The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) has found no evidence to support allegations that a Surrey police officer passed information to journalists during the investigation into the disappearance of Milly Dowler in 2002.
The IPCC said the matter was referred to them in August 2011 after they received information from three newspaper journalists that they were going to publish the allegations.
IPCC Commissioner Mike Franklin said:
The allegations that a Surrey Police officer provided information to journalists during Operation Ruby, and may have been paid for doing so, can only have added to the terrible loss endured by Milly Dowler’s family. Surrey Police, quite rightly, came under a great deal of scrutiny over this issue – the allegations are serious and required independent examination.
I hope our finding that there was no substantive or factual evidence to support the allegations will provide some reassurance to the Dowler family on this issue at least.
It appears from this investigation that unsubstantiated information, perhaps not surprisingly, quickly gained currency in a climate where the relationships between the police and the media are under intense public scrutiny.
A police officer was criminally interviewed and remained under suspicion for some months, as our investigators sought to establish the facts,. We have provided Surrey Police with our report and indicated we see no need for further action.
The terms of this investigation were specific to these allegations and this officer.
Click here to read the full report.