Mark Hughes: This time the victims are being put first

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Yesterday's statement by Scotland Yard will be seen as an admission that their first investigation was a failure. The force accepts that it wrongly told a number of individuals that their details did not appear on material seized from Glenn Mulcaire when in fact they did. Yesterday they informed them that their phones may have been hacked.

It adds weight to the suggestion that detectives were keen to quickly close down the original operation, either through fear that they would upset Rupert Murdoch's powerful News International, or because they simply did not treat the investigation seriously enough.

Sources at the Met insist that yesterday's statement is no such admission. They say detectives only identified individuals who had been wrongly told they were not Mulcaire's targets after reviewing old evidence alongside new evidence that the News of the World handed the force last month. By "putting two and two together" detectives realised they had wrongly given a "small number" of people erroneous information.

This new investigation is being treated seriously by Sue Akers and her team. She has pledged to contact all of the 4,332 people whose names or details were found in Mulcaire's documents – something the Met has been criticised for not doing earlier. Such an undertaking shows that perhaps unlike the previous investigation the potential victims are at the heart of this inquiry.

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