| 10.3°C Dublin

More police 'working on hacking than child sex abuse'

MORE than five times as many police officers are investigating phone hacking than are tracking down paedophiles in London, the Leveson Inquiry was told yesterday.

And more money is likely to be spent on Operation Weeting than the annual budget for investigating child abuse in the capital, Kit Malthouse, the deputy mayor for policing and crime, said.

He said enough officers to man eight murder squads were expected to focus on the hacking inquiry by next year.

Giving evidence before Lord Justice Leveson, Mr Malthouse said there were 27 police officers tracking down paedophiles in London, while 150 officers were working on the hacking investigations. He said the forecast spending on Operation Weeting was £40m, (€48m) compared with £36m (€43m) spent on investigating child abuse annually in London.

Myth

The inquiry also heard that a "killer email" showed former 'Daily Mirror' editor Piers Morgan knew two of his journalists were engaged in stock market manipulation.

David Seymour, former Mirror Group political editor, claimed the Press Complaints Commission (PCC) was shown the email but failed to act.

However, lawyers for Trinity Mirror described the message as an "urban myth" and said it was never found despite a thorough investigation.

Separately, Dick Fedorcio, Scotland Yard's communications chief, resigned yesterday after the force decided to launch disciplinary proceedings against him over a PR contract awarded to an ex- 'News of the World' executive.

(© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent