Morning Hearing on 06 March 2012

Hearing Transcript

(10.00 am) LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, Mr Jay? MR JAY Sir, may I just deal with one short point? It appears that my opening this module last Monday may have been misunderstood. First, the CPS advice in 2006 covered more than section 2 of RIPA and also dealt with possible offences under the Computer Misuse Act 1990, which would not have required that messages had been listened to. Secondly, my reference to ring-fencing was not to limit the investigation, but rather to avoid allegations which could have meant that the princes would have been essential witnesses. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. MS PATRY HOSKINS Good morning. The first witness this morning is Lord Condon. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. LORD PAUL LESLIE CONDON (sworn) Questions by MS PATRY HOSKINS MS PATRY HOSKINS Please take a seat and make yourself comfortable. Could you state your full name to the Inquiry, please?
A. Paul Leslie Condon.
Q. And could you confirm, please, that the contents of the statement you provided to the Inquiry are true to the best of your knowledge and belief?
A. Yes, I do. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much indeed, Lord Condon, for the work you've put into this statement. I'm sure you'll appreciate how valuable the assistance of all former Commissioners will be to what I'm doing.
A. Thank you very much, sir. MS PATRY HOSKINS I'm going to start with your career history, starting at paragraph 2 of your witness statement, and I'll just summarise. You can tell me whether I accurately summarise what you say from paragraphs 2 to 5. You explain that you joined the Metropolitan Police Service as a constable in March 1967 and served in all ranks up to and including chief superintendent. Skipping over your university years, you explain that in 1984 you moved from the MPS to Kent Police. You were Assistant Chief Constable there in charge of operational policing. You then returned to London as Deputy Assistant Commissioner in charge of West London. You then were appointed Assistant Commissioner Personnel and Training and then you went back to Kent Police from 1989 to 1993 as Chief Constable of Kent Police?
A. That's correct.
Q. You explain that you were awarded the Queen's Police Medal and knighthood in 1994. You then explain at paragraph 4 that you were the Commissioner of Police of the Metropolis from 1 February 1993 until you retired from the Police Service on 31 January 2000.
A. That's correct.
Q. Is it correct that you were succeeded by Lord Stevens?
A. Yes, I was. He had been my deputy and took over as Commissioner.
Q. Then at paragraphs 5 and 6 you explain what you've done since then. You explain that you were appointed as an independent member of the House of Lords. You have also held various posts, including director and then chairman of the anti-corruption security unit of the International Cricket Council. You're also Sports Integrity Adviser to the Olympic Games in London and you have served also on a number of commercial boards and advisory boards in Europe, North America and Australia.
A. That's correct.
Q. I've left some detail out but is that an accurate summary of your career history?
A. Yes, it is.
Q. Thank you very much indeed. I'm going to ask you about a number of different issues or topics, Lord Condon, if I can. I'm going to start with your experience of police corruption. If we turn to paragraph 48 of your statement, please. I'm going to start with your first few days as Commissioner. You explain at paragraph 48 that within days of taking office you were made aware by your senior team of the challenges you faced in this regard. Can you explain to me what were these challenges that you faced and how were they presented to you at that stage?
A. Clearly in my first few days/weeks I was briefed on the major issues facing the Met that I was inheriting, and part of that briefing suggested that we did have a small but significant number of officers whose behaviour was totally unacceptable, and that their behaviour varied from minor disciplinary matters right the way through to serious criminal matters, and there was a hope and expectation that as an incoming Commissioner I would find ways to respond to this challenge.
Q. Can you give us a flavour of the types of corruption that were identified?
A. Yes. I mean, in any major big city police service in the world, whether it's London or equivalent major cities anywhere in the world, there will always be a small number of police officers, sadly, who are drawn into corrupt criminal practice, and it can vary from relatively minor right the way up to the most serious criminal offences.
Q. Was this corruption focused on the relationship between the police and the press
A. No, it
Q. or was it corruption in a more general sense?
A. I beg your pardon. The contextual setting, I know that now we are that's the focus of this Inquiry and a major part of it, but contextually then, notions of police corruption linked to the media was not part of the briefing, and at the time was not part of my concern. So it was a range of more general activity of leading up to and almost being participants in major crimes.
Q. I understand the answer you've just given me, but can perhaps assist to this extent: what were the kinds of motives behind the kind of corruption that you identified or was pointed out to you?
A. Primarily financial gain.
Q. You say at paragraph 48 this was obviously in 1993, when you first took office, and you say that it took until 1997 to 1998 to successfully lobby for changes to the police disciplinary regulations to make it easier to deal with corrupt officers. Can you tell us about that, please?
A. Yes. Part of my agreeing to become the Commissioner was an acceptance that I wanted to be and needed to be a reforming Commissioner around a number of issues. One of them was police discipline, which I felt at the time made it very difficult or unnecessarily and unwisely difficult to deal with bad officers, and therefore I started a campaign which led eventually and these things do take time. Via evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee and lobbying politicians and the media generally, by the police discipline regulations were eventually changed, for the better, I believe, in the public interest, and by it took until 1999, and then the amended police regulations made it easier to deal with bad officers.
Q. You also tell us that during your time as Commissioner you introduced a number of policies aimed at maintaining integrity within the Metropolitan Police Service. I just want to look at your anti-corruption strategy, if I can. This is special notice 36/98. It's at page 04843. I understand do you have a tab number? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON If you have a tab. MS PATRY HOSKINS I don't have a hm. Let me just see if I can find it. If you just give me a moment, sir. For some reason, my bundle has no tabs. I think it's could it be bundle C? Can I just double-check? Just give me a moment. Sorry. (Pause) I'm being told that it's probably bundle 2, tab C, and it's the first document therein. Do you have a copy of that?
A. I have the front page on the screen here.
Q. Perfect. No? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON My bundle 2 goes from tab 97 to 124. Oh no, I have a MS PATRY HOSKINS In the master bundle? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have it. No, I have a different bundle. One moment. MS PATRY HOSKINS I'm sure we can get the relevant parts on the screen, if that assists. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Carry on, Ms Patry Hoskins. MS PATRY HOSKINS I shall. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Now I have it. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you very much indeed. Special notice 36/98 I'm now being told that the wrong policy is on screen.
