View from the Yard: the Yates statement in full

Here is the statement about phone tapping from Metropolitan Police Assistant Commissioner John Yates in full:



"I have been asked by the Commissioner today to establish the facts around our inquiry into the alleged unlawful tapping of mobile phones by Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire. I was not involved in the original case and clearly come at this with an independent mind.

"Just by way of background. In December 2005, the Met received complaints that mobile phones had been illegally tapped.

"We identified that Goodman and Mulcaire were engaged in a sophisticated and wide-ranging conspiracy to gather private and personal data, principally about high profile figures. Clearly they benefited financially from these matters.

"Our inquiries found that these two men had the ability to illegally intercept mobile phone voice mails, commonly known as phone tapping.

"Their potential targets may have run into hundreds of people, but our inquiries showed that they only used the tactic against a far smaller number of individuals.

"In January 2007, Goodman and Mulcaire were jailed for four and six months, (after pleading guilty to conspiring to unlawfully intercept communications).

"Mulcaire also pleaded guilty to an additional five charges relating to similar matters.

"On sentencing the two men, Mr Justice Gross at the Old Bailey said the case was 'not about press freedom, it was about a grave, inexcusable and illegal invasion of privacy'.

"The police investigation was complex and was carried out in close liaison with the Crown Prosecution Service, senior counsel and the telephone companies concerned.

"The technical challenges posed to the service providers to establish that there had in fact been interception were very, very, significant.

"It is important to recognise that our inquiries showed that in the vast majority of cases there was insufficient evidence to show that tapping had actually been achieved.

"Where there was clear evidence that people had been the subject of tapping, they were all contacted by the police.

"These people were made aware of the potential compromise to their phones and offered preventative advice.

"After extensive consultation with the CPS and counsel, only a few were subsequently identified as witnesses in the proceedings that followed.

"I said earlier in this statement that these two men were engaged in a sophisticated and wide-ranging conspiracy to gather personal data about high profile figures. One was a private detective and one was a journalist. It is reasonable therefore to expect them to be in possession of data about such matters as it is part and parcel of their job.

"I emphasise that our inquiries were solely concerned with phone tapping. This, as far as we are aware, affected a much smaller pool of people.

"There has been a lot of media comment today about the then Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott. This investigation has not uncovered any evidence to suggest that John Prescott's phone had been tapped.

"This case has been the subject of the most careful investigation by very experienced detectives. It has also been scrutinised in detail by both the CPS and leading counsel. They have carefully examined all the evidence and prepared the indictments that they considered appropriate.

"No additional evidence has come to light since this case has concluded.

"I therefore consider that no further investigation is required.

"However, I do recognise the very real concerns, expressed today by a number of people, who believe that their privacy may have been intruded upon.

"I therefore need to ensure that we have been diligent, reasonable and sensible, and taken all proper steps to ensure that where we have evidence that people have been the subject of any form of phone tapping, or that there is any suspicion that they might have been, that they have been informed."



Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor