Morning Hearing on 02 April 2012

Mark Burns-Williamson , Stewart Gull , Paul McKeever , Nathan Oley and Neil Wallis gave statements at this hearing

Hearing Transcript

(10.00 am) LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Good morning. Before we start, I just want to identify those topics that I will want to cover tomorrow afternoon when we consider directions specifically in relation to Module 3, but also some other matters. The general topics are: the remaining outstanding issues in relation to Module 1, core participant status for Module 3, the approach to Module 3, the approach to Module 4, the timetable for the Inquiry, the timetable for submissions and a discussion around aspects of the Rule 13 submissions, which I have received in writing from various core participants. I make that broad agenda public now so that all core participants who may not be involved in today's proceedings can be aware of what I want to cover tomorrow afternoon. Further, two witnesses are presently on the list to be read today. I am giving further considerations to the status of those witnesses, therefore they will not be put into the record of the Inquiry this afternoon. Thank you. Yes, Mr Barr. MR BARR Good morning, sir. Our first witness is Paul McKeever. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR PAUL MCKEEVER (sworn) Questions by MR BARR MR BARR Mr McKeever, could you tell us your full name, please?
A. Paul John McKeever.
Q. I understand that in your statement you want to make a correction to paragraph 15.
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. The answer to question 15 that was posed to you, you have replied: "We provide guidance to our representatives and officials via media protocol in which it states that any contact with the media should be treated as on the record." Is it right that the correction that you wish to make is that that is what the protocol is going to say but not what it presently says?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. Subject to that correction, are the contents of your witness statement true and correct to the best of your knowledge and belief?
A. They are, sir, yes.
Q. You are currently the chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales, and you have been in that position since May of 2008?
A. That's correct. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr McKeever, I'm very grateful to you for taking part and providing this statement. Just so that it's quite clear, I recognise that the Federation occupy a very different position in policing, but given the extent of the evidence which I've received from ACPO ranking officers, I felt it was appropriate that it should be seen that other ranks also have the opportunity to comment on the subject matter of this Inquiry, however limited that contribution might be.
A. Thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I just felt that it was appropriate that the Federation indeed, the Superintendents Association should be heard, however much or little they wanted to say.
A. Thank you, sir. MR BARR You're also the chairman of the staff side of the UK Police Negotiating Board.
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. Your background is that you joined the Metropolitan Police Service in 1977, direct from university, and you served in various parts of London in various roles before being elected to the Police Federation in 1992.
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. Moving now to get an outline of the Federation and what it does. First of all, you're chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales.
A. That's correct.
Q. There are separate federations, aren't there, for Scotland and Northern Ireland?
A. That is correct, yes.
Q. The ambit of the federation of England and Wales is to cover all forces within the country, including the Metropolitan Police?
A. All 43 which are Home Office forces, yes. We don't cover the British Transport Police and one or two other smaller forces.
Q. You have a statutory background under the Police Act of 1919. You're not a trade union?
A. No, we were set up, I think, not to be a trade union, sir.
Q. But your role, if I can summarise what you say in your witness statement, is essentially as a negotiator, and you also have a function of relaying the views of your members to government?
A. Yes, that is our primary function, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And you're a full-time federation official?
A. I am by statute, sir, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So in other words, you will not be found in Bromley police station or indeed any other police station, save in as required by your duties?
A. That's correct, sir, yes. MR BARR The Federation is structured at both a national and a local level, isn't it?
A. It is indeed, yes.
Q. As to the ranks which are covered by the Federation, is it right that anyone who is a constable or a sergeant or an inspector, including chief inspectors, will automatically be a member of the Police Federation?
A. That is right, yes.
Q. For those who choose to do so, on the payment of a subscription, the Federation also provides legal assistance and assistance at disciplinary tribunals?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. You tell us that as at June of last year there were 136,976 subscribing members. Can you give the Inquiry an idea of what proportion of your overall membership are subscribing members?
A. The vast majority are subscribing members. We don't have figures to say exactly how many don't subscribe, but anecdotally, it is a mere handful.
Q. If I can move now to ask you about a number of separate topics. If we start first of all with the ACPO guidance on contact with the media, and I'm looking now at page 4 of your witness statement and your answer to question 6. You say that to your knowledge, the Federation has not received any feedback from members about guidelines. I'd like to explore why that is. First of all, of the different ranks that we've just mentioned fall within Federation membership, what sort of contact does each of those ranks have with the media?
A. The vast majority of police officers and police staff, I have to say, will have little or no contact with the media throughout the whole service. We're not a pyramidal organisation, we're very much a flat-bottomed organisation and the vast majority of officers will be at constable, sergeant and inspector rank. It's a very narrow prong that goes up after that. The contact with the media will be at a higher level, perhaps starting at inspector, chief inspector level, so the vast majority of constables and sergeants have little or no contact with the media.
Q. If there is some contact at inspector or chief inspector level is it ever inspector and chief inspector?
A. No, that wouldn't be the case. There would be some specialist roles. Perhaps a chief inspector might be an SIO, senior investigating officer in a murder case, and then they would have contact with the media, and there might be local press liaison officers who are identified for each unit, department or station as well. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could you slow down a bit, McKeever, so that we make sure we get precisely what you say.
A. Sorry, sir. MR BARR So can we infer that the fact that the Federation has not received any feedback about the guidelines is partly because very few of your members have dealings with the media, and secondly, that those that do don't appear to have had any issues?
A. And also, sir, we haven't asked them. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's fair enough, but this Inquiry has been going on for some time and must have generated some interest among your members, I would have thought. We've heard about the interest that the press may have in talking to neighbourhood police officers and their keen wish to encourage such communications and their fear that rules or regulations will prevent them from so doing. You've not had any feedback one way or the other that causes you concern or that you want to bring to my attention, trying to get a balanced view of the views of the police?
A. In a question further on, sir, which refers to Elizabeth Filkin's report, I was going to make comment in relation to the general culture within the service about how officers feel in relation to the press. If you wish me to answer now, I'm happy to do so. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm happy to take Mr Barr's line or your line, but
A. The answer is no, we haven't had any feedback. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON All right. MR BARR Can we deal next with training, please, Mr McKeever. I'm looking now at page 5 of your statement and the answer to question 9. Have I understood correctly that what the Police Federation thinks would be very helpful and not just in relation to the media but across the board is national standards for training?
A. Yes, we're very strong on this point, sir. We believe that we should have national standards across the whole range of training within the Police Service, and it's something that we've called on government to ensure happens, not just in relation to media training but in training generally. Training is in a state of flux in the service. We are moving from the National Police Improvement Agency, which sets standards, guidelines, and provides 10 per cent of training nationally but also influences the local training as well we're moving from the National Police Improvement Agency, which is going to be done away with by November, and there's going to be some new body which hasn't been decided upon exactly at this moment in time, which will take over those sort of responsibilities. What we're saying is that national standards must be maintained within whatever that new body is.
Q. So can I take it that in accordance with that principle, the Federation would be in favour of national standards for training in relation to media contact?
A. Yes, we would.
Q. Can I turn now to the question of legal assistance? We mentioned a moment ago that your subscribing members get the benefit of legal assistance from the federation. You tell us on page 6 in answer to question11 that, amongst other things, the Federation will provide legal support to members if they've been libelled or suffered an invasion of privacy or breach of confidence. What, of course, the Inquiry would be interested in is whether, in the Federation's experience, there's a particular problem or what the extent of any problem is with your members being either libelled or suffering invasions of privacy by the media. Is that a question which you personally are in a position to answer today?
A. No, unfortunately it's not.
Q. Is it something that perhaps the Federation's solicitor might be able to help us with in correspondence?
A. If you would wish for the Federation's solicitor, Russell Jones Walker, to correspond with you on that matter, I'm sure that will be able to be done, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm just keen, I again repeat, to get another window on the extent of the issues which I have to consider.
A. I don't see it as it a major problem across the country, sir. It's not one that's been brought to my attention. MR BARR Thank you. If we move now to the question of off-the-record conversations. The Inquiry has heard evidence that different people use the phrase to mean slightly different things.
A. Yes.
Q. Sometimes it's used to refer to communications which people have with the press but don't want the press to print at all, and others say it's information which they don't want attributed but which can be printed. Do you think that there would be, again, benefit in having national guidance about the meaning of "off the record" and indeed how to go about off-the-record conversations, if appropriate?
A. Yes, I do. I think there is some confusion about what the definition actually means, sir.
Q. Can we move next to leaks. It would be right, wouldn't it, that a subscribing member of the Federation who found him or herself subject to investigation in relation to an alleged leak would be entitled to help from the Federation?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. Are you able to help us with whether or not supporting members who've been in that situation is a common experience or not?
A. No, it's not a common experience, and I think, reading Elizabeth Filkin's report and Sir Denis O'Connor's report, there seems to be an indication there that the Professional Standards Department perhaps feel there are problems with leaking but haven't brought many cases to conclusion.
Q. On a related subject, if we could just explore whistle-blowing for a moment. Can I ask you, first of all: from a Federation's point of view, from what you know, are the whistle-blowing policies which have been used very much by your members?
A. No. The Police Service in England and Wales, sir, is one that's a disciplined organisation, and officers know only too well that if they step outside or if there's a problem that's identified, that they are subject to the discipline code. Similarly, if an officer sees somebody else behaving inappropriately or wrongly or illegally, unlawfully, there is a very strong supervisory process in place where you can report that to your supervising officers, and that tends to be where the revelation will come from.
Q. And as far as you're aware, is the incidence of reporting of wrongdoing to superior officers high or low when it happens?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. When you say "yes"
A. Sorry, upwards, yes. Report upwards.
Q. Your impression is that people do report wrongdoings?
A. They do report upwards, yes.
Q. In those cases where people are in possession of information about wrongdoing and, for whatever reason, are hesitating about reporting it in the normal way that you've just described, do you think that there is a high or low level of confidence in the whistle-blowing policies and procedures?
A. I think it's a bit like the curate's egg, sir. It will be good in some parts of the country and not in others, depending on the confidence that that particular officer has locally. Perhaps some sort of independent avenue would be would assist those officers who don't feel confident enough to go through the supervisory process which is there and has worked pretty well in most cases.
Q. Turning now to bribery
A. Yes.
Q. you describe on page 8 of your statement, in answer to question 20, that you don't think that bribery is a widespread problem, and you point to the criminal sanctions and robust disciplinary procedures in place. Do you think that there is any room for tightening the sanctions and procedures which are already in place or not?
A. Sir, again, Elizabeth Filkin, I think, in her first appendix, lists the various acts that officers are subject to when they're dealing with the press, and there are a whole range of sanctions that can be imposed on officers where the penalties will include imprisonment if they go outside the parameters expected of them as a police officer, and she also reinforces that by saying that we're also subject to the discipline code as well, which, again, is very wide-ranging, and officers are fully aware of that and there are plenty enough tools there, I think, to actually ensure that officers do behave in a correct and appropriate manner, and without actually introducing any other form of sanction in addition to those that are already there. Perhaps the processes could be looked at, but the sanctions, I think, are more than adequate.
Q. When you say "the processes might be looked at", is it your impression that the processes are, in practice, administered sufficiently or not?
A. Well, again, I'm making reference to Elizabeth Filkin's report where I think she has said that there's been some surprise in certainly a force about some of the things that have been revealed in the last year or so.
Q. Moving now to the question of hospitality and I'm looking at page 9, the answer to question 23 you tell us that you don't perceive an inappropriate level of hospitality as a problem amongst the federated ranks. Is that, first and foremost, a function of the fact that your federated ranks have very little contact with the media?
A. That's correct, yes.
Q. In those circumstances, perhaps I can ask you to comment a little wider on the question of hospitality at all ranks. What is the Federation's view on the question of hospitality between the police and the media?
A. Again, we're supportive of what Elizabeth Filkin's saying in relation to the sort of parameters that should be set, but again, we need to have clear guidance here for officers, exactly what is acceptable and what's not. I think that's been missing in the past.
Q. Guidance at a national level?
A. At a national level.
Q. You talk also in the same answer about recognising the work undertaken by Sir Denis O'Connor in his report "Without fear or favour" and that the Federation is supportive of his recommendations. What role does the Federation expect to have in the consultations about taking his recommendations forward?
A. Sir Denis O'Connor is a man who we hold in extremely high regard in the Federation, and he is a man who does consult with us on most of his reports that are going forward and affect our members, and we're grateful for that consultation.
Q. Moving back to Elizabeth Filkin, whose report you've mentioned a number of times, you say at question 27 that you don't recognise a general culture of acceptance within the MPS that leaking and bribery is acceptable. Leaving aside whether or not that is what Elizabeth Filkin was saying or not, or to what extent she was saying it, can I perhaps just ask you to tell us what your impression, certainly as a man who served for a long time in the MPS and has since been, obviously, at the very top of the Federation what is your perception of the general culture towards leaking and bribery in the Metropolitan Police?
A. It's an absolute no-no. I know previous chairmen of the local federation in the Metropolitan Police are on public record as saying that it is an absolute no-no. Bribery is something that is anathema to the vast majority of police officers and in my service as a Metropolitan officer before I am still a serving Metropolitan officer and the officers I still deal with today, it is something that's abhorrent for the vast majority of police officers, full stop.
Q. Has that been the position from 1977 when you first joined to date, or has there been any fluctuation in the position?
A. I think if you're a police officer being a police officer is about values. Contrary to some perhaps recent reports, it's not about the academic qualifications you have, no matter how beneficial they may be, and it is about standards of integrity, honesty, probity. They are the sort of standards that are absolutely the core of being a police officer and they haven't changed. MR BARR Thank you. Those were all the questions that I have for you. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have no specific questions, Mr McKeever, but I am keen to give you the opportunity to say anything else that you would like to say from your perspective, representing chief inspectors and below, about the terms of reference of this part of the Inquiry. If you have nothing to add, that's fine, but just so that you've had the chance.
A. No, I don't, sir, but thank you for that opportunity. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much indeed for coming.
A. Thank you, sir. MR BARR Sir, Ms Patry Hoskins is going to take the next witness. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS Good morning, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Good morning. MS PATRY HOSKINS The next two witnesses are Councillor Mark Burns Williamson and Mr Oley from the Association of Police Authorities. MR MARK BURNS WILLIAMSON (sworn) MR NATHAN DAVID OLEY (sworn) Questions by MS PATRY HOSKINS MS PATRY HOSKINS Could I ask you each in turn to provide your full name to the Inquiry? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Mark Burns Williamson. MR OLEY Nathan David Oley.
Q. Councillor, you have provided a statement to the Inquiry dated 1 March 2012, which we have. Can you confirm that the contents of it are true to the best of your knowledge and belief? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes, they are.
Q. Mr Oley, you've provided a statement dated 2 March 2012. Go you confirm, please, that the contents of it are true to the best of your knowledge and belief? MR OLEY Yes, they are.
Q. Thank you very much. What I'm going to do is ask some questions of Councillor Burns Williamson first but if any questions are best answered by Mr Oley, feel free to say so. Then, Mr Oley, I'll come on to you if you can. Councillor, can we start with your career history. It's set out at paragraph 1 of your statement to the Inquiry. You tell us there that you are chair of the Association of Police Authorities, a position that you've had since October 2012; is that correct? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct.
Q. Prior to that, you were deputy chair between 2009 and 2011 and you've been a board member of the APA since 2003? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct.
Q. You've also been a member of West Yorkshire Police Authority since 1999. You were elected chair of the authority in June 2003 and you've been reelected chair every year since? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct.
Q. Have I accurately summarised your career history in police authorities? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes.
Q. I appreciate that you also have a background as a district councillor. You've been a district councillor for 13 years and you tell us a little bit more about that, again, in paragraph 1 of this statement. Mr Oley, I'm going to turn to you briefly just to do the same in your career history, please. Your career history is set out also at paragraph 1 of your statement and you explain that you're the head of press and public affairs for the APA and have been since January 2011; is that correct? MR OLEY That's correct.
Q. That role is essentially delivering the APA's dealings with the media, providing a public affairs function and you also have a limited policy role regarding the preparation for one aspect of the transition from police authorities to the new directly elected PCCs that we will have from November this year. MR OLEY That's correct.
Q. You then set out your career history in some detail and I don't think we need to go through that. Have I accurately summarised the position? MR OLEY Yes.
Q. Councillor, I'd like to explore the role and general functions the APA. I want to ask you a few brief questions about that. You explain in your statement at paragraph 2 onwards that the oversight of governance of policing in England and Wales is carried out by three bodies essentially: ACPO, we've heard from witnesses, representing senior police officers; the Home Office, obviously; and the Association, which you say is the national voice of the public in policing. You tell us that the Association was formed in 1997 to represent all police authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland; is that correct? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct.
Q. You then tell us, at the top of page 2, that the Police Authorities themselves that you represent have a particular job. It's paragraph 5 there at the top of page 2. They consult with local communities and find out what they want the local police to do. They set strategic direction for policing locally, decide what the police should focus their attention on locally. They set the budget for their police force and they decide how much local people should pay for policing in the local council tax, they make sure the police force is continuing to do a better job and they appoint and, if necessary, dismiss chief constables and senior police officers. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And there's no distinction for you between the Metropolitan Police and other forces? So the Metropolitan Police Authority, as was, is a member of your organisation? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And is the present iteration of that, the Mayor's Office for Policing and Crime does that have anything to do with your organisation or not? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes. We've just had to change our articles and constitution to accommodate the new arrangements in the Met as well. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So does that mean that come later on this year, you'll either be changing articles of association again or simply moving away from the area? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think I do set out in another question that the Home Office have asked the APA to form an interim body for policing governance which will potentially represent PCCs post November of this year. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS Sticking with the role of the APA for the moment and I'll come on to ask you about the position from November in representing all the individual Police Authorities, you seek to ensure a number of things. If you look under the heading "The APA's mission", still on page 2, you set out a number of bullet points. Could you tell us in your own words what it is that you seek to do, what the APA's mission is? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think, rather like the Federation in the last session, we seek to represent the views of our members at the national level to influence particularly policy around policing in general, around securing the best deal we can around budgets and resources. We are statutory members of the police negotiating board, the police staff council senior appointments committee. So we are involved, as one of the tripartite, in a lot of those areas that help to influence our members and their interests at the local level.
Q. Then, for the sake of completeness, the subject we've just been touching on, the position later this year, we need to note that the APA will cease to exist, you tell us, on or before the date on which its members, ie the police authorities, are abolished in late November 2012. You deal with this on page 4 in response to question 9. You were asked: "What changes, if any will, there be to the role or functions of the APA and the oversight of relations and communications between police authorities and the media once police authorities are replaced?" You tell us that the Home Secretary has agreed that you should provide an interim association for the 41 elected police and crime commissioners and other bodies of policing governance from 15 November until the end of the financial year 2012/2013. Perhaps for the purposes of this Inquiry, in this illustrative paragraph right at the end of page 4, you say that your hope is that the interim representative body for PCCs should play a role in assisting the PCCs to implement the recommendations which may be issued in the wake of this Inquiry. Can you just expand a little on that? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes. The APA, as it currently exists, will finish probably well, 15 November, which is the date of the election. We did submit a business case for the creation of an interim body to represent PCCs because we think it's important that the local voice, as it were, is still heard at the national level, and it's our intention to work through a programme of measures to put to PCCs, once elected, to, in a constructive way, take forward, but of course that will be a decision ultimately for the PCCs themselves, whether they want to continue the interim body or create a permanent body or not, as the case may be.
Q. Thank you. Moving back to the Association as it currently exists, I'm going to ask you about some of its specific functions. In that respect, turn back in your statement to page 3 and the answer to question 4. Just noting there that you tell us that the APA plays no part in the oversight of the Police Service's relations and communications with the media because that's simply a matter for local police authorities? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct.
Q. What you do say is that the APA or any successor body, as you just said, should play a role in assisting police authorities or PCCs to implement any recommendations which come out of this Inquiry through the medium of training or guidance. How would you foresee that happening? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Again, as part of the work for the interim body and whatever the outcomes of this Inquiry are, we would think it a good thing, really, to make sure that the recommendations are taken forward in a work programme that hopefully help PCCs and existing police authorities just review their own arrangements at the moment and make sure we are leaving a legacy to try and ensure best practice moving forward.
Q. You go on to say that you've also no role in providing guidance to police forces in this particular area, communications with the media. That continues to be the case with the interim body, doesn't it? In fact, the PCCs for each area will be responsible for the totality of policing in their area under the Act, so they will have the primary role in ensuring that the relationships and communications with the media are appropriate; would that be right, and do you I see any risk with that? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think it's on record, as an APA, that we did oppose the legislation when it went through, but clearly it's definitely going to happen, so our position is now to try and ensure a smooth transition to the office of the PCC. Clearly, moving from 17 members to one person, perhaps with a deputy, does create potential risk in terms of the capacity of that office to carry out those functions, so we would be recommending the role of perhaps a standards committee in things like appointments and complaints and matters of this type to strengthen the office of the PCC.
Q. A standards committee at national level or at local level? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON At the local level. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON How much of your time does it take up? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Chair of the national APA? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm interested in both the chair and, of course, your chair of your own police authority. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON It's pretty much full-time along with my councillor duties as well. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's a remarkable public service. MS PATRY HOSKINS Indeed. I'm going to move on to ask you about the APA's contact with the media. You were asked about this at question 15 onwards, page 6 of your statement, councillor. You say, in response to question 16, that all contact with the media is channelled through the press office. Is that every request that comes in? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes.
Q. Generally speaking, the communication you have has been through the release of press releases or press statements. You explain that they're issued, on average, once a week, but obviously it depends on the type of events. I'm just summarising. There's a lot of detail here. You tell us, at question 19, that you simply don't have off-the-record conversations with the media as chair of the APA, that you've not provided any hospitality as chair of the APA for any member of the media this is question 22 save for sandwiches or cups of tea for members of the media attending, for example, APA council meetings or policing and fringe events. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's right.
Q. And also you've never accepted any gifts from the media. We can see that from your response to question 24. You then tell us about the policies of the APA in relation to gifts and hospitality. That's the response to question 33 onwards, page 10. What you do here is you set out extracts from the staff handbook dealing with hospitality, gifts and fee income. I'm not going to read out the whole of this section. Can you summarise your understanding of the acceptability of offering or accepting hospitality or gifts? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think as set out in that extract from the staff handbook, I think all staff are aware that they shouldn't enter into any such arrangements with the media or anybody else, for that matter, without very good reason, and we tend to conduct our business through formal events where we may put on refreshments and a few sandwiches, and that is par for the course. So the media would be available for that, along with the other members of the APA. So for me, it's fairly straightforward.
Q. Summarising what the staff handbook seems to say here in respect of gifts, there seems to be a policy that modest gifts can be accepted and gifts can be accepted from visiting delegations, for example where to refuse to accept would cause offence, and then you have a register where each employee must personally record any hospitality or gifts received or given by them. I note that in response to question 34, you say alcoholic drinks are not acceptable expenses and will not be reimbursed. Is that just a general policy, regardless of the circumstances? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes.
Q. Sticking on the register of hospitality that you that's identified in the staff handbook, you tell us in response to question 35 that this register is now made available on the APA website. You've said that that's a good thing that it's publicised on your website, although later on you also say that in any event you've not identified any inappropriate levels of hospitality. So why is it a good thing to have the register published on the website? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think just in terms of transparency and openness, it's there. If anybody asks the question, it would be published on the website.
Q. Okay. I need to ask you briefly about leaks and bribery. You tell us that as far as you're aware there have been no leaks during your time as chair of the APA. You tell us that in response to question 43. You tell us that LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Hang on, hang on. That's only since last October? MS PATRY HOSKINS Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I've been on this job since last July, so I'd be very, very surprised if there had been much to worry about since last October. Do you have any experience of it at all in your period of service on the APA? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. Let's just extend it a bit. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you. You tell us, in response to question 44, that you currently have no systems to deal with leaks but you're not aware of any, obviously but this is something you are rectifying or that you have asked the chief executive to rectify. What do you think could be done? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think in the light of this Inquiry, the one from the HMIC and the Filkin report, clearly we're looking again at all the policies we have, and in fact, only last week I met with Sir Denis O'Connor and Roger Baker from the HMIC to update on the position of the APA on police authorities. We will aim to do further work on this prior to October when the HMIC will look again and report back on the progress of not only ourselves but ACPO as well.
