THE CROWN OFFICE have confirmed Strathclyde Police are to investigate claims of telephone hacking & breaches of data protection in Scotland, albeit in a ‘narrow focussed’ inquiry relating to the News of the World hacking scandal (I wouldn’t advise anyone to expect too much of this one – Ed)
Strathclyde Police are also to investigate any allegations or instances of Police corruption although as records of investigation into Police corruption go, none have been all that successful in Scotland.
One of our reporters, apparently familiar with many examples where Police officers in Scotland had inappropriate contact with outside interests where money changed hands for information, posed the following question in the office this morning.
Our reporter discussed the merits of the inquiry and asked : Would this include instances where for example, a Detective Sergeant from an unnamed Scottish Police Force hacked information on his Detective Chief Inspector who was having an affair with a married burglary victim and went on to sell the information to a tabloid newspaper, generating headlines which disgraced his senior officer who was then forced to retire ? … (Jings ! and I thought the subject under investigation was Police selling information to the media ! – Ed)
A Press Release issued by the Crown Office states :
From: Crown Office
INVESTIGATION INTO ALLEGED TELEPHONE HACKING IN SCOTLAND
The Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service have today confirmed that a Strathclyde Police investigation into claims of phone hacking and breaches of data protection in Scotland has commenced.
The Crown had previously asked Strathclyde Police to make a preliminary assessment of the available information and the evidence given by certain witnesses in the trial of Tommy Sheridan following allegations made against the News of the World newspaper.
The preliminary assessment has concluded. Strathclyde Police have now reviewed the available information and following liaison with the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow the Crown has instructed an investigation should commence.
The investigation will be progressed expeditiously and in close liaison with the Area Procurator Fiscal and Crown Counsel. Significant resources will be deployed though these will vary with the needs of the investigation.
The investigation will cover the following:
1. Allegations that witnesses gave perjured evidence in the trial of Tommy Sheridan.
2. Allegations that, in respect of persons resident in Scotland, there are breaches of data protection legislation or other offences in relation to unlawful access to personal data.
3. Alleged offences determined from material held by the Metropolitan Police in respect of 'phone hacking' (Contraventions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) and breaches of data protection legislation in Scotland.
4. Alleged instances of police corruption linked to items 2 and 3 above, in respect of the unlawful provision of information or other personal data to journalists or persons acting on their behalf.
Having investigated these matters Strathclyde Police will report to the Area Procurator Fiscal at Glasgow and Crown Counsel.