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Metropolitan Police defends its handling of arrest of nine journalists on The Sun


By The Drum Team, Editorial

February 14, 2012 | 2 min read

The Metropolitan Police has issued a statement defending its arrest of journalists working at the Sun.

The statement, which follows criticism of the force and the manpower that it is exerting in leading its investigation into newspaper practices, led yesterday by The Sun’s associate editor Trevor Kavanagh.

The Police statement described its three investigations as being ‘extremely difficult and complex’, adding that it included the scrutiny of ‘millions of pieces of documentation’ alone.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations currently under investigation and the significant number of victims, the MPS does not believe that the level of resources devoted to the three inquiries is in any way disproportionate to the enormous task in hand,” it continued.

The statement also outlined the number of officers working on the three investigations; “There are 169 officers and staff currently deployed to the three linked investigations. Of these, 91 officers and staff are deployed to Operation Weeting; 61 to Operation Elveden; and 16 to Operation Tuleta with a Detective Chief Superintendent overseeing the three investigations. These resources are constantly reviewed and where they relate to corrupt payments to police officers the IPCC have oversight.

“The majority have come from Specialist Crime; Territorial Policing and the Directorate of Professional Standards. At no stage has any major investigation been compromised as a result of these deployments.”

The statement then proceeded to highlight the attests of the nine journalists at The Sun, which Kavanagh compared the treatment of his colleagues to that of a ‘chain gang’.

“Saturday's Operation Elveden arrests were as a result of information provided to officers by News Corporation's Management Standards Committee.

“We would like to make it clear that no more than ten MPS officers attended each of the home addresses of the persons arrested as part of Operation Elveden on Saturday, 11 February. It should be noted that several officers are needed for the thorough and efficient search of an address, including, where appropriate, specialist search teams.”


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