelsea vs Tottenham: Harry Kane was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope

Harry Kane interview

The striker was at Wembley to see Spurs beat the Blues and win the Capital One Cup - now he's their great hope
The Last Word: For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?

Michael Calvin's Last Word

For the good of the game: why on earth don’t we leave Fifa?
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?