Q. Moving on to bribery, question 49 onwards, you were asked to what extent you believe that bribery of personnel by the media is a problem for the APA and you say that you do not believe that it's a problem and you've never experienced a case of actual or alleged bribery of APA staff. That's clear from the response to question 50. Just to make it absolutely clear, during your entire time at the APA, you've never experienced a case of actual or alleged bribery; is that correct? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's correct.
Q. You explain that you don't have in place any specific procedures to investigate bribery but it would simply be treated as any other alleged case of gross misconduct, which is covered by the staff handbook; is that correct? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON That's right.
Q. I'm going to ask you about the press office in a moment, and I'll bring in Mr Oley, if I can, but I want to touch on your role as the chair of West Yorkshire Police Authority, please. You deal with this from paragraph 57 onwards, or page 16. I don't mean to be rude but the evidence is set out clearly, so I don't think I need to ask you about any of it in specific detail except for one question. It relates to question 59: "What level of contact, oversight or knowledge is there from the West Yorkshire Police Authority in relation to West Yorkshire Police's relations and communications with the media?" You say, right at the end, that it has internal audit functions and that you've also undertaken reviews of the West Yorkshire police press office and media department functions with regards to both internal and external media communication systems. There's no indication there as to the findings that you've made there, whether or not there's been any recommendations made, whether any recommendations have been accepted or implemented as a result of this review work. Can you assist us with that? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes, we do have quite a robust internal audit team at West Yorkshire Police Authority. I'd be happy for any findings of those reports to be made available. I just can't remember, at this moment in time, what the findings of those were. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you very much. I'm going to come on to ask you, please, about the press office. You were asked a number of questions about this from question 29 onwards on page 8. Mr Oley, your entire statement is obviously about the press office. Can I start with Mr Oley first, please. I'd like to ask you about your role and remit, if I can. Starting, please, with the response to question 2 on page 16 your statement, you explain that the press office consists solely of you as head of press and public affairs? MR OLEY That's correct.
Q. You explain on page 2 the number of responsibilities and functions that you have. It's a very long list. In your own words, can you summarise what the head of press APA does? MR OLEY Sorry, I'm responsible for delivering responding to any media enquiries and representing the organisation externally in terms of press and public affairs. So that also involves setting strategy and delivering the interaction with senior stakeholders, particularly in terms of Parliament and their associated bodies, plus the provision of practicalities like providing a summary of a digest of the day's news, stories the APA website, briefing the chair and other members for their interactions with the media, providing speeches for their participation in conferences, et cetera. And then the public affairs functions include, obviously, arrangements at party conferences, where appropriate, and other associated events, plus our involvement with the all-party parliamentary policing group, for which I provide the secretariat.
Q. You heard the councillor say earlier that all communication with the media is essentially directed through the press office. Is that your experience? MR OLEY That's correct.
Q. You explain in response to question 7 that the dealings between the APA and the media have become far more frequent over the past two years. What's your understanding of why that's the case? MR OLEY I think it's fair to say that issues of policing governance have not always excited the press in the way that they have recently. Obviously this Inquiry has been critical in that, but for ourselves the government's proposals to change entirely the government and oversight of policing in England and Wales led to obviously a huge upsurge in our media exposure and the requirements of us to put our case, our concerns and our strengths to the outside world, really, to the public and to key stakeholders.
Q. I'm going to turn back, please, to the councillor's witness statement, question 29 on page 8 onwards, because I want to understand briefly the types of contact that APA personnel and in particular the press office have with the media. You set out there, councillor, a number of representative telephone calls or contacts that you've had or that the press office has had within the last month. Mr Oley, could you cast your eye down that list and tell me whether you agree that that's a representative set of contacts? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think the list is also paragraph 8 of his statement. MS PATRY HOSKINS It is. MR OLEY Indeed. Yes, it is. I mean, that was a literal list of the preceding I think it was three it was a month, actually. It was a typical list. That the frequency of contacts, the number of enquiries were relatively low in that period when compared to the previous year, particularly during the passage of the police reform and social responsibility bill, but for the present time I would say that that was representative.
Q. You both tell us that contact is almost always by email or phone, and that meetings are rare, although they do take place from time to time if there's a press conference or there's, again, a in the fringe of a conference of some kind; is that correct? MR OLEY That's correct.
Q. The councillor is then asked whether contact is restricted to certain staff. This is in response to question 30, and he says this: "APA staff contacts with the media are limited to the head of press, the chief executive and the chair, as explicitly set out in the APA staff handbook." I'm going to paraphrase what the handbook says: all media enquiries should be referred to you, Mr Oley, and the chief executive. No comment or other information, even factual information, should be provided to the press or other media without first obtaining explicit clearance from the executive director. This applies to all media. So pretty stringent guidance there. In your experience, that's what always happens? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes. MR OLEY Yes, certainly. It's helped to be fair, we're a very small team, so it's not too onerous a task to manage.
Q. Mr Oley, you heard the councillor say that he did not have off-the-record discussions with the media. You say at paragraph 13 of your statement, or in response to question 13 of your statement, that since the handbook says what it does we've just looked at it, that the chair is the only official spokesperson to the APA you can't provide a quote for published use in the media without the agreement of the chairs and therefore most conversations you have with the media are off the record, in the sense that they cannot be attributed to you personally. I make it absolutely clear that in response to question 14 you say that you keep a record of all such briefings and you relate those directly then to the chair and the chief executive. I just want to understand whether you consider that to be a particular weakness in the system or whether you are content for a system where you can't officially say anything, but you have an off-the-record conversation and then you provide details of that off-the-record conversation? MR OLEY I mean, that is correct, the situation you've set out, thank you. There are occasions, obviously, on which I have been cleared by the chair to give a comment along lines agreed, so obviously there are conversations I have which are on the record, but we are obviously a member organisation and I'm responsible to the chair, who is the elected and recognised face of the organisation and spokesperson. So that's the appropriate way of dealing with the media for us. As I make clear there, often the matters I think this is represented in the list of media contacts we've had and enquiries often the matters can be quite technical, if we are asked about whether police finance the intricacies of the Riot Damages Act, some detailed matters around the arrangements for police and crime commissioners. So the conversations that I have are often the fairly technical briefings which are background for journalists who may be coming to these issues fairly fresh. They're specialist knowledge, perhaps. So I often provide that as background briefing, which wouldn't be material to be quoted in any sense, but a background understanding.
Q. What do you mean by an off-the-record conversation then? What's your definition? MR OLEY My definition would be that a quote would not be attributed to me personally and that the information that I've given in those circumstances would be to inform the journalists about the situation or the events but not to provide a quote, to provide them with the background understanding. It would typically be the provision of facts rather than an opinion.
Q. I understand. Can I now ask you about prioritisation of media calls. You deal with this in response to question 10 on page 4 of your statement. You explain that as the umbrella for the police authorities with the responsibility to represent them all at national level, you would generally prioritise contact with national media, if you were required to. I suppose the question is you give us the reasons for that, but do you ever prioritise any particular media source or newspaper group or anything like that? MR OLEY No. You set out correctly our attitude there, that essentially our unique value is that we can provide national comments for our members, who expect us to do that on their behalf, whereas of course they can deal very adequately with their local media outlets. But in that context, we don't prioritise or exercise any favouritism at all. To be fair, it's perhaps explained by the fact we have a relatively manageable number of media requests. We're rarely deluged, so it is possible to we've found in my experience, it has been possible to deal with all requests equally and we're pleased to do so.
Q. All right. Let me ask you very briefly about hospitality and gifts and so on, personal contacts with the media. You deal with this at question 15 onwards on page 5. If I can summarise it, you say that you have no personal contacts with the media, only the professional contacts you've already described. You don't accept hospitality from the media and never have. You don't provide any hospitality, save for the same basis on which the councillor has already explained. You've never accepted or indeed been offered gifts from the media, and you explain, as the councillor did, that all hospitality accepted by key personnel would have to the recorded presumably on the hospitality register and published on the website but this has never happened, so in your knowledge it's never been agreed. Is that a fair and accurate summary of the position in relation to hospitality, gifts, personal contacts? MR OLEY That's entirely correct. Thank you.
Q. I'm going to ask you both about the issue of whether there should be any limitation on APA or Police Authority personnel leaving to work for the media or vice versa. Mr Oley, you deal with this at paragraph 40, question 40, page 7. First of all, Councillor Burns Williamson has explained that there simply has been no such movement from the APA to newspapers. You were asked whether anyone has ever gone on to work for the News of the World or for any other newspaper and you say no, and vice versa, no one's ever come in the other direction. Do you consider that there should be a limitation on personnel from the APA or from police authorities leaving to work for the media in that way or vice versa? Perhaps you could answer it in turn. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think I've set something out there in I can't remember which question it was.
Q. Just give me a moment. It's page 306 your statement, in response to question 122. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Okay, thank you. Yes. As I said there, I remain open about this one. I think in extreme circumstances, where a member of staff has been privy to some extremely sensitive operational information I think I've suggested there there may be a cooling-off period whereby that member of staff doesn't take up such a role, you know, for six months, a year, maybe. But in general terms, I think as long as someone is professional in what they do and adhere to codes of conduct and terms of employment, then they should be allowed to take up that role.
Q. Mr Oley, do you have a different view or does that accord with your view? MR OLEY That does accord with my view. I mean, I put forward the suggestion that there may be a cooling-off period but only where the staff member concerned has had access to sensitive information which might be of interest to the media but is not and should not be in the public domain. We looked at the similar cooling-off period for people leaving government who could have sensitive information which could be of use to lobbyists, for example. In the same way, there might be a case for a cooling-off period. However, I also said that my personal view is that the level of access which APA and Police Authority staff have to information about operational policing is very limited, and rightly so, in most cases, so it was hard to see examples of cases where they would have the kind of access to information which would be of interest to the media and which could result in information inappropriately being in the media. I think it would have to be on a case-by-case basis and possibly the responsibility of the chief executive to discern that. In terms of the other direction, of journalists joining the APA or police authorities, my view would be that there wouldn't be a case for restriction there beyond the typical restrictions put on our members of staff, that in our case they are vetted, they are subject to certain rules obviously of behaviour and propriety, which, as we set out in our statement for the APA, is certainly very detailed and quite intricate in the sense of propriety. So within those realms and within those bounds, I wouldn't see a case for restriction in terms of journalists coming into Police Authority.
Q. All right. Mr Oley, I'm going to ask you a few final questions about your statement, if I go back LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Can we just, on that topic, ask something else? MS PATRY HOSKINS Of course. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON One of your responsibilities, Mr Burns Williamson, is to chair senior appointments committee meetings for the most senior ranks in West Yorkshire. Do you have, therefore, a view about the extent to which the most senior-ranking police officers should be able to move to the national or, I suppose, local media, but particularly national media, bearing in mind what they have been privy to as ACPO-ranking officers? I don't know whether you've given any consideration to the question. I'm not trying to throw you a very fast ball. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON No, thanks. Actually, when I gave my initial response, I think I was actually referring to operational officers rather than what Mr Oley said, in terms of the world of police authorities and PCCs in the future. So, yeah, in my view, there probably is a case to look at individuals who have held ranks at that level, been privy to very sensitive information, moving to those types of jobs in the media, subject to very strict vetting controls. So there probably is an issue there. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's what you were referring to when you said that this is something which you need to consider? Because it would obviously have to be restricted, time-wise and rank-wise, for restraint of trade purposes. I don't think whether the APA have taken that forward in any way? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON No, it's not something we've looked at in detail at this moment in time, but clearly in response to the question, it is something that probably does need to be considered moving forward. MS PATRY HOSKINS Mr Oley, I want to take you to the final paragraphs of your statement. In response to question 42 you were asked there: "Is there a basis for applying different standards and rules to police staff than those that apply to police officers?" You give us an answer there, but if you look over the page to the top of page 8, you're addressing here whether or not officers should speak to the public via the media, and you say this in your final paragraph there, before the heading "The possible impact of PCCs": "In general, my view would be that the risks of potential implications of mishandling information to the press are so serious that these risks must always be minimised by media interaction being limited to only those who have been fully trained to fulfil that role. I would anticipate that the chief constable and her/his senior colleagues should receive such training." Is there any room for a contra view that essentially staff should be empowered to deal openly with the media on matters of which they have direct knowledge? Can you see the contrary argument? MR OLEY Absolutely. I should say there that the in terms of Elizabeth Filkin's report, I think her recommendations are measured, practical and very welcome and they're very sensible. She obviously takes a far more open view to police contact. I think where my my response is obviously informed rather more by my experience of dealing with issues of national policy, and I think in those cases, on policy issues, it would be only appropriate for the press team or chief constable to be dealing with the media. There are obviously instances at which, on a dealing with crime, a police officer on the ground could give purely factual information, and on that basis I would agree with Elizabeth Filkin's recommendations. I think they're very helpful there. I think, to broaden it out slightly, if I may
Q. Of course. MR OLEY we're clearly facing what I think Bill Bratton has termed "forcing on very interesting experiments with PCCs", and the press will have an absolutely crucial role, and I think press interest in policing will necessarily increase significantly. So we're entering entirely new territory here in general for police contacts with the media and media interest in the police. All I'd say there is that to have some clear guidance, to have clear definitions of off and on the record and to have some sort of national promulgation, if you like, of guidance along the lines of Elizabeth Filkin's report, would be helpful, because we're just entering very unchartered territory. And that the press will have an absolutely essential role, one would hope, in, as always, managing public sorry, influencing and informing the levels of fear of crime and understanding of policing. I think once that enters an electoral debate, those kind of issues can be heightened, and it's absolutely essential that the press are informed and that their contribution to that debate is appropriate. The temptation to raise the fear of crime during elections for PCCs, for example, I think is a very real worry for those of us involved in the service. So the press role is absolutely crucial and really important and can be really constructive, but I think the more guidance in these cases, really, the better.
Q. You've overlapped with what I was about to ask you. In question 45, you were asked about whether any different or further steps could or should be taken to ensure that relationships between police personnel and the media are and remain appropriate. You've described the role of guidance. Is there anything else that you'd like to say in response to that question? MR OLEY As I touched on there, I think the making of payments and corruption and bribery are clearly already offences and quite rightly so, and so it would seem to me that where it is alleged that that is a problem it's important to say we do not have evidence that that is a widespread problem across the service at all, but where it is, there is existing provision, of course, in law to deal with that. Councillor Burns Williamson has talked about a concern within the capacity of a solo police and crime commissioner to fulfil the oversight function that has been undertaken by between 17 and 23 people in the Metropolitan area, has consistently been a concern for police authorities, and that's an area where we hope that PCCs will obviously give and we're sure they will want to give sufficient resources to ensure that there is oversight there. We've set out also in our statement that there should be an independent and inclusive regime for investigating complaints, which we think will be enormously important. I need to touch on my previous points: the flow of information, and the importance of that flow of information will be heightened, I think, by there being electoral interest in it. There will be things which those overseeing the police may want to constrain and hold back, just as there will be successes that they will want to make clear, shout it from the roof tops, really. So I think this whole area needs guidance, if only because the dynamic of elections are about to impact on it and could significant change, I think, the level of police interaction with the press.
Q. Councillor Burns Williamson, I'd like your views on this. Is there anything that you'd like to add? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yeah, well, not to try and repeat too much of what Mr Oley's just said, clearly, the change of the regime from police authorities to PCCs is a radical one and will create a lot of media interest, both locally and nationally, and in fact has already started to do so. So I think our task, as an APA moving forward with the interim body work, is to try and put guidance in place that is going to be helpful for individual PCCs coming into office, and the office of the PCC, because, as I already said, doing away with the 17 members made up of local councillors and independent members, who will come from a range of backgrounds and do a lot of very good work, in my experience, that will be swept away and, you know, I think the actual skills and capacity of the staff within the office of the PCC are going to be different regarding particularly the heightened media interest around the person that is going to be directly elected in every part of England and Wales, with potentially a lot of power for the totality of policing in each area, and, you know, that in itself is a major change to governance of policing in this country which will need to be carefully considered, as to how the interaction with the media takes place on a basis of trying to get the best-informed debate, if you like, and information out into the open, rather than it going down a party political route. MS PATRY HOSKINS Those are my questions for each of you, but I would like to give you both the opportunity to add anything that you would like to or to say anything obviously that might assist Lord Justice Leveson. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON No, I think I've had a good hearing. Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS Mr Oley? MR OLEY Thank you. I think just that we were interested that Elizabeth Filkin one of her concerns and starting premise was that there was not enough information coming from the MPS, whilst there were allegations of inappropriate information. I think just to reaffirm, really, that our view is that the importance of this Inquiry's outcomes and other investigations in providing guidance is so crucial, so that there's not a shutdown of information, actually, that you know, we'd be loath to see a situation returning where police are less in contact with the public, but of course there needs to be guidance so that that contact is appropriate and that those overseeing the police, that they have an open channel. The Government's view is very much that the as you know, the PCCs will be held to account by public opinion and by the local press, and they are the most substantive accountability mechanisms that exist. It's absolutely crucial that the flow of information between the two is sufficient and is well-managed to deliver that, and it would just be a concern if the outcome of this Inquiry actually I'm sure they won't, but results in a shutdown of information. It's all about us identifying correct and appropriate channels of information flow. Thank you very much. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you very much, Mr Oley. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So the prospect of the creation of PCCs leading to a greater politicisation of policing may carry benefits, but carries risks as well? MR OLEY The the charge or prospect of politicisation is one that has been made. I think we would be we would term that a potential. But it's clear that the proposals mean, sir, that the flow of information is absolutely crucial if those PCCs are to be held to account, as the government suggests, by the public and by the local press. The checks and the balances on them are not the kind of checks and balances that we hoped would be within the legislation, and the system relies very much on open flows of information to the public and the press about the activity of the police and the PCC, so we'd be very keen that those flows are open and the information is sufficient. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Just to add to that, yes I mean, it depends which side of the debate you're on, I suppose, with this. Clearly, the government saw it as a priority with regards to the changing of the governance of policing and have been fairly critical of police authorities, which, in my view, has been misguided. But I would say that, wouldn't I, as the chair of a police authority? But on the whole, I think it's worked pretty well in terms of governance of policing, but clearly there is a counter-view in government that they want to see, in their words, more visible accountability through the election of police and crime commissioners, but with that, hopefully through some of the answers we've given, does come, you know, added risk regarding the capacity within one person to undertake that governance role across what are quite large force areas. You know, it remains to be seen whether that will be a success or not. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm not on either side of the debate, as I'm sure you appreciate. MR BURNS WILLIAMSON Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm simply trying to see how that development should impact upon what I suggest as sensible recommendations on the mediation of the relationship between the police and the press, because it's quite clear from what you've said, and indeed from what Mr Malthouse was saying last week, that it isn't going to be the same. It is going to be different. It's difficult enough to think what's happened in the past and what should be done to affect that. On top of that, if you're changing the whole system, to try and visualise how that will itself play out and what should be impressed upon that new system is even more difficult, but I get the clear and distinct message that national and central guidance is going to be critical throughout. Is that a fair sentence to take away from your respective evidence? MR BURNS WILLIAMSON I think it would be very, very useful and important, because clearly there's going to be a sea change at the local level, away from perhaps the role of the chief constable to an elected police and crime commissioner, where, for obvious reasons, the attention will be on that person rather than the chief constable. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MR OLEY I'd agree, sir, absolutely. The guidance sent to you is that the flow of information is appropriate and isn't shout down by other party would be absolutely key, would be very helpful. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you both very much. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you very much indeed. Sir, it's LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, I think that's probably a convenient moment to take a break now. (11.22 am) (A short break) (11.30 am) MR JAY Next is Mr Gull. MR STEWART JOHN GULL (sworn) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY Your full name, please?
A. Stewart John Gull.
Q. Thank you. You've kindly provided us with a statement dated and signed by you on 16 February of this year. Is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?
A. Yes, it is, sir.
Q. Thank you. You are currently a detective superintendent, head of crime services for the States of Jersey Police, and have been in that capacity since July 2010. You joined the Police Service in 1981 and you worked your way up the ranks. You were, after 1998, a senior investigating officer; is that right?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. And you were the senior investigating officer, or perhaps more precisely, in fact, the officer in overall command of Operation Sumac, which was in November and December of 2006; is that right?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. What was your rank at that stage?
A. I was a detective chief superintendent and the head of crime management for the Suffolk Constabulary.
Q. Thank you. You have experience of homicide investigations, and indeed quite recently in Jersey, the murder of six people on the same day, I believe, in August 2011?
A. Yes, there was, sir, August last year. Yes, I led that investigation and continue to do so, and that's a matter of first sub judice coming to trial in August of this year. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm very grateful to you for helping me with this Inquiry and for coming from Jersey to do so. I'm grateful.
A. Thank you, sir. MR JAY You say in paragraph 2 of your statement, which is our page 05481, that as a senior investigating officer, particularly for complex, serious and major crime, you are inevitably in contact with the media. Is that part and parcel of your role as senior investigating officer, as you see it?
A. Absolutely, yes. As a senior investigating officer leading a major serious crime, you would set a number of strategies, for example, around witnesses, house-to-house, CCTV, suspects, and part and parcel of those strategies would be a media strategy, because your relationship and your work with the media was crucial and the relationship was important because the media, of course, would act as a conduit and a voice for you to make appeals, deliver prevention and reassurance messages.
Q. Yes. So the purpose is really twofold, and it's probably self-evident: one, to obtain evidence, if you can, using the media as the means of obtaining it, and secondly, a message of reassurance from the police?
A. Absolutely, yes.
Q. In relation to Operation Sumac, the investigation, you tell us, commenced at the end of 2006, following really a missing persons inquiry, but then it escalated after a second victim was found missing, and the first of the five victims was found murdered on 2 December 2006. So we understand or recall the timeframe, Steve Wright, who eventually received five life sentences for these crimes, was arrested on 21 December 2006; is that correct?
A. I think that was the day he was charged, sir. From recollection, he was arrested on Tuesday, 19 December 2006.
Q. So the really frenetic period, if I can put it in those terms, is a three-week period in December, but obviously in October and November your concerns were, naturally enough, escalating?
A. That's correct, yes. That intense period was December 2006.
Q. You've included in the papers a communication strategy, which is under our tab 18. It's 05486. This is the version which was updated on 17 December 2006, so presumably there were earlier versions in more or less the same form.
A. There were. It didn't change significantly, sir, but of course was a living document, and yes, this is the version from Sunday, 17 December 2006.
Q. Thank you. We can see the three aims, which you've already covered in your evidence. Does this derive from a template or was it conceived of specifically for this operation?
A. No, it wasn't conceived from a template, but I guess it would be fair to say that most major crime inquiry media strategies would look pretty much something like this. This was a as you can see, a document running to four pages and because of the unprecedented nature of this inquiry, all five victims being found during the course of a ten-day period between 2 and 12 December, and because of the intense attention that the inquiry drew, this was perhaps more comprehensive than I would ordinarily expect, but the broad tenor is there as you described, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Well, you have previous examples from high-profile murders, and obviously you take advantage of the experience of your predecessors as officers in charge of investigations?
A. Absolutely, sir. In fact, this investigation was subject to two formal debrief reports led by the National Police Improvement Agency. One was a strategic debrief and the other one was tactical, but actually our relationship with the media and the media strategy sort of features in both, and, as you infer, we were due the Police Service would use documents of this nature to help inform future investigations. MR JAY Owing to the nature of these crimes, as you explain in paragraph 7 of your statement, there was the unprecedented national and international interest descending on the Ipswich area in particular and Suffolk Constabulary as a whole. Were there any particular challenges for the force which this inquiry presented?
A. I think it would be fair to say, sir, that I, and, I guess, the force, found itself in a place that it never expected to be, a relatively safe part of the country, and certainly never having to face events of this nature previously. I'd had some limited experience of Operation Fincham. That was the Cambridgeshire inquiry from August 2002, I think it was, when Holly Wells and Jessica Chapman were both abducted and murdered from Soham, and of course that particular investigation came under significant media attention. So I think when the third victim for this case was found on Sunday the 10th she hadn't been reported as missing, we weren't looking for her I knew what to expect the following day, Monday the 11th, and that's when we really came under the spotlight and intense media pressure, that particular week, and as we now know, the fourth and fifth victims were found on the 12th of December. So yeah, it was a pretty intense time, but it was very much a team effort. Whilst I was the sort of face of the investigation and had overall command, and the talking head, of course, there was a significant team that were supporting me.
Q. You say in paragraph 7 this is on page 05482 that you stuck to tried and tested methods, although they required significant escalation in terms of resourcing. What did you mean by "tried and tested methods", Mr Gull?
A. Trying to keep the media informed and ultimately through the media the local document. As I've already indicated, Suffolk is a very safe country and understandably the fear of crime was significantly increased at this particular time, so I recognised the important role that the media could provide us and the through them, whilst it was difficult, in the face of adversity and facing the discovery of five young murder victims in close succession it was difficult to deliver reassurance and sort of further precision messages. Our best way of achieving that was through the media, and that was what we sought to achieve. It was about being organised. We held a regular press conference every day at 11 am, which would often, for me, last four or five hours. Main press conference, one-to-one questions from the floor, and then one-to-one media interviews. Again, supported by other colleagues, but there were other media commitments throughout the course of the day, and I think from the start of this investigation, as I've indicated, we recognised the important role that they played, so it was about being organised, professional, as open and honest as we could with the media, and I think on the whole we largely achieved that.
Q. In terms of the pressure, though, on your time, you've said that sometimes the sessions lasted four hours, and then on top of that there were one-to-one media interviews. So a significant part of your working day, which I daresay over this period wasn't a 9-to-5 day it was probably a 12-hour plus day was devoted to the media. Do you think, looking back on it, that placed an unfair or excessive burden on your time?
A. That probably wasn't sustainable, certainly, incredibly long working days, but in many respects, as a senior investigating officer, certainly during the early stages of a major crime inquiry, that's what you would expect. Again, I reiterate the point: I was only able to do that because I had a significant team that were supporting me, and in fact there were individual senior investigating officers appointed for each of the five victims, and whilst I worked with them and set the strategy for their investigation, that provided me with the head room to deal with the media and the main interface with the local community but provided them with the head room to get on and investigate the crime and ultimately bring Steve Wright to justice. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The follow-on of that question might be this, Mr Gull: as the officer in charge of the investigation and in overall command of everything, you are one of the most valuable resources that the investigation has. Is the balance, in your judgment, right as to what you have to do for the media as opposed to what others can do? And if you're taken off from doing the strategic work on the direction of the inquiry, does that potentially impair the progress of the inquiry because of the no doubt extremely important media work that you were also having to do?
A. As I've indicated, sir, there was a significant team, as you can imagine, involved in this investigation. Dealing with the media can be extremely demanding, and it can be a real time-stealer, but it is necessary, and I think senior investigating officers recognise the importance of that relationship. But there is a balance to be struck. I had a deputy and he shared some of that responsibility with me. In terms of interface with the media, the chief constable and the assistant chief constable, who was the gold commander, also bore some of that responsibility. So it was very much a team effort. As I say, thankfully these were unprecedented events, and my level of commitment that I was able to afford with the media, whilst achieved through a significant support team, probably wouldn't have been sustainable beyond that sort of initial three-week period. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But this is always going to happen where there are unprecedented events, because it is the fact that the event is unprecedented that attracts the very, very large media attention. I'm sure Mr Jay is going to come on to deal with the question of the problems and the necessary intervention of the Attorney General, but as you deal with that and I'll leave Mr Jay to deal with it in his own time I am still concerned about the impact that having to deal with all that additional complication has upon the time and mental energy that you have to devote to what is your primary purpose, namely the detection of these murders.
A. Yes, sir, but of course the primary role and the detection of those murders will involve a media strategy, and using the media for appeals and securing information and hopefully turning that into evidence. But again, without wishing to repeat myself, it's about professional judgment, it's about balance. I think as long ago back as the inquiries that West Yorkshire led in the early 1980s and Sir Lawrence Byford's reports on our now Home Office major inquiry system, over the years the Police Service has learnt the lessons from inquiries of this nature and hopefully that's why we see the professional response to unprecedented major crime inquiries of this nature. MR JAY You discuss the role of the press office in paragraphs 13 and 14 of your statement, 05483. The media channelled all their requests through the press office. In other words, they didn't make any direct contact with you; is that correct?
A. That's correct, sir, yes.
Q. But you say the media were, generally speaking, positive and content with those arrangements?
A. Yes. Yes.
Q. In paragraph 15, Mr Gull, you say there wasn't any off-the-record briefing. Is this owing to the nature of the investigation, that it wasn't the sort of case where off-the-record briefings could be appropriate, or was it for some other reason?
A. No, I think it was because despite the unprecedented events, we didn't try and deviate from plans and procedures that were tried and tested and we knew that worked. Clearly, they required some significant escalation in terms of capability and capacity, but we stuck to plans that we knew that were tried and tested and worked well. So there wasn't a requirement for off-the-record briefings. We were organised, the press knew what they could expect from us, and hopefully we were able to deliver that.
Q. But paragraph 18 of your statement recognises that in certain circumstances off-the-record briefings might be appropriate, doesn't it?
A. Yes, it does.
Q. And in terms of your experience, what are those circumstances?
A. I can say in 31 years' police service and as a senior investigating officer since 1998, I never felt the need to deal with so-called off-the-record briefings. That said, I understand the broad nature of the term and generally it's about guidance and direction and no more than that, but it's not intended as specific on-the-record comment or commentary.
Q. At paragraphs 20 and 21, you deal with information being released to the media in one circumstance when it shouldn't. The breaching of the embargo in paragraph 21 is not relevant to this Inquiry in any way?
A. No, it's not.
Q. Can I ask you about paragraph 22, where you say you're aware of one occasion where one particular media outlet did secure quite sensitive audio-recorded information from one of only two suspects in respect of this investigation. Can we be clear about this? Apart from Steve Wright, there was another suspect who appeared in the Daily Mirror, didn't he?
A. Yes, he did.
Q. Can I ask you what the information was that you were referring to and which media outlet are you referring to there as well?
A. As you've indicated, sir, there were only ever two suspects in this case. The first man was Tom Stephens and he was formally declared a suspect by the police on Friday, 15 December. I'm just trying to make sure I have the right date. Yes, it was Friday, 15 December 2006. The second suspect and the offender, as we now know him, Steve Wright, was actually identified and declared a suspect some two days later, on Sunday, 17 December 2006. To answer your specific point about this audio recording, it was actually a BBC journalist that recorded had an audio recording with Tom Stephens. I can't remember the exact date, but it was about that period. Tom Stephens was a man who put himself on offer with the media and was very engaging and would basically speak to whoever chose to engage with him, and this journalist had quite a long and detailed interview with him, which he audio recorded, and I think, recognising the significance of that audio recording, unbeknown the interest that the police had in Tom Stephens, she provided that audio recording to the police.
Q. Thank you. So when she undertook her interview, did she know that Mr Stephens was of interest to the police or not?
A. She wouldn't have known that he'd been formally declared as a suspect, no.
Q. We've heard evidence from Mr Harrison about the Daily Mirror interviewing Tom Stephens as well. Did they know that he was of interest to the police?
A. Again, they wouldn't have known that he'd been declared as a formal suspect on that Friday, 15 December.
Q. Do you have any view about the utility or the propriety, even, of the media interviewing someone like Mr Stephens in these circumstances, if the hypothesis is that they don't know he's a suspect?
A. On that Saturday, knowing that we already had a plan in place to actually arrest Tom Stephens on Monday, 18 December, you can perhaps imagine my reaction. It wasn't I didn't think the media were being particularly helpful. There was little that I could do about it because I couldn't afford to show my hand, but it was the as we now understand, it was the Sunday Mirror and Tom Stephens was collected by journalists from that paper and, as I understand it, taken to a hotel just outside Ipswich, where they spent some time interviewing him. And then, of course, the following day there was a significant expose where or under the headline "Ripper Hunt, the suspect", with a big picture of Tom Stephens. Well, as we now know, Tom Stephens had nothing to do with these murders. Whilst he remained on police bail for some six months, until June of 2007, he was subsequently eliminated, but of course had he have been the offender, that would have been somewhat unhelpful. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON There's a big argument about whether he was taken to a hotel or just to a car park. Are you in a position to answer that?
A. I'm not LORD JUSTICE LEVESON When I say there's a big argument, it's been raised here.
A. I'm not familiar with the details, sir. At the time I was informed he was taken to a hotel, but whether it was the car park or inside, I'm unable to clarify. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, I just want to forestall a further correction application. MR JAY So we understand the position precisely, Mr Stephens was volunteering himself to the press; in other words, anybody who might listen to him. Is that fair?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. What was the nature of his claims? Was he making claims that he had, as it were, used the services of some or all of these women?
A. Yes, he'd been with I think the majority of these women, and certainly knew them all, yes.
Q. Okay. There's one other aspect of Mr Harrison's evidence, which we heard, I think, two weeks ago now, about the News of the World using its own surveillance team. Do you know anything about that?
A. I have no knowledge of a surveillance team being used by the News of the World, sir, no.
Q. You explain in paragraph 25 of your statement that some of the media reporting was unhelpful, unjustified and unbalanced. Can I ask you to elaborate on that for us, please, Mr Gull?
A. I think, despite our best endeavours and keeping the media informed in a very timely fashion, in a very open style, I found some of the reporting headlines, particularly in the print media, what I'd describe as sensationalist. In fact, I have a montage of some of the headlines that appeared at about that time, and they include "Ripper is bondage beast", "Ripper Hunt: police analyse murder jigsaw", "Suffolk's Ripper Rampage: he kills them, stores them and dumps them in the dark; how many more has he killed?", "Suffolk Ripper Hunt: find the fat man with the BMW". I remember that particular headline very well, because at the height of these events, it was an unnecessary distraction and I had to spend some considerable time in correcting other members of the media that I wasn't interested in a fat man, as so described, or a blue BMW, but it was a particular an unhelpful distraction, and it took me some time to get the media back on my message, as it were. So I found some of those headlines particularly unhelpful within the context of trying to provide some reassurance to, understandably, a locally concerned community.
Q. You say in your statement that both the chief constable and you recall and understand the Attorney General had to issue repeated warnings to the media about responsible reporting?
A. Yes.
Q. Is that correct?
A. Yes, that's correct.
Q. Can you recall how many such warnings came from the Attorney General's office?
A. I can't recall the exact number. I believe it was one. It may have been two, sir.
Q. It probably isn't necessary to identify the press titles who are responsible, but first of all, are we talking about the regional press or the national press?
A. It's the national media, sir.
Q. And which sections, if any, or was it across the board?
A. Across the board, yes.
Q. May I try it this way: are we talking about what used to be called, perhaps still is, the broadsheet press or not?
A. No, sir, no, we're not.
Q. You say there was a challenge pre-trial by the defence team. So that we understand it clearly, they argued that there was an abuse of process, that Mr Wright's fair trial rights had been undermined by this reporting?
A. Yes, as I recall it, and in particular about whether these proceedings could be heard locally. Myself and the prosecution team felt that this should be a trial that's heard locally for a range of reasons, but the defence team felt that there had been prejudice because of the media reporting and tried to argue that the case should be heard further afield. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON This is always one of the great problems of these very, very high-profile criminal investigations. It's a general principle that the trial of crimes should be heard where the crime takes place, but that can create problems. Your case was, in fact, tried in Ipswich, wasn't it?
A. It was, sir, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But I personally tried a case where the jury were brought from a different part of the circuit to retain the trial in the area where the offence took place but to use jurors who were not influenced by local vast coverage, which required the device of the trial being nominally heard by a particular Crown Court but in another Crown Court.
A. I recall in this case, sir, both the prosecution and defence team worked together to choose jurors from postcodes outside the immediate Ipswich area, and I think that was the sort of the compromise that was struck in this place. Whether that was right or wrong, of course, is a subjective view, but thankfully we did have quite a strong view that this case should be heard locally and thankfully the trial judge agreed. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The only point I'm seeking to underline, actually to endorse, is the complication that is caused to the proper disposal of criminal trials by unjustified, excessive or unbalanced media reporting.
A. Yes, sir, that's correct. MR JAY Did you have occasion to complain to the PCC or any other body about the reporting, as you saw it?
A. No, sir. As I've indicated, we used my chief constable at the time and the Attorney General just to issue those warnings and that was as far as we went. MR JAY Thank you very much, Mr Gull. Those are the only questions I have for you.
A. Thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Mr Gull, thank you very much indeed for coming.
A. Thank you, sir. MR JAY I think we can move straight to Mr Wallis now. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MR NEIL WALLIS (recalled) LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I think Mr Wallis has given evidence before so I don't think he need be resworn, but you are still under the same oath. MR JAY I think it was 12 December that we met before, Mr Wallis.
A. How could I forget?
Q. May I ask you, please, first of all, to turn up your second statement, which is dated 26 March and runs to 35 pages. Are you content to confirm that this is your true evidence to the Inquiry in relation to the Module 2 questions we've asked of you?
A. Sure.
Q. You've very helpfully given us some headline dates on the first page, page 18311. In terms of your career, we covered it before, on 19 December, but you were deputy editor, I think, of the Sun until 1993. You then became editor of the Sunday People
A. No, I was deputy editor of the Sun and I became the editor of the People in 1998.
Q. Pardon me. Then you joined the News of the World in 2003, and as we know, you left in July of 2009.
A. Yes.
Q. You went on gardening leave
A. Yes.
Q. You'll tell us what happened after that. We touched on it when you gave evidence the first time around. You were asked, first of all, to deal with the nature of your professional relationships with five individuals, and you've given some general background to this, Mr Wallis, at page 18313, where you explain that: "The relationships which I forged over a number of years with the senior figures at New Scotland Yard were established by me in my capacity as an experienced journalist who I believe was respected by those I knew at the highest levels for my insight, knowledge and judgment over a range of issues, which essentially fit under the discipline of public relationships." You say they were relationships which you built up, really, on the back of your own reputation, is it fair to say?
A. Yes, I think the point being that it was a relationship built up not just at my time at the News of the World but before that at the People and before that at the Sun.
Q. So if we were to take just one individual, first of all, Lord Condon, who you refer to on this page, how did your relationship with him start?
A. I think it started because I would talk to his DPA at the time, and we got on well, and I think I met Sir Paul, who's now Lord Condon, of course, through her at functions and it just sort of grew out of what I would be talking to the DPA about, and then I think it was suggested that we meet and we did. And we got on well.
Q. Did you meet over lunch or dinner?
A. Yes. We also met him in his office and we met over dinner several times, yes.
Q. So over the period of his commissionership, which I think lasted for seven years
A. Yes.
Q. approximately how often did you meet him over lunch and dinner?
A. I'm sorry, it's 13, 15 years ago. I
Q. But are we talking a handful of occasions or are we talking
A. Probably a handful.
Q. Did you offer Sir Paul Condon, as he then was, PR advice?
A. I think it's too crude to put it like that, with respect. What would happen is we would meet, we would have conversations, I'd give him my views, and if he found them interesting or if he found them useful, then I was glad. We talked on a number of issues. He had a number of issues going on at the time. But the I mean, for instance, he talked to me about and I was interested because it was him about the scale sorry, he was trying to do two things at the same time in the Met. He was trying to end tenure, which was a very important thing in the Met, whereby effectively an officer would get a job and it was pretty much theirs for life. At the same time, he was tackling serious issues of corruption, and he believed there was a parallel there may be a link between the two. He was in the midst of trying to bring an end to tenure, with the knock-on effect of helping disrupt corruption, and this was being met with a pretty strong dirty tricks campaign amongst certain elements of the police who didn't want it. He had particular problems, I remember, with the Flying Squad at I think it was called Rigg Approach or somewhere like that. So we would talk about those issues, and as a result of that, one of the things I said to him was: "You should come out with it. You should tell London. You should tell Britain how big a problem this is, that it's not just you sort of tinkering around for financial reasons, that there it is a problem." So we did a very big setpiece, exclusive interview, me on him, in his office, that was a splash and spread in the Sun, followed up BBC, Guardian, et cetera, places like that, that spelt out the fact that he had they feared they had 2-300 corrupt officers in the Met and he was determined to root it out. And so it was a big PR campaign for him. He was setting his stall out to the nation but also to the corrupt officers and also to the sort of local government in London, to say, "This is a big problem. It isn't minor tinkering, as it's been led to suggest; it is serious."
Q. So you were advising him, presumably, how best to implement a particular strategy you had in mind? You were advising him as to really the publicity of it, weren't you?
A. I had an opinion how he could make something that was very important to him accessible to the Great British public.
Q. Did he specifically ask for your advice in these areas or ask you just offer it?
A. I couldn't tell you how it came about, other than we would be sat say we would be sat at dinner. The logical big subject of the time was tenure and police corruption, and so we would talk about it in general terms. He wouldn't talk about specifics ever, of course, but in the context he was talking to someone who represented the biggest daily newspaper in the country and then, later, the editor of another major circulation tabloid he was interested in my views. Chicken or egg, I have no idea.
Q. So was it part of the purpose then of these occasions, these lunches or dinners, that you would end up giving him media/strategic advice?
A. It sounds the way you're putting it makes it sound very formal. It was more that we would meet, whatever was the subject of the day would come up, and I would tell him how the perception would be from my newspaper's point of view and any view I had about what he might want to do to spread that word. So for instance, I think he mentioned in his evidence that I got him together with the editor of the paper so that we could put together a campaign that fitted in with a major strategy he wanted at the time, and so, as a result of that meeting, he got the backing of the biggest-selling daily newspaper in the country behind something that was very important to him.
Q. In terms of what you were seeking to get out of this you've mentioned the setpiece interview you had with Sir Paul Condon. It's at page 18313. Is it that sort of thing which was the quid pro quo for the lunch and the advice you were giving?
A. This was a sort of corporate/strategic relationship. It wasn't about trying to get a quick hit at a story. For instance, I think one of the things I mentioned elsewhere is the Police Bravery Awards. The Police Bravery Awards, which I happen to think is a great thing, got off the ground because of Sir Paul Condon. We, as the Sun, were a feisty, controversial organisation. We were quite happy to take a whack at anybody and we were seen in that way. We were trying to reach out to the police establishment, if you like, and to make them go along with an idea and it was going to be a struggle. Because of our relationship with Sir Paul, who realised that there may be more to us than simply the tabloid cliche, he became willing to back it and said, "Come what may, the Met will support this." I was then able to go to the head of the Police Federation, who also had a good trusting relationship with Sir Paul, and together, as a result of that, we were able to jointly go around the rest of the forces of Britain to say, "Sir Paul and the Met are backing this. Why don't you? If you need to, have a conversation with the Met about why they're backing it." And as a result, something is still going I think 14, 16 years later.
Q. So the benefits, then, for the newspaper you were working for weren't instant benefits
A. No.
Q. in terms of a story which would immediately mature; it was far more long-term strategic?
A. Precisely, and that was the way it continued. Now, let's be correct about it: if they sat there and said, "Oh, incidentally, such-and-such a thing, do you want to know that or do you want that?" then on occasions I daresay that might have happened. I don't remember any, but the relationship was about a strategic relationship.
Q. You say at the bottom of page 18313
A. Can you tell me what page
Q. I'm terrible sorry. You may not have it in the same incarnation.
A. No, I don't have it in the same way.
Q. It's page 3 of 35.
A. Right.
Q. "The News International newspapers were always pro-police, pro-Army and pro-law and order." Did they ever write pieces which were critical of the police?
A. Oh God, yes. Of course.
Q. Thank you. Lord Stevens next, which is the next page. It looks, from the times you've given, like you probably met Lord Stevens first in about 1997, because he became
A. I thought it was 1998 that he joined the Met?
Q. He was deputy sorry, he was deputy in 1998, and he became Commissioner in 2000.
A. That's right.
Q. You were previously introduced to him by Mr Fedorcio. Was that over a meal?
A. 15 years ago. I don't know. Probably.
Q. How was your relationship with Lord Stevens fostered? Was it, in other words, the same way as your relationship with Lord Condon was fostered, namely over meals?
A. Yes. I mean, initially, but as time developed, it became a more active relationship than it did with Sir Paul Condon, but it would be over meals, phone calls, occasional drink.
Q. Did you give him strategic advice in relation to his application to be Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police?
A. In the same way as I talked about before with Sir Paul Condon, we would be talking, and if an issue came up, we would discuss it and I would give him my view. I had, it is fair to say, quite strong views about what was happening at the Met. I cared about the Met a lot. The MacPherson report was pretty catastrophic for the Met, and whoever succeeded Sir Paul Condon, it was going to be a very, very important appointment for the Met. As Joe Citizen, never mind as a journalist, I had quite strong views about it.
Q. So if we unpick that, he presumably was your preferred candidate, wasn't he?
A. I thought he was the best candidate of the candidates I was aware of, yes.
Q. Did you give him advice as to how best to advance his application?
A. I did as best I could.
Q. Did he seek that advice or did you simply offer it?
A. Again, in the same way as I mentioned before, it sort of grew like Topsy, I guess.
Q. Was it advice given over lunches and dinners and by phone?
A. Yes.
Q. Did this go on over a significant period of time or not?
A. Well, the relationship with him continued throughout his time as the Commissioner.
Q. Yes, this is before he becomes Commissioner
A. Yes, sorry, yeah. Absolutely, yes.
Q. I've been asked to put this question to you: did you see or do you see any conflict between your role in reporting objectively about the police on the one hand and giving advice to Lord Stevens and similar people on the other hand?
A. Sorry, will you phrase that again?
Q. Yes. Did you see any conflict between your role in reporting objectively about the police on the one hand, and this advice-giving role on the other hand?
A. Not at all. You have to understand I'm sure you do, but, you know, journalism and newspapers are like lawyers. You know, they are they can take they can be talking to someone and have a view, but it doesn't mean to say that they then don't have a different conversation with somebody else, you know, depending on which side has hired you. So I would have a personal view and I would say to whoever I was talking to: "I think this." If a hoofing great story came along that wasn't convenient to that, first and foremost I'm a journalist and the hoofing great story went in the paper.
Q. I just wonder, though, Mr Wallis, was it simply altruism, or, put in other terms, your perception that Stevens was the best man, which caused you to assist him in his wish to become the Commissioner, or was it because you thought it was in the better interests of the paper you were working for at the time?
A. I think that's a perfectly fair question, to be honest. What I knew about John Stevens was that he had a view about how police and press should interact. He had a strong view that was based, at least in part, on his experiences in Ireland which I knew a lot about, because I'd served there his experiences in Northumbria which, again, I knew about because I've lived there and also because of what we had seen with Sir Paul Condon, MacPherson, et cetera, et cetera, and the relationship between the press and the Metropolitan Police. He had a view that (a) I agreed with and (b) was also convenient for him and was also good for newspapers. So, if you like, the opposite of a perfect storm. A perfect sunburst.
Q. Once Lord Stevens was in post, which I think was in the year 2000
A. Yeah.
Q. was there a sense, though, that you felt that you had obtained that for your man of course, his own qualities would have been far more important, no doubt, but you understand what I mean and for that reason you had a fast-track to him?
A. I find it terribly flattering that you think I could appoint the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, and so it should be. But no, I was glad that you know, I one of the difficulties in this is we are talking about police, here, now, and I understand that, but we could be having this conversation parallel about politicians. We could be having this conversation about showbiz personalities. You know, this wasn't my life. This was a bit of my life, you know. We could be having the same conversation about journalism. What happened was that this was a guy who was going for it. I gave him some input. He succeeded. I thought, "Happy days, because this has worked out all right and hopefully there will be a better moving forward way for the media and the Metropolitan Police." That benefited my newspaper, so it was good all round. I similarly felt, at the time, that there was a better relationship we were working on, for instance, at the Home Office. All right? I didn't necessarily think that that was of instant benefit to me. I got on with Alastair Campbell. It wasn't just a benefit to me that the you know, you were able to talk to Alastair Campbell in the press, if you see what I mean. All I'm saying is my life is not about the MPS.
Q. No, because you're giving us the impression that contact with politicians, perhaps with civil servants, was frequent, and that was your way of being as a journalist. Is that fair?
A. I think that any journalist is about their contacts. You know, if Nick Davies was sat here, I'm sure even Nick Davies would accept that journalism is about contacts, and, you know, you work on those contacts and you work on it not just for the instant hit. You take a long view if you're going to be successful. You know, whoever has been feeding Nick Davies his stories on the phone hacking side is not someone he met last week. It's someone who he's got to know, who had an agenda, and he's worked with that person and it's worked through. That's the way successful journalism works, you know. It's how Seymour Hersh broke the New York Times Pentagon papers.
Q. Once Lord Stevens was Commissioner, you tell us that you maintained contact with him. About how often were you in contact with him over the phone?
A. My lawyer was asking this, and the truth is: do I remember? Every week, every month, twice a day. It just varied depending on what was going on. Sometimes I'd ring him, sometimes he'd ring me. It was just you know, it was whatever happened at the time.
Q. Was the purpose of the calls for him to continue to seek advice from you as to how best to present a particular policy or strategy?
A. Well, you've spoken to Sir John and he'd characterise his reasons for having conversations with me himself. Sometimes he asked my views about things.
Q. Was this on matters of policy and strategy?
A. Yes, never operational.
Q. No. And those conversations were, therefore, off the record, were they?
A. Yes.
Q. Did the substance of what he told you on these occasions ever find its way into the newspaper you were working for?
A. If he wanted and I was interested because that's one of the other things that comes into this, of course. Let's be real. I worked for tabloid newspapers. Quite a lot of police policy, et cetera, et cetera, is simply not of interest to tabloid newspapers. Now, one of the things I would attempt to do was to find a way to make that accessible if it was relevant, but occasionally he might have a view about something that might make a story or a feature or whatever.
Q. Did he ever assist you in relation to the stories which were of greater interest to your readership? I'm not suggesting for one moment that he gave you operational information you've just told us he didn't but did he assist you in any way with those stories?
A. I'm not sure what you mean, I'm afraid.
Q. Well, the sort of stories which particularly featured in the News of the World, whether they be sting operations or flowing from the activities of Mazher Mahmood or whatever.
A. I see. You asked me earlier about what was the benefit, if you like. One of the benefits of my relationship, without question, with senior police officers is that if I rang and it would almost always be via Dick Fedorcio, but if I rang one of them and said, "We have this situation that we think the Met ought to get involved with", then they would take that seriously, because they know that I'm a guy who is not going to mess them about. You know, when you were referring earlier to specific stories, that wasn't my job. I was the deputy editor. We have a crime reporter. We have a news editor. We have other people whose job it was to go and make specific stories. That wasn't my job. So, you know, it would work out pretty much as suited them, really.
Q. But when you contacted him over such stories, what was your purpose? As you rightly say, others within the paper were writing the stories
A. Oh, so sorry, a better example that I can remember it isn't about John Stevens, but it was during his reign, I think is that when we had a story that a drug addict prostitute was selling the virginity of her daughter, 13-year-old daughter, and this sort of came to a head on a sort of Friday night or something like that. Because of my relationships with senior officers at the Met, I was able to, if you like, scramble from with the Met to say to them, "We really we can just go ahead with this and do this story, but we think the right thing is that you're there and this child is protected", and because of that relationship, I was able to alert you know, I'm taken seriously. So they said, "Look, this is a good guy, this will be genuine, this won't be fly-by-night, so we should get actively involved here." So they not only scrambled the appropriate police team; they also scrambled a local authority, who the police brought along, so that the child was then taken into care. So what I'm saying is that there is that sort of thing. The other I think I mentioned another example
Q. The one you've just
A. Selling the baby
Q. The one you've just given, it was Mr Yates you spoke to?
A. Yes, but my point being that this would have been about what John Yates was sorry, that John Stevens was the Commissioner. John Yates, I think, was at SCD, and although it may have been John I ended up talking to, part of the reason John took the call, then or even earlier, was because I knew I was taken seriously by Sir John Stevens and Dick Fedorcio, et cetera.
Q. So what you just explained to us if we look at page 6 of your statement, our page 18316, when you say, more or less in the middle of the page, you very much regarded it as part of your duties as the deputy editor of the News of the World to forge and maintain relations with senior police officers in the interests of your readership, is what you've just been telling us, the example you've given us, really part and parcel of that?
A. Yes, I mean that's a terribly unfashionable thing to say, but, you know, I did have some personal views as well. You know, I did care about this stuff. I was very deeply interested in this stuff. And also, you know, I was on the Editors' Code Committee at the time. Before that, I'd been on the PCC, and, you know, being able to put what I knew the police perception was to use in those circumstances I also felt was useful. For me, as a member of the Code Committee, to understand where the police come from on such-and-such a subject I thought was useful.
Q. Do you feel that you had more of Lord Stevens' ear than did your competitors? By which I mean, more specifically, editors and deputy editors in the tabloid press.
A. How could I possibly know that? I've not a clue. I'm interested in me.
Q. You might get sense that, Mr Wallis, from the nature of your contacts with
A. I think John Stevens was a pretty friendly guy, actually.
Q. Yes, but the question was more: from your perception, was he equally friendly with everybody or was it owing to the way in which
A. I'd rather hope he was more friendly to me than anybody else, but in honesty, I haven't a clue. I mean, when you look at his hospitality register, as far as I can see, he wasn't mean in his charms, as it were. I know he got on very well, for instance, with Paul Dacre.
Q. Of course, unless you were present at particular discussions he had
A. Quite.
Q. with Paul Dacre, you don't know what they discussed.
A. Not a clue.
Q. But do you feel he was looking to you in a special sort of way for the sort of media advice you've been referring to or do you think he asked other editors for similar advice, insofar as you can tell us?
A. I watched him give evidence. He said he did. I have no reason not to doubt that. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You have no reason to doubt it, you mean?
A. Didn't I say that? I'm sorry. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You said you had no reason not to doubt it.
A. Well, what I meant was I did think he talked to lots of people. MR JAY I think what you're telling us then is that we mustn't be focusing too much on you, that Lord Stevens may have been using others as a sounding board for his
A. May have been. But, to be fair to me, I have to say that you know, Sir John hadn't been in London for a long time when he came back. I had, like probably many other journalists I was the deputy editor of the Sun at the time. The Sun had just been part of electing a Labour government, a major part of this. We were generally quite well connected to the new Labour government. It was a very interesting time and there was a lot of interaction in every area between the press, government, Whitehall, et cetera, et cetera, and, you know, I he John Stevens mentioned, for instance, Lord Ali, me introducing him to Lord Ali, because I knew that he was anxious to widen his circle of acquaintance and of understanding of different people. Lord Ali is an old friend of mine and so I introduced them and they got on very well.
Q. What did you mean, Mr Wallis, when you said that you I think then as deputy editor of the Sun were part of the coming to power of the new Labour government? I can't remember exactly whether you put it in those terms. We can check the transcript.
A. No, I don't know what phrase what I meant was that at the time there was the tremendous excitement of 1997 when, after many years of Tory rule, a Labour government came in. As part of that, a major part of the Blair government, the new Labour government, had been the courting of News International, and a major part of that was the declaration of the Sun in support of Tony Blair on the day that the campaign was announced. There was a lot of interaction between the new Labour government and the Sun.
Q. Unsurprising, because of the support the Sun had given to the government in its campaign, or the Labour Party in its campaign?
A. Quite. It was a daily contact. I edited, I think, for the first three weeks of that campaign and it was a daily conversation.
Q. We move to Lord Blair. It's fairly clear from the tone of your statement we're now on page 7, our page 18317 that your relationship with him was a rather different type
A. Yes.
Q. than your relationship with Lord Stevens. To put it bluntly, you didn't really get on with him, did you?
A. I didn't not get on with him, other than, you know, he was a man who decided he wasn't you know, he took a different view from John Stevens. He decided that he wasn't interested in the views of either the tabloid or mid-market press. He was a very cerebral man. He saw himself very much as somebody who didn't want to pursue those sorts of contacts, so, you know, he didn't.
Q. Did you try to
A. Yeah.
Q. And were you rebuffed?
A. Well, we went for I think we had a dinner. He came into the office once. By then, John Stevens John Stevens cast a very long shadow, and we had already done the deal to make him the chief, and Sir Ian didn't like it.
Q. Can we come to that in a moment?
A. Yes, sure.
Q. You're running ahead, Mr Wallis.
A. Sorry.
Q. I think we're still at a slightly earlier point. I mean, you suggest that Lord Blair was more in step with New Labour. That's two pages beforehand.
A. Yeah.
Q. Of course you're not saying that he was in any way associated with New Labour; that's just how it appeared to you. Is that fair?
A. I think he was very in step with New Labour, yeah.
Q. Was his failure to establish good relationships with senior editorial figures in the tabloid press partly responsible for the negative press he received from them?
A. I would if you take away the word "tabloid" in that, I think you're probably right, yes.
Q. So it applied to, really, everybody then?
A. Yes, he was a very, very bad communicator. He was how can I put it? It was no surprise to many people when his career ended as it did.
Q. You do say you met for lunch on one occasion with Mr Myler and Mr Fedorcio. That was in early 2007. I think we've seen the record of that earlier in this Inquiry. That was to reflect that Mr Myler had become the editor
A. Yes.
Q. And the purpose of that was merely to introduce him and perhaps see if a better relationship could be started, was it?
A. Yes.
Q. When you say that Sir Ian did not like the fact that his predecessor was featuring in the News of the World in the column headlined "The Chief", which was ghostwritten by you, how do you know that?
A. There was a bit of gossip about it. It had been around, may have even been in a gossip column. But when we actually met him I was trying to recollect how this happened, but one day he ended up in our office. I think he may have been visiting another newspaper and had been invited, if you like, by whoever was accompanying him, to do a tour of the building, and he ended up on our floor. I have a vague idea Tarique Ghaffur was with him no, that may have been a separate moment. But he came in and it came up in conversation and he said, "I don't know how you can call him the chief he's not the chief any more; I am", which was vaguely funny, I thought.
Q. You presumably had chosen the title "The chief", as you'd ghostwritten the piece? You must have had a hand in that, hadn't you?
A. Well, I was consulted, yeah.
Q. You were probably being deliberately provocative, weren't you?
A. No, not me.
Q. Not you?
A. Not me.
Q. At all events, there's some gossip which indicates that Sir Ian Blair was not best pleased, which, I suppose, is hardly surprising, really, is it?
A. No. Mischief is a significant component of newspapers, particularly tabloid newspapers. But, having said that, can I just say this: when 7/7 happened, for instance, after 7/7 and a lot of things happened over 7/7 and 21/7 in particular. When it was all folding in on the Met and, you know and for me, this sort of summed up the sort of situation. It was felt that he needed to give an interview to sort of set the Commissioner's position, right, to stamp himself on it, yeah? So it was decided that that interview would be with the News of the World. It was going to be on a Saturday morning. So we sent along Lucy Panton and we sent along Stuart Kuttner. Very wise, very serious, very experienced journalists, them both. Stuart was he had been around for many, many years, and like me, he had a deep, deep interest in current affairs and home affairs. They went to do the interview and this was absolutely set up as a PR coup for him, right? He was going to set out his stall to explain what was happening and how he felt, et cetera, et cetera, and it was a totally done deal. We knew what we were getting and we were absolutely happy that we were effectively playing a role, as it were, for the Met to get on the front foot. And I remember Stuart Kuttner ringing me on the back bench that's the bit where we sat on a Saturday as we edited and saying, "You're never going to believe what he's just said about this, about the moment that he was told that Jean Charles de Menezes was an innocent man." And he said, "He described it as when they told him, Ian Blair said it was like a 'Houston, we've got a problem' moment." It was a wonderful example of his ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. He had absolutely no work to do on this, but his arrogance and his views, as it were, regarded that sort of phrase over the killing of an innocent man "Houston, we have a problem". And you know, we're journalists, so we stuck that in as a headline and it didn't go down too well.
Q. Mm. We know and you touch on this on the last page of your statement, so I take it out of sequence from the way you dealt with but I think it's relevant to the chronology that there was dysfunction in the management board at the time, certainly between 2006 and 2008. People were briefing against Sir Ian Blair, but you say: "I can say categorically that such briefing did not take place through [you]."
A. That I did the briefing? Sorry?
Q. No, what your statement says: "I can say categorically that such briefing [that's to say briefing against Sir Ian] did not take place through [you]." Is that right?
A. Yeah, there were plenty of people who were briefing against Sir Ian. He didn't need me to brief him.
Q. Do you know who was?
A. I think it's pretty easy to I think Tarique Ghaffur ended up suing him. Andy Hayman resigned. I don't think it's sort of too difficult to work out this was an unhappy management board. I mean, the Tarique Ghaffur situation was just openly playing out on a you know, primarily, frankly, in the broadsheets, on an almost daily basis. So if two of his most senior assistant constables either sue him or quit, that would suggest that things weren't a happy ship.
Q. The two men you've just named, did they ever approach you with information?
A. No.
Q. We'll come to Mr Hayman. We haven't asked you about the contact you had with Mr Ghaffur, but you had a reasonably good relationship with Mr Hayman, didn't you?
A. Yeah.
Q. He never came to you with information call it leaks, but it doesn't really matter, let's just call it information about what was happening on the management board?
A. No. I mean, it was what was happening in the Met was the talk of ranks. The Met was, at the time, in severe troubles, and, you know I mean, I don't have to remind you there were the stories about how Ian Blair bugged conversations with cabinet ministers. You know, there was just this endless selection of stories
Q. It was just once, with the Attorney General, to be fair, Mr Wallis.
A. Oh, was it?
Q. That's covered in his book, although we didn't ask him evidence about this in this Inquiry.
A. Did you ask him how many times he did it?
Q. I didn't ask him anything about it either way, Mr Wallis, but surely the point might be said to be this: that it was the tabloid press, in particular, which led to Sir Ian Blair's downfall?
A. I think you're reading the wrong newspapers if you think that. Sir Ian Blair's downfall was brought about by the broadsheets and the middle market. I mean, we joined in as best we can because we don't like to be left out, but the decision to fire Ian Blair by Boris Johnson, you know, with the acquiescence of the government of the time wasn't driven by the tabloid press at all.
Q. In terms of advising
A. Although the Daily Mail may claim that they played a part.
Q. Yes, okay. In terms of advising someone in Sir Ian Blair's position, the message one would have to get across is that one has to, as it were, play the game with the media, otherwise you will end up at the wrong end of it? That's right, isn't it?
A. No, I think you're misrepresenting that, to be honest. There's a memo based in here somewhere about somebody described me as a good friend of the Met and occasional critic. And the truth of the matter is you never anybody who ever thinks they have a sort of free pass from the press is fooling themselves. It's a symbiotic relationship, but it is one that always can go both ways. So Ian Blair couldn't have rescued himself with the press simply by buying us drinks and being friendly. What he needed was some good advice to say, "Look, this is an issue. This is what you need to do about the issue. If you got that wrong, don't be self-justifying about it. Face up to it. This is how you should face up it to it. These are some PR leads, if you like. These are some attitudes you could strike. These are some things you could do to try to repair that damage." One of those, without doubt, would be sitting down with whether it's Paul Dacre, Ian McGregor at the Telegraph, Andy Coulson or Colin Myler at the News of the World, and explaining to them where he was coming from, what his thoughts were, and taking their view about, you know, what he was doing that you know, in a way, newspapers have constituencies, you know? The Sun has a distinct constituency. So when its editor speaks, it's telling you what the perception is the editor's perception of what that constituency thinks. So what you can take out of it is if I want to reach out to that constituency, then I need to take this, that or the other into account.
Q. That's helpful. Thank you. May I move on to Sir Paul Stephenson. This is our page 18318, your page 8.
A. Yes.
Q. Where you explain that he really follows the same blueprint as your relationship with Sir John Stevens. From the dates you've given, it appears that you probably grew to know him in 2006, 2007. Would you agree?
A. I think that's what he said, yeah.
Q. Did you give him any advice in relation to his "campaign" to become Commissioner?
A. I basically revert to all my previous answers. You know, if we were together and the subject came up, I would tell him my view. I certainly I will certainly have made it plain to him whether he took any notice of it, of course, is an issue for him, but I would certainly have made it known to him that I thought John Stevens' relationships and attitudes and policies towards the media were more successful than Ian Blair's were, but then again, you'd have to be a blind man living on an island not to know that Ian Blair's relationships with the media had been a disaster.
Q. Yes, but did you give him any advice in relation to his campaign to be Commissioner?
A. I would pass my opinion that, you know, he was plainly a proper non-political copper, and that out there, amongst the great troops, you know he's got, what, 30,000 police officers and 50,000 employees in total? that that may be what they're looking for, rather than a sort of more politically correct and government-nuanced approach from the previous Commissioner. I also knew from my relationships in the government circles that they had realised that Ian Blair's commissionership had gone down the Swanee.
Q. So you knew then, Mr Wallis, what would go down well with government and you advised Sir Paul Stephenson as to how best to improve his chances of being Commissioner, didn't you?
A. If it came up, he asked my opinion, and I have opinions, so I wouldn't have been hesitant about sharing them.
Q. No, I'm sure not. Was this advice given over dinner, in a wine bar or in his office?
A. I think he details some dinners and drinks we have had over the years.
Q. Was your contact with him greater before or after he became Commissioner?
A. Do you know what? I don't know the answer to that.
Q. Because I'm asked to put to you this: that when you say in your statement that you estimate you spoke to him on average about once a month over the phone, that in fact there were very few such calls. You only saw him once at New Scotland Yard, I think in the officer's mess, when Mr Coulson was present. Would that be about right?
A. I don't know.
Q. I think what is behind the question is that, with respect, you're exaggerating the level and nature of your contact with Sir Paul Stephenson. Would you agree with that?
A. I think what I've put in my statement was my memory of it. If his memory of it is different, then that's unfortunate.
Q. When he became Commissioner, did you give him informal advice on strategic or policy matters at his request?
A. I revert to my previous answer, basically, that if we were having a conversation, a conversation of the day came up. I'm not backward about coming forward with my opinions.
Q. You said once you left the News of the World and secured your contract with Scotland Yard this was in, I think, the late summer, probably September 2009 you would speak to him on a more frequent basis. About how often was that?
A. What, once I'd started a contract with the Met, do you mean?
Q. That's right.
A. Well, the whole thing was a very ad hoc thing. I would occasionally I would be called and asked to look at a specific thing. Other times it may be a quick question. There might be five phone calls in a day or then nothing for a week, you know, from all parties who I would be in contact with.
Q. Was it always about how best the Met should present itself to the world at large, in particular the media?
A. There was an element of presentation, yes. I think in the main, frankly, a lot of what my ability and attraction for them was what they had was a very good corporate PR set up. What they had was a very good sort of functioning level press office. If you make a phone call into the press office, it will get answered, someone will be able to help you, and that functions perfectly well. I was quite often much more of the sort of crisis management type conversation, and that was my value to them. It was: "This is happening. How do you think this is being perceived in the rest of the press?" So I would say, "I think if you take that route, that is going to happen. My guess is the upshot of this incident will be this." And so a lot of what I would be doing would be saying to them: "This is my take on how this event is (a) going to be received and (b) will play out." So, for instance, a very basic sort of thing: if there was a crisis about something or other, basically if you can get to the weekend and it's not in the Sunday papers, then it's over. You know, it's just the rhythm of newspapers and explaining to them how newspapers worked at a very senior level. You know, just the life and death of a story, if you like.
Q. Yes, that's helpful. So you were able to advise on that, and of course you had the deep understanding of what your readers wanted and understood, and you also had an insight into what politicians wanted and understood. Is that fair?
A. I think so, yeah.
Q. Okay. May I move on to Mr Yates?
A. Can I just point out, though, Mr Jay
Q. Of course.
A. that I've been at deputy editor level since the mid-1990s, the early 1990s, for 20-odd years. This is what I do. I understand newspapers and I understand mass market newspapers, and that's, you know, a particular area of expertise. And so I do know what works in those areas and I have a lot of experience of it.
Q. Thank you. Mr Yates. I think Mr Yates told us that he got to know you in the late 1990s. He probably put the date at 1998. Would you, broadly speaking, agree
A. I couldn't remember how I met him, to be honest. I didn't know I knew he was a staff officer to somebody, but I didn't know whether it was Paul Condon or John Stevens.
Q. You describe him as "an extremely bright, highly regarded officer from a young age who was, in many people's eyes, destined to become Metropolitan Police Commissioner". So that presumably includes your eyes as well, does it, Mr Wallis?
A. I certainly found him an immensely impressive bloke, yeah. Very clever.
Q. Did you give him strategic
A. And it was also sorry, just to say, it was also very clear too that those around him, like John Stevens, regarded him very, very highly.
Q. Yes. Did you give him strategic advice as to how best he should place himself, as it were, to secure that ambition?
A. No, because I don't really know how internally the system works in the Met. You know, you get to Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner level and frankly, it's a political exercise. Whether a lot of things come into being Commissioner of the Met, and not least of that is knowing your way around Whitehall, you know, political parties, the Mayoralty. How you become a deputy assistant commissioner or assistant commissioner is a much more formalised thing within the Met and so I've no idea.
Q. But did he ever ask for your advice, at least, as to how he should comport himself to achieve, step by step, this ambition?
A. As far as I could see, he didn't need to because he was the Met's high flyer.
Q. Maybe he didn't, but did he ever ask it?
A. I don't think so.
Q. It must have been something that he discussed with you from time to time. Didn't he?
A. Um I I don't
Q. It's only natural, Mr Wallis. You're
A. Well, yes, inasmuch as only in a very minor way, though. I mean, he didn't sort of sit and take from some you know, from me, how to manoeuvre through the chicanery of climbing the greasy pole of the Metropolitan Police. I mean, certainly he would have heard me having views about whether it's public affairs or what I knew about other people.
Q. Yes, but you knew a lot about the greasy pole of politics, police, indeed newspapers. You knew it all, didn't you? You were in a position to help him on these matters, weren't you?
A. I certainly know about the greasy pole of newspapers. If he sought my advice, I would willingly have given it.
Q. Okay. You give an example about providing him with PR advice. This was when he was the ACPO lead on crimes of rape.
A. Yeah.
Q. He enlisted your help to formulate an anti-rape campaign sponsored by the News of the World in order to publicise the good work which he was carrying out. Was he named in the article?
A. Mm.
Q. So this was a means, perhaps, of showcasing him, amongst other things, wasn't it?
A. No. I mean, this is a great example actually you've touched on here. John was very frustrated over what he was very, very engaged with, which was to re-examine the issue of rape and rape investigation within the Met. It was a hobby horse of his. He cared about it very much. I remember there was a notorious Gloucester sorry, the Grosvenor House Hotel alleged a sort of rape case that the News of the World ran very large, and I remember he was distinctly unhappy about the fact that the prominence we were giving this and he was very passionate about what how big an issue this was and how the police were generally failing nationwide. So one of the incidents, for instance, was he I remember having a conversation with him about what could he do to make this more of a to raise the profile of this nationwide, for instance. I remember we discussed whether or not he could do some sort of poll that would be able to, on a force-by-force basis, show how many rapes allegations of rape, how many convictions, seniority of officers involved, how big the anti-rape team was, et cetera, et cetera, and my point being that that would give him a story in every county about it, because it varies enormously from what the Met does, which he was largely behind, so I remember him telling me once that some force, I think in the north somewhere, had a sergeant and two PCs, all male, who were the people who investigated rape. He thought that was shocking. MR JAY Is that convenient? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. 2 o'clock. Thank you very much. (1.03 pm)


Gave a statement at the hearing on 02 April 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 1 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 02 April 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 2 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 02 April 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 3 pieces of evidence
Gave a statement at the hearing on 02 April 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 1 pieces of evidence
Gave statements at the hearings on 12 December 2011 (PM) 02 April 2012 (AM) and 02 April 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 3 pieces of evidence


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