The Metropolitan police is to apologise to some of the victims of phone hacking for failing to inform them during its initial investigation in 2006 and 2007.
The high court ruled today that the force had “breached a legal obligation” to the claimants, including John Prescott and MP Chris Bryant.
The Metropolitan police said in a statement today that it “accepts more should have been done by police in relation to those identified as victims and potential victims of phone hacking several years ago”.
The force said it would be apologising personally to each claimant.
It is a matter of public record that the unprecedented increase in anti-terrorist investigations resulted in the parameters of the original inquiry being tightly drawn, and officers considered the prosecution and conviction of Clive Goodman and Glen Mulcaire as a successful outcome of their investigation.
There are now more than 130 officers involved in the current phone-hacking inquiry (Weeting) and the two operations being run in conjunction with it and this in part reflects the lessons that have been learned about how police should deal with the victims of such crimes.
Today’s settlement does not entail damages being paid by the MPS and as the court has made clear, sets no precedent for the future. How the MPS treats victims goes to the very heart of what we do. It was important that this case did not result in such a wide duty being placed on police officers that it could direct them away from their core purpose of preventing and detecting crime.