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
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Isis hostage crisis: The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power

Isis hostage crisis

The prisoner swap has only one purpose for the militants - recognition its Islamic State exists and that foreign nations acknowledge its power, says Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Homeless Veterans appeal: ‘If you’re hard on the world you are hard on yourself’

Maverick artist Grayson Perry backs our campaign
Missing salvage expert who found $50m of sunken treasure before disappearing, tracked down at last

The runaway buccaneers and the ship full of gold

Salvage expert Tommy Thompson found sunken treasure worth millions. Then he vanished... until now
Assisted Dying Bill: I want to be able to decide about my own death - I want to have control of my life

Assisted Dying Bill: 'I want control of my life'

This week the Assisted Dying Bill is debated in the Lords. Virginia Ironside, who has already made plans for her own self-deliverance, argues that it's time we allowed people a humane, compassionate death
Move over, kale - cabbage is the new rising star

Cabbage is king again

Sophie Morris banishes thoughts of soggy school dinners and turns over a new leaf
11 best winter skin treats

Give your moisturiser a helping hand: 11 best winter skin treats

Get an extra boost of nourishment from one of these hard-working products
Frank Warren column: No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans

Frank Warren's Ringside

No cigar, but pots of money: here come the Cubans
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker