Scotland Yard’s latest inquiry into phone-hacking at the News of the World could see it contact up to 4,000 people whose details were found in the possession of private investigator Glenn Mulcaire, the Guardian reports.
The first investigation, according to The Guardian, saw the Metropolitan police contact only 36 potential phone-hack victims.
This is the first time that Scotland Yard has divulged the number of potential victims of phone-hacking, having previously refused applications under the Freedom of Information Act.
A report in today’s Guardian said the figure in a letter to the Culture Media and Sport Select Committee from acting deputy commissioner of the Metropolitan Police John Yates:
Yates’s disclosure appears to contradict evidence he gave to the media select committee in February last year. On that occasion he said that where there was evidence that ‘interception was or may have been attempted by Mulcaire, the Met police has been diligent and taken all proper steps to ensure those individuals have been informed’.
In September he told the home affairs select committee that Met policy was ‘out of a spirit of abundance of caution to make sure that we were ensuring that those who may have been hacked were contacted by us’.
Yates also acknowledged having dinner with several senior figures at the News of the World including its crime editor four months after deciding not to reopen an investigation into phone-hacking allegations in July 2009.