A. No, that's the correct if you're talking about the major special notice about corruption, that is it.
Q. Yes, that is it. Good. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Do you have it? MS PATRY HOSKINS I do. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Very good. We're doing very well. Good. Crack on. MS PATRY HOSKINS Not at all. Can we look at the introduction to that? It's 04847, for those who have it on screen. We can see from the previous page that there's a foreword by you, Lord Condon, but if we look at the introduction and the definitions, we see there what you were trying to achieve. Is there anything that you would like to say before we move on to the principles and the strands?
A. No. I mean, this was really the culmination of a number of years. 1997, 1998 were particularly busy. In 1997, I gave evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee and knew that changes to discipline rules were on the way. Early in 1998, I remember, with warrants, we raided the homes of about 30 serving and retired police officers and started some major corruption inquiries into criminal matters. And then I wanted, before the end of 1998, to draw together in one document our ongoing determination to deal with malpractice, however it manifested itself, and so this document, clearly though not perfect, was an attempt to bring together and make it absolutely clear to people what the rules of engagement were.
Q. Had there previously been such a strategy in existence?
A. Yes. All police forces are against corruption, aren't they? They wouldn't be for it. And so I'm not being trite, but there would have been rules in all police forces at all times which would embrace the criminal law for dealing with criminal behaviour by police officers. There would have been disciplinary measures. But this was bringing it together in a special order, reinforcing the importance of it, rebriefing every senior officer in the service, down to and including chief superintendents, with briefings about what we were doing, how serious we were, and then briefings beyond that, so that everyone in the Met, by the end of 1998, would have been no doubt, in no doubt, how serious we were about dealing with these issues.
Q. If we turn over to the following page, 04848, we see the principles behind the strategy and the strategy itself. If I can read out the words from the strategy: "We will adopt a strategic approach towards the prevention and detection of corruption and unethical behaviour. The strategy has six strands at present, each of which identify and deliver a number of objectives." And you say: "Whilst this initial phase is designed to last three years, the philosophy of the strategy is that the MPS will continuously invest effort and resources into assuring the highest levels of integrity for all time."
A. Yes.
Q. Was this a particular policy or strategy intended to last beyond your time as Commissioner?
A. Yes. It certainly and the my deputy at the time, John Stevens, took over as Commissioner and John was and I'm sure remained as committed to dealing with these issues as I was. So this was not an ephemeral, time-limited, quick in-and-out look at corruption. This was a major reassertion of what the Met stood for and would stand for going forward. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON The document actually emanates from him. You wrote the foreword I'm not suggesting you weren't heavily involved in it. On the face of it
A. The Deputy Commissioner at any time, sir, is the head of the discipline side of the service, so I wrote the foreword, clearly, as a policy board, we have been fully committed to developing this, but it would have been strange for anyone other than the Deputy Commissioner to have put his name to it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON No, I wasn't suggested by that that you were distancing yourself from it; quite the reverse. If Lord Stevens, as now he is, was also part of it, everybody would understand that when he took over from you, then this was business as usual.
A. Yes. No, I was delighted to get him into the Met as Deputy Commissioner, I think in mid-1998. So John had I had three deputy commissioners during my seven years and John came in, I think, in about June or July 1998. So we had already been working on this, and then he was fully supportive of it and carried it forward. MS PATRY HOSKINS Can we turn finally, for the purposes of looking at the policy, to the following page, 04849. The top of the page should say: "The strands are You'll see that the strategy has six strands and they're set out there. One of the key strands is prevention and detection, and under the heading "Prevention and detection" there is set out the over-arching aim of the strand, which is to continuously develop methods and systems of preventing and detecting corruption, dishonesty and unethical behaviour, thereby increasing the certainty of detection. Then you set out some objectives below that. Can I ask you about one of the bullet points therein? You say, maybe three quarters of the way down this page, that: "One of the present objectives is to research and identify cultural issues which act as a barrier to staff voicing concerns and taking action to overcome them." Can you identify for us what you meant by that? What sort of cultural issues were you aiming to identify which might act as a barrier to staff whistle-blowing?
A. In any organisation it is difficult to encourage whistle-blowing. Some people think it's wrong to inform on their colleagues, some might be frightened to do it, some might be oversensitive to do it. So what I was seeking to do and encourage was to legitimise and to encourage and to demand that it was the right thing to do, to whistle-blow. The Police Service of all bodies should not have people within it who are frightened of pointing out malpractice by their colleagues.
Q. Can you give us an overview as to whether, during your time, you feel that this strategy was effectively implemented?
A. Yes, I believe it was. If it hadn't been, I would have taken, with senior colleagues, remedial action. I honestly believed at the time that this was probably one of the most demanding and appropriate sets of policies for dealing with malpractice of any major city in the world, and in fact we were visited by police forces from around the world who sought to replicate parts of it.
Q. Do you have any knowledge of the extent to which it's still followed today?
A. I have been retired I'm now in my 13th year of retirement, and the Police Service changes dramatically, so I'm very reluctant to talk about a service that I no longer am part of
Q. Of course.
A. or, in all honesty, would understand all the nuances of, but to demand the highest standards in the Police Service, again, is not an ephemeral issue; it's an enduring issue, and I would be amazed and disappointed if there wasn't serious endeavour to deal with malpractice in the current Police Service.
Q. I'm going to ask you now about the relationship between the press and the police, if I can. Turning back in your witness statement, please, to paragraphs 9 and 10, first of all, you explain that well, you contrast between your time as Chief Constable of Kent and Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service, and you explain at the end of paragraph 10 in particular that the MPS post is becoming a very public post and that you understand that the Commissioner is now expected to be a very public figure in a way, perhaps, that the Chief Constable of Kent Police is not. Can I ask you one question about paragraph 10. You say at the start: "As I expected on taking over as Commissioner, my professional relationship with the media became a significant part of my life and at times would completely dominate it." What do you mean by at times your professional relationship with the media would completely dominate your life?
A. Just that. For every waking minute I was on duty for small periods, that relationship with the media would be the single thing that was dominating my life. So a major terrorist event in London and I had them during my time, both Middle Eastern and Irish terrorism there would be an insatiable demand for the Commissioner of the day to be saying things about it, to be reassuring the public, to be giving information, and so and it is you can use any language you like. Chalk and cheese, paradigm shift, whatever comparators. The role of the Commissioner of the day vis-a-vis the media is fundamentally different and totally more demanding than any chief constable's role, and I have done both. And I'm not saying that in an arrogant way or a patronising way. It's just the way it is. The Commissioner of the day is the public face of policing for their country, whether he or she likes it or not, and that brings with it certain demands.
Q. You say you don't say that in a patronising way. Do you say it in a critical way?
A. No, I say it as very much a matter of fact way. I had been a very young staff officer as a chief superintendent to a Commission, I had been a deputy assistant commissioner, I had been an assistant commissioner, I had worked closely with former commissioners, I had been a chief constable. So I knew exactly what to expect on taking over as Commissioner and I knew it would be in relation to the media, it would be totally and comprehensively different to the relationship I'd had as a chief constable.
Q. Did you feel that in those times of great media interest that the need to interact with the media meant that this kind of activity acted to the detriment of your other responsibilities?
A. No. It was a the Commissioner of the day as I say, rightly or wrongly, the Commissioner of the day is seen as the voice of the Police Service, along with the president of ACPO, and it's quite right that the Commissioner of the day should be helping to set the agenda on policing issues. Something I've realised, thinking about how I could help the Inquiry, is what has changed when I took over as Commissioner in 1993, a small number of editors, leader writers and their equivalents set, dominated and controlled the media agenda around policing, and the Police Service had very little alternative routes of giving information to the public. That has been transformed by the Internet, World Wide Web, social media, and so the Police Service now has different challenges and fundamentally more opportunities to communicate direct to the public than was available to me. The Met didn't have its first website until, I think, about 1996, 1997, so Commissioners up to and including me, if they wanted to stimulate discussion about policing issues, if they wanted to reassure the public, they had to be working with the media.
Q. In your statement at paragraphs 11 to 13, you set out three main ways in which the MPS interacted with the press: first of all, there were event-driven press conferences following a serious event of some kind; planned campaign-driven media events; and then what you call relationship building. I'm not going to ask you about the first of those, the press conferences following a serious event; they're fairly self-explanatory. Let me ask you about each of the other two interactions that you had with the media. First of all, at paragraph 12, you explain campaign-driven media events. You give an example of Operation Bumblebee, for example, the campaign to reduce domestic burglary. You explain essentially that there were a number of briefings and interviews in order to champion those campaigns. Can you tell us what form those briefings and interviews took? Were they, for example, held at New Scotland Yard or were they something more informal?
A. Bumblebee is a good example, because again, when I took over as Commissioner, the crime that seemed to worry the public the most was domestic burglary. You couldn't feel safe in your own house. That totally undermined your quality of life. So we'd decided to have a huge campaign to bring down domestic burglary. I forget how Bumblebee became the brand or the name, but what we tried to do was to have events that captured the public imagination, that reassured them we were doing something about burglary, that transferred fear from the public to the burglars. So we would have things like Bumblebee days, where I know it sounds corny, but we would save up our warrants, a lot of the activity against burglars, and then we would perhaps make 200 to 300 arrests simultaneously to make an impact. The media would be briefed about that, they would be told about the results. There would be quite dramatic footage of police officers carrying out raids, arresting suspected burglars, and I would be part of not necessarily fronting it, but I would be part of that. The gentler side of that is we would have Bumblebee roadshows where we would take over a major venue, a major public venue, where we would put on display thousands of items of recovered stolen property and the public would be invited to come and look for their stolen property, and again, very media-friendly incidents would happen during that. So I remember a war hero Second World War hero was reunited with some of his military paraphernalia that had been stolen from his house. Elderly people reunited with sentimental jewellery and so on. Again, I would be part of fronting those events. So in a sense, it was not so much talking to the media about it; it was having quite dramatic events which would capture the public imagination, and over the seven years we were able to bring burglary down to about an 18-year low, which, because it's good news, got very little publicity, but, if you like, it was part of the reassuring the public.
Q. I ask the question because at the end of paragraph 12, at the bottom of page 4, you say that you frequently championed these campaigns through personal briefings and interviews?
A. Yes.
Q. Personal briefings with the media?
A. The briefing of the day, yes. We would say that today we have raided X number of locations in London and Y number of people have been arrested and this has been recovered and here we have here a and so it was to create the interest and it was primarily about reassuring the public and putting fear into the burglars that this was a major issue for the Metropolitan Police.
Q. So these briefings would take place at New Scotland Yard or elsewhere?
A. New Scotland Yard primarily.
Q. Were they ever anything more informal? That's the question I've been asked to put to you, whether they may have been informal, say, over lunch or dinner?
A. I have no doubt and I'm sure you will ask me about my contact with editors and so on.
Q. I will.
A. But clearly Bumblebee was a major campaign and dealing with burglary was a major campaign, which no doubt would have featured in discussions with editors at various times.
Q. I'll come on to ask you about that. Just in response to something you've just said about publicising Operation Bumblebee you said that you would carry out a number of arrests at the same time with the aim of making an impact.
A. Yes.
Q. Did you ever invite members of the media along with you to attend when you went in to raid or to arrest?
A. Yes. It's a sensitive issue and there are arguments for and against, but on balance, I felt it was in the public interest if done correctly, with very clear parameters.
Q. What very clear parameters?
A. Clearly it shouldn't be these were suspects, and so the dignity and the rights of suspects had to be respected, and so the footage was not of cameras going into a bedroom of someone who is arrested at 6 o'clock in the morning. The pictures would be of police perhaps breaking into premises, if they hadn't been allowed in voluntarily. So we discussed this at great length, and certainly in my time as Commissioner I would have been very angry if any of that activity had trespassed across into what I would have seen as unethical behaviour.
Q. If you invited along a press photographer to attend one of these raids, how could you control which images they then went on to publish?
A. By controlling the access you give them. I mean, you and these were this was not on every event. These were occasional, the media involvement, and they were very, very tightly controlled.
Q. Can I ask you now about the third of the interactions with the press: relationship building, as you call it. This is described at paragraph 13 of your statement. You explain that the media and the public needed to know who you were, what you were doing and what you stood for and valued, and this is why you say that this third strand of media contact, relationship building, was an important one. You explain that this was achieved in a number of ways. The first example you give is that on a monthly basis you would brief the members of the Crime Reporters Association at New Scotland Yard, and you say these were fairly informal gatherings, allowing those present to range across all the topical events which were of interest to them. I should note the last sentence also of paragraph 13, because there's been some criticism of this not criticism of you, but criticism more recently that you would also occasionally brief members of the Foreign Press Association based in the UK. What justified these regular briefings to what is, in effect, a select group of journalists?
A. I inherited these meetings. There had been a long standing arrangement that the Commissioner of the day did meet with the Crime Reporters Association, and it sort of I think in my time it sort of petered out towards the end, and I certainly remember as it got towards the middle and towards the end of the 1990s, they certainly weren't monthly events. I wouldn't have briefed them if I felt it was a desperately exclusive sort of small trade body that gave special access. To me, it seemed that every major crime reporter around in London was part of that, as were those involved with the electronic media, and I guess it was a handy way, once every month or certainly, latterly, it was every few months them having the opportunity to discuss things which were of interest to them. It suited my purpose, certainly in the initial years. I had a as I say, I had an agenda of reform around police discipline, the accountability for the Met. I campaigned and argued strongly for there to be a police authority for London for the Met in the way there was for provincial forces. So it suited me and my agenda of change to have those sort of meetings with more so with editors, but I was happy to have those meetings with crime resporters.
Q. Why did it peter out?
A. I felt I think they felt they weren't getting from me what they wanted. And I don't think and I don't say that in a sort of pejorative sense. For me, they were they couldn't and shouldn't be sort of off-the-record briefings. Off-the-record briefings are never something which I've felt comfortable with. For me, they were background briefings, so it was me there, as the Commissioner, talking about issues. I didn't expect headlines the following day based on those discussions and I think because they were generalised briefings. I suspect that some of them found it a bit boring, so LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Is the CRA self-selecting?
A. Yes, I as I say, I don't I can't say that I was aware of their rules of engagement, sir, but my view was it seemed that most of the crime reporters on the national newspapers and in the BBC and ITV in London were all part of that, so I don't think it was as tight as, say, the parliamentary lobby, where it's sort of seen as more exclusive. It's probably for them to say, but it seemed to me just a sort of generic description of all of the crime reporters who seemed to work LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So anybody who wanted to come, but not quite?
A. Almost. That's certainly how it felt to me, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Because when you were doing your other work, inviting reporters along to operations that you were conducting, how did you select them?
A. That would have been open invitation. Through the through my directorate of public affairs, they were well versed at inviting the media to events, and so they would have had a list of people they would have invited. But I was happily I inherited those meetings. I was very happy to carry on with them. I never felt they were desperately productive, either for me or for them. As I say, they tended to during my time, they sort of petered out, really. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON There's no question of in your mind, at any rate of journalists being given favoured status?
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON In other words, some journalists got rather more access than others?
A. No, no. I was both in relation to the individual reporters and editors, I was tried to be scrupulously fair, so there could be no accusation of either an individual journalist or editor getting preferred status, and trying to, over a yearly cycle, have meetings with all editors and so on. MS PATRY HOSKINS Can I build on from those answers to look at paragraph 14. I'll read it out because it's important: "Relationship building with editors was a very important part of my interaction with the media. I achieved this by inviting print, television and radio editors to individual and group meetings at New Scotland Yard or occasionally going to meetings at their offices." Now, that paragraph leads me to ask you a number of questions. First of all, did you invite all print, television and radio editors to individual and group meetings or was it a select group?
A. All of them. My ambition as I say, I wanted to do it for two reasons. One was because I had an agenda of reform around three or four big issues, which I needed I felt I needed to share with editors, and also, secondly, because at the time they were the arbiters as to what the public were told about big policing issues, and so in the way that I would brief politicians, local and national, I would brief the business community, I felt it would have been negligent not to brief the media on big issues. Others would have called it boundary management. What are the who are the organisations who surround the Met? Who needs to be told what we're up to? And clearly the media were a part of that. My ambition, although I never achieved it, was to brief each of the editors probably once a year, and it was not selective. It was inclusive, all of them.
Q. All right. Can I ask you about the words "individual and group meetings"? Who would be selected for an individual meeting?
A. That was just I mean, the guidance I'd given to my and I had two directors of public affairs was that as a general steer, I hoped to meet each of the editors perhaps once a year. So that would be the individuals, and looking back on the diaries that I've had available to me, that seems to have about worked. It looks as if about 8 to 12 meetings a year took place, and no editor seems to have had more than about one a year. Perhaps occasionally it might have been two. So that was the ambition.
Q. Did you ever take the view that any particular editor or group of editors was somehow more important and therefore deserved greater access either to individual meetings or to group meetings?
A. No. Never at all. My throughout my career, although policing is intensely political and although the media have a voracious appetite for all things to do with policing, my view is the Commissioner of the day, Chief Constable of the day, must be totally apolitical and must be totally without any favourites in the media, and so there has to be a "without fear or favour" approach to the media.
Q. Did you ever meet with editors at restaurants or pubs, as we've heard in evidence from other senior officers?
A. Rarely. My preference was always to have meetings on police premises.
Q. Yes.
A. But then the choice was there were some editors I don't think they were being precious, but the demands on their time were such that it was clear that if you wanted to meet them, it had to be on their terms, at their office or at a restaurant. So over the course of seven years, on a small handful of occasions, I may have had the odd meal. I remember I've sort of mentioned him Max Hastings, as editor of the Telegraph and as the editor of the Standard, always moaned about the quality of the food and drink at Scotland Yard and I think I weakened on a couple of times, I think I had one lunch with Max Hastings probably at one of his clubs, and then I think I can remember the sort of doyen of the crime reporters, Peter Burden, who was a very, very good crime reporter, I think for the Daily Mail. I remember having a lunch with Peter towards the end of his time, when he was retiring. I've tracked down I think I had probably a couple of either a lunch or a dinner with an editor of the Sun, I think it was Stuart Higgins, but I think that just over seven years, just a very small handful of occasions. My preference was meetings at Scotland Yard or police premises. If that wasn't possible, a meeting at their offices, and if that wasn't doable, if they said, "Well, look I can remember the dinner with Stuart Higgins I think was in late 1997, and that was in the build-up to me giving evidence to the Home Affairs Select Committee for reform of police discipline, and I was able to persuade Stuart Higgins that this was in the public interest to do so, and I think via that dinner he agreed to support what I was seeking to change.
Q. You go on to describe in some detail why you consider these meetings or briefings to be important, and at paragraph 18, you give us another example of the value of building such relationships. You explain that when you were conducting investigations into threats to London posed by the provisional IRA, you were concerned that information relating to your investigations might reach the media. You say essentially you were able to invite editors of national newspapers into New Scotland Yard and give them confidential briefings. Does that mean that sensitive information was conveyed to journalists?
A. Yes, it does. The IRA and various other Irish terrorist groups had had ceasefires, broken ceasefires and so on, and in the mid-1990s we had major threats to London of major explosions that would have killed tens, if not dozens, of people. I can remember on one occasion calling in or inviting in editors both from the printed media and the electronic media, and telling them that we believed there was going to be a major attack on London, that we would probably be engaged in observation and surveillance over several months, and the challenge would be to intervene in the terrorist operation late enough to have the evidence to prosecute them, but early enough not to let them set off massive explosions.
Q. Yes.
A. That led to a particular operation where and I can talk about it because the perpetrators were arrested, prosecuted and imprisoned, but we had a 60-day observation of a terrorist team in London, and arrested them hours before they were going to explode several lorry bombs full of high explosives in Central London, and my message to the media, to the editors, was: look, this will be a long, torturous operation. If you get leaks from any source, you have a public duty around this and that any frivolous reporting of these issues will not be in the public interest. And we developed protocols for how they could contact the anti-terrorist units, Special Branch and so on. So it wasn't sort of an old style D-notice, because those have been long gone, but it was sort of in that sort of territory, that here is a huge public interest issue where there will be this major threat to London, you are part of the response, and you have certain responsibilities, and this is how I think you should behave.
Q. Are you satisfied that, as a result of this confidential briefing, the editors listened to you and complied with what you'd said and that the relationship continued to be constructive after that point?
A. I would like to think that most, if not all of them would have done so anyway. They would have realised the gravity of that sort of information. But it was an opportunity if you like, it was a trust. It was I remember the briefing actually took place I think in our Special Branch offices in Scotland Yard. We were able to describe to them the sort of attack that we thought would be taking place on London, the sort of way we would be responding to it, the nature of the surveillance activity, that this would could go on for months, and that if they started they or their reporters started to pick up information, how damaging it could be if it was suggested that police were behind this terrorist group.
Q. Before I move on to the issue of hospitality, I just want to ask you about you've told us on a number of occasions that you kept journalists essentially at a professional distance. Why did you take that view? Why did you not, for example, allow yourself to become friendly with journalists, as we've heard some officers give evidence that they have?
A. I guess it's a question of personal style and comfort zones and I think over the years, in policing and beyond, I think I understand the media, and I think whilst you're Commissioner, you have certain professional relationships and you make life more difficult for yourself if those professional relationships cross over into friendships and a social life that goes with friendships. I'm not saying that it's intrinsically wrong or morally or ethically wrong to be friendly or to have a social relationship, but I knew where my comfort zone was, and I was more comfortable with it being on very much a professional basis. So I may be wrong, but I don't think I ever invited anyone from the media to my home address or I ever went to their home address.
Q. Okay. Can I ask you now about hospitality. At paragraph 20 of your statement, you say this in the second sentence: "In my view, hospitality can be the start of a grooming process which leads to inappropriate and unethical behaviour." Can you tell us how you've come to that view, Lord Condon?
A. Yes. I mean, that's with the benefit of hindsight, because since leaving the service I have gone on to work and deal with integrity in international sport, and dealing with integrity in the business community, and I think it's just common sense that in any walk of life hospitality can be appropriate, can be sensible, can be necessary, can be ethical. But the other side of that, it can lead to inappropriate closeness and, in some cases, that can lead to criminal behaviour. Certainly in the sporting world I have investigating cases where initial hospitality to international sportsmen eventually led to criminal behaviour.
Q. This leads us back to the working lunches or dinners.
A. Yes.
Q. If you look at the start of paragraph 21, you explain, as you already have, that you would have the occasional working lunch or dinner at media offices, but you tell us that on every occasion you would be joined by your director of public affairs and sometimes your deputy commissioner or another senior officer, and the question is: is this simply good practice, or should it be a requirement?
A. I'm not sure if you're going to ask me, but in 1997 I introduced a very strong policy around hospitality
Q. I will ask you, but please
A. Fine. Sequentially, if you like, one thing leads to the other. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Which way around do you want to deal with it?
A. I would rather deal with the policy first, if I may, sir, because I think it then leads more naturally onto how I behaved in relation to the policy. MS PATRY HOSKINS Absolutely. You introduced, in fact, a code of practice off the acceptance of gifts and hospitality, special notice 28/97. For the technician, it's 04763. Hopefully you will have that on screen shortly. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Actually, tab 3. That's wrong is it under "Gifts and hospitality"? MS PATRY HOSKINS Code of practice for the acceptance of gifts and hospitality. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Hang on. B2. Do you have a copy there?
A. No, I haven't, sir. I still have I'm looking at paragraph 21 of my statement. MS PATRY HOSKINS 04763? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. It's probably one of the bundles there, if there's a lever arch bundle marked "MPS master bundle, policies/procedures". Is there such a bundle?
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON We'll use Mr Garnham's. Thank you. Mr Garnham, is it tabbed? B2.
A. Yes, I have it now. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you. MS PATRY HOSKINS Special notice 28/97?
A. Yes. Would it help if I set the context for that?
Q. Yes, please.
A. Again, coming in as a Commissioner, seeking to reinforce, culturally and through rules and procedures, the best behaviour and contextually, remember, this was at about the time of all the cash for questions, the Nolan Report, principles of public life and so on, and I was determined that the Met should be seen to be at the forefront of responding to Nolan, and so again, we consulted widely within the service and outside, and it seemed sensible to give some pretty clear steer around hospitality, gifts, hospitality registers, and so this special notice was the product of that consultation process.
Q. Can I just add one thing in setting the context? There had previously, of course, been a notice on the acceptance of sponsorship and gifts, notice 34/93, as I understand it?
A. Yes.
Q. A rather shorter document. Can you please explain how this new code of practice differed, in very general terms, from the previous
A. It set it in the contextual setting of what Nolan had said about principles of public life. It set it in the context of our five-year strategy, something called "The London Beat".
Q. Yes.
A. Again, it was a reinforcement of trying to encourage best behaviour and discourage bad behaviour, and so it set out, in bullet points, some of the big issues that faced us around hospitality.
Q. If I can summarise it in this way. It sets out the law, the guiding principles, and then has various different headings: gifts, payment for interviews and broadcasts, hospitality, interesting contacts, and then this one: hospitality registers.
A. Yes.
Q. It has some detail on setting up hospitality registers and sets out what hospitality registers must record.
A. Yes.
Q. Am I correct in saying that this was the first time that hospitality registers were introduced?
A. I believe so, yes. And again, all everyone in the chain of command down to chief superintendent was briefed on this, and so it's police technical jargon, but everyone running an operational or command unit that's a major police station or a major specialist squad had to keep a hospitality register for these purposes.
Q. Why, in your view, is a hospitality register important in relation to the press in particular?
A. Because I think every meeting with the press that involves hospitality should be able to pass what some people have described as the sort of blush test: would you be happy for the Home Secretary or a local politician or your neighbour or a member of your family does this meeting feel right? And so hospitality registers, you can look at it two ways. You could say those who want to act badly will do so and won't put it in the hospitality register anyway, but I thought it was an important way of stating how we felt about these issues, of encouraging transparency, of having being able to audit trail frequency and so on. So it seemed a sensible stepping stone in encouraging good behaviour.
Q. Before we leave the notice, look at paragraph 21. There's a question that's been put to me through another party to this Inquiry. This is the section that deals with penalties and it says: "This code of practice describes conduct which you are expected to observe. Failure to do so could render you liable to disciplinary proceedings and mainly to criminal proceedings under the Prevention of Corruption Act." Of course, subsequent notices you may or may not know this contain similar warnings.
A. Yes.
Q. My question to you is whether, to your knowledge, during this time, any serving MPS officer was ever subjected to disciplinary or criminal proceedings for what could be termed hospitality offences?
A. Right. I don't know, and there's a technical reason why I wouldn't know. Until fairly late in my time as Commissioner, until I got the police discipline rules changed, the Commissioner was the appellate authority for discipline in London, and so I was kept the Commissioner of the day was kept ignorant of live disciplinary cases unless and until they became matters for an appeal to the Commissioner. Again, that's why the that notice is signed by Brian Hayes, who was then my deputy commissioner. So the person at that time who would have had detailed knowledge of any investigations would have been the Deputy Commissioner of the day. Having said that, I would have been surprised if I hadn't picked up somewhere if there had been a major case involving an officer for these LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You'd find out eventually, wouldn't you?
A. Yes, yes, and so I you know, I have no recollection of those, so that probably tells me that no, there probably weren't anyway. MS PATRY HOSKINS That's all I wanted to ask you about the gifts and hospitality code of practice. Can we go back to my previous question
A. Yes.
Q. about attending lunches or dinners with members of the DPA. I asked you whether you thought it was simply good practice or whether you thought it should be a requirement.
A. Yes. I saw it as as I say, there were so few and occasional, and in some years there wouldn't have been any. As I say, it was it was not something I encouraged or wished to do, but it was there were certain individuals, if I wanted a few hours of their time, then it probably had to be either at their office and/or occasionally a lunch. But as I say, looking back through the diaries, some years there were none of those sorts of meetings and others, maybe two or three.
Q. Can I ask you now some brief final questions. Paragraph 59 of your statement. Start with that. You were asked here: "What limitations, if any, were there on staff in the MPS leaving to work for the media and vice versa?" And you say this: "It never really appeared as an issue to me. I personally declined all offers to write a book about my time as Commissioner. Similarly, I declined all offers to be a columnist or retained commentator for particular newspapers, television or radio. Since retiring I have similarly declined all offers." Then you tell us about one article that you wrote on cricket corruption where a fee was paid directly to a charity. Can you tell us roughly how many such offers you received? I've been asked to ask you whether you received any such offers from News of the World, the Sun, the Times or the Sunday Times.
A. Right. Yes, again I declined not because I saw anything morally or ethically wrong per se; it just having spent my career sort of trying to major on integrity, independence, being apolitical, it just seemed that I would have to take decisions and be partial and be drawn into favouring or working with one group over another, and I say those who have done that, I don't think my view is there is nothing inherently wrong in that, it just it would have taken me out of my comfort zone. The offers I had, several offers to write books, either personally or ghosted. Very seductive offers, very lucrative offers, some from publishers, some from agents, and all of those offers had linked to them serial rights to newspapers. But because I never explored any of those in great depth, I'm not sure if any of those would have been linked to any of the Times or sort of the News International group. The specific columnist roles I was offered and this had sums of money attached to it. I was offered a columnist role with the Telegraph Group. I had a very limited approach from the Sunday People as to whether I would be a columnist, a ghosted columnist for them. I don't remember any specific approaches from the Sun or the Times or so on.
Q. The Murdoch stable, if I can call it that.
A. No, no. But in fairness, I think most of the book deals would have been linked to serialisation and may have embraced the Times or the Sunday Times.
Q. Can I ask you finally about leaks to the press, please. In your time, were leaks to the press a cause for concern?
A. Yes, in a general way. I think they're always a concern. Again, you reluctantly don't accept but you sort of grudgingly acknowledge that, in a force of 45,000 men and women, police and civilian, occasionally there may be leaks, for mixed motivation and probably occasionally for financial reasons. But, again, during my time I was not aware that it was a significant issue beyond the general challenge of dealing with bad police officers.
Q. You've exhibited at your exhibit number 1 an article by Kelvin MacKenzie dated 10 January 1998. If I paraphrase it, I'd say that he's arguing that you tried, during your time as Commissioner, to restrict communication between the police and the press. Yes?
A. Yes. There's a sort of serendipity of how it gets into my statement, in the sense that when I was trying to research issues around leaks and so on and you sort of dredge out of your senile mind memories of sort of going back I could remember a week early in 1998 where it had been a fairly frenetic week. We had raided a lot of homes of police officers, former police officers. There had been a lot of publicity around police discipline changes, and I remembered Kelvin MacKenzie going off on a riff for about a week, both on his talkshows and in the media, around that somehow I was trying to gag the police in relation to the media. I couldn't remember if it and I still can't remember whether that was linked to a sort of leak issue or whatever, but certainly it he had a "Let's get Paul Condon for a week". I certainly remember that.
Q. Was there any fairness to what he said? Did you try to restrict communication
A. No, no. I remember at the time thinking: what has caused him to go off on this campaign? And it died as quickly it just seemed to be I think those were in the early days of his chat talk radio sort of shock-jock radio channel, and certainly for a week it seemed that that was a major issue that he was concerned about.
Q. Lord Condon, perhaps I could ask you the question in this way: to what extent do you believe that individual police officers should be entitled to form their own judgments as to what it is or is not appropriate to divulge to the press?
A. That is quite difficult to answer, in the sense that there can't be a free-for-all. You can't allow the most junior or the most senior police officer to just busk it on the day. I believe there has to be there have to be in place very strong guidance around what's acceptable and unacceptable, very strong guidance around who would normally be giving information to the media, and culturally a strong feel that people would think: "Yeah, that feels right, I can do this or I can't do that." But I would feel I had let my colleagues down if every day they just sort of had to think: "Can I or can't I?" in relation to the media. I think they should have more clarity than that.
Q. You say at paragraph 67 of your statement that you would caution against a massive box-ticking or bureaucratic approach. What do you mean by that?
A. Well, I I mean, I was thinking of, if asked, what should change, what could change. I think in many ways this Inquiry, your role, the publicity, has already generated massive corrective action, and it's a question of what more needs to be done to be built on that, and so I think I would be confident that you know, the Police Service now already feels very different around these issues than it did in the recent, very recent past. I would think that behaviour is fundamentally different now than even the very recent past. And so I would be I would be worried about anything which suggested that any contact between police and the media was almost inherently wrong, that the media are given some sort of pariah status, that almost by being in the same room as them is somehow bad, and a massive box-ticking, that every time a policeman was in the same room or within 50 yards of a journalist, they should have to write up an entry in their they would probably do it electronically now, but some sort of record. So I think there could be a massive bureaucratic overreaction which won't actually help anyone but will be seen as some sort of generalised panacea to the challenge. I think it is about strong leadership, it is about clear guidance, and it's about the culture of the organisation, and we the service is already doing it, restating what seems acceptable and unacceptable, and that will be no doubt massively enhanced by the product of this Inquiry.
Q. Are there any other ideas or recommendations that you would like Lord Justice Leveson to take into account in that context?
A. No, as I say, I think you've covered all of the ground. Since leaving the service I have worked on integrity issues in sport, in business and so on, and I think the rules of engagement are pretty similar across the piece, and if you want to deal with malpractice, whether it's with the media or whatever, it's about having very clear rules. It's about having a programme of education and information so that everyone in the organisation is aware of what's acceptable and unacceptable. It's having methods to test, sample, check, audit, whether things are going right or wrong, and then, finally, it's having enforcement that you can be confident that those who transgress will be dealt with. And I think that's a tried and tested formula that tends to work against corruption and malpractice in all walks of life. MS PATRY HOSKINS Lord Condon, those are all my questions. Was there anything else that you wanted to add?
A. No, thank you very much. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I have a couple of questions.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You said very carefully that you had your own compass, your blush test.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON And I absolutely recognise that. You also made the point that the way you might approach some issues could be legitimately different from the way some other people might address those questions. That's very polite and delicately expressed, but I'm sure that you have read some of the material that has been put before me, or, if not actually as given, then in the press, and heard some of the concerns about the extent to which this relationship has altered in the period since you were Commissioner. I appreciate that it's a slightly different time, and it's difficult to generalise from one not generation, because I'm not prepared to accept that you're becoming senile at all to another, but would I be right to assume that you would not have been content for some of what you have read about to have happened under your command?
A. Based on what is in the public domain, primarily from what has happened in your Inquiry, sir, I have been very disappointed and concerned by some of the issues that have emerged, and I would have been had I still been involved in the service, I would have been probably very angry. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Now, let me move on. It will be very, very comforting for me to think that the exposure of what has happened and the reaction to what has happened will have had the effect which you suggest, because it would mean that what I perceive to be a very, very large part of what I am doing has already succeeded.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But there is a danger in that, isn't there, that if I become complacent and say, "Well, job done", then I run the risk that has transpired in relation to every other attempt to review not here the relationship between the police and the press, but perhaps the press and the public. There is some real public concern, there's an expression of that concern, everybody says, "Well, we now know", and for a while everything is very much better, but then standards slip and there's a default situation that develops. Do you recognise the risk that I'm speaking of?
A. Yes, I do, sir. The history of police malpractice is cyclical, and it goes something like: scandal, inquiry, remedial action, relaxation, complacency, scandal, inquiry and that's been on about a 20-year cycle. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes.
A. And malpractice in any walk of life is very basic. It's about human weakness and opportunity, and those two things are omnipresent. So what I said earlier was in no way to suggest that your job is done at this stage because the oxygen of publicity around these concerns everything has been dealt with. I was merely suggesting, based on my knowledge of the Police Service, which I'm immensely proud to have been part of and associated with they will be chomping at the bit to be doing the right thing in relation to these issues. But you are absolutely right; history tells us that unless your report has within it things which are not ephemeral but are enduring, that do demand checks, that do demand action, that do allow auditing and monitoring and checking of these relationships, then the default position is in 10, 15 years' time to get to that complacency point on that cycle again. I'm not advocating you don't need to say or do anything more LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I didn't think you were. I'd have been very pleased if you had.
A. I think the challenge is to find that something which avoids the massive bureaucracy, which will be superficial, and something that really hits the spot, that does encourage change that is lasting, and so there are issues around how the press are whether it's self-regulation or something stronger, there are issues around very strong national guidance around police behaviour in relation to the media, reinforcement of what is appropriate, condemnation of what is wrong, and so on. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You bring to the Inquiry not merely your experience as the Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, but also all the other work on integrity that you've done since.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON So what I would like to ask you is: how would you achieve that?
A. Right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Because I am not a former policeman. I've been around the prosecution process for 40 years, but that's very different. So I would like you to give me the benefit of your knowledge and experience to suggest ways if not now, then by all means write to me.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But suggest ways that are proportionate, that aren't just box-ticking. Because I take your point; it's easy to tick a box.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But that will be meaningful and will try to achieve the endurance of which you speak.
A. Yes, I will, sir. I mean, I was out of the country for the last week, so I haven't had a chance to I think did Richard Baker give evidence yesterday? LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes.
A. Before Christmas, I spent some time with Sir Dennis O'Connor, the chief inspector of the constabulary, trying to give them a bit of a feel for how the inspectorate could be helping with this process. So I think the "Without fear or favour" report again has added some interesting comments to the challenge, but I will I know you're busy today, sir, so I won't ramble on now, but I will respond to your challenge. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm grateful.
A. But I think it is about trying to set clear rules of engagement, it is about making sure that everyone understands them, that there is a way of monitoring and checking, and there is enforcement. And where the challenge becomes even more difficult now than in my time is if you have police officers who are tweeting, blogging, social and part of that can be with the media, sometimes totally independent of it. I think the service is at a point where it needs to totally recalibrate how it provides information to the public directly, via the media, via social media, and so I think it is I think the challenge is probably beyond your remit at this stage, sir, and I think part of that, the inspectorate and the service have to get their act together nationally LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I agree.
A. to say how the service is going to respond to these issues. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I agree, and there are a number of strands into this. There is the report from the HMIC and I heard Mr Baker yesterday and Sir Dennis is coming next week. Of course, I've also had the report and I know you comment upon it from Elizabeth Filkin, and there's some valuable material there.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON It's really standing back from all that. The way in which I've put it to editors is that the system, whatever system I suggest, if adopted, has to work for the police.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Therefore, there is nobody better than those who have a deep knowledge, understanding and commitment to the police to help me sort it out, and you won't be alone in being asked this question.
A. Okay. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much indeed. MS PATRY HOSKINS Thank you, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That's probably a convenient moment to take a break before we carry on. Thank you. (11.24 am) (A short break) (11.31 am) MR JAY Sir, the next witness is Lord Stevens, please. LORD JOHN ARTHUR STEVENS (sworn) Questions by MR JAY MR JAY First of all, your full name?
A. John Arthur Stevens.
Q. Thank you. You have provided the Inquiry with a witness statement dated 27 February 2012. You've signed and dated it and there's a standard statement of truth. Is this your formal evidence to the Inquiry?
A. It is, yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I say to you as I said to Lord Condon: thank you very much indeed for the obvious enormous work that you've put into it.
A. Thank you, sir. MR JAY Lord Stevens, in terms of your career, you joined the service in October 1962. You remained there for the next 23 years, rose to the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent, and then you took, if I can describe it in these terms, a legal interregnum. You came back, however, but transferred to Hampshire and then Cambridge. At that stage, you were appointed head of the police inquiry into Northern Ireland, in particular, the issues of collusion between loyalist paramilitaries, the British security forces there and the RUC, and those are reports which are known as Stevens 1, 2 and 3. It's a 20-year investigation, and parts of that are still ongoing. In 1991, you became Chief Constable of Northumbria, where you remained until anyone 1996. Then there was a two-year period at HMIC, 1996 to 1998, until, we heard from Lord Condon, you became Deputy Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police in 1998 and then Commissioner on 1 February, the year 2000.
A. That's right.
Q. Then you stayed there for five years and retired in February 2005?
A. Yes.
Q. Can I ask you about paragraph 10 of your statement. You say that you had specific responsibility for the modernisation of the MPS and were overseeing the fight against corruption within the MPS. We've heard from Lord Condon in part what that entailed. I'm asked to put this to you: did that involve issues such as the bribery of MPS staff and officers by the media?
A. No, not specifically that, but of course the anti-corruption strategy was about any corrupt practices that were involved and if that came to notice, then it was my responsibility, as Deputy Commissioner, to investigate that and if they had come about, we would have done so.
Q. Thank you. You raise in paragraph 10 and this is picked up in paragraph 11 the MacPherson report into the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence that was published in 1999 and the effect of that report on morale within the MPS. Again, please, in your own words, how did you see that? In particular, the MPS's relationship with the press?
A. Well, it had a very pronounced effect. I think, whether right or wrong, most individual officers and support staff in the Metropolitan Police felt that they had been accused of racist behaviour themselves, although that actually wasn't the impact of the report. So it had a massive effect, and we, of course, had a large number of recommendations to bring in and ensure were enforced.
Q. Thank you. When you became Commissioner in February 2000, there was a political sea change that year as well, with the appointment of the new Metropolitan Police Authority and the first Mayor of London. At paragraph 14, you say: "It was decided by the senior management team after consultation that a wholesale change in culture was needed." First of all, why was there a need for that change, and secondly, what did the change entail?
A. I think the Metropolitan Police at that time and I don't think anyone would disagree with that was an organisation in severe crisis. We'd gone down to the number of 25,470 officers. We were losing something in the region of 300 to 400 a month. If that had continued for another six to nine months to a year, we'd have just not been able to operate at all, so we were in big difficulties. It was interesting going around to various places that no one wanted to join the Metropolitan Police because they didn't think it was an organisation worth joining.
Q. Thank you. It was clear to you and this is paragraph 15, and brings us to, really, the centrality of this module of the Inquiry that the way to bring about this change was by establishing a close working relationship with the media. Why did you think that was necessary?
A. Well, we were dealing with crisis management up to then and we wanted to get a strategy that actually dealt with taking us onto a front foot. But dealing with the media I'd like to stress this was only one part of the strategy. I was involved and it was decided by the top team and by agreement with the Home Secretary and then latterly by the Metropolitan Police Authority that we would go and I personally would give the message to every single officer and support staff in the Metropolitan Police on a personal basis. So that was part of the strategy. The other part of the strategy, of course, was creating something in writing so people could understand what we were doing. So the media, yes, were a very major part of it, but it was a matter of getting on the front foot, of having a strategy, of actually taking forward also, as you have heard from Lord Condon this morning, the anti-corruption strategy and the media practices that we'd developed over that period of time.
Q. You say in the middle of paragraph 15: "Another advantage of this increased media awareness and a positive media image would be that support for policing priorities would be easier to obtain from both the private and public sector. All this meant that the MPS would stand to receive increased funding." A couple of issues there. The positive media image that you refer to, it might be said that fostering that image would be designed in part to bury bad news. Would you agree with that observation?
A. Not at all. You're always going to get, in policing, bad news, because that's the nature of it. It's not a matter of burying bad news; it's a matter of admitted to mistakes but at the same time allowing officers on the street and support staff, who do a tremendous job every day of the week, every week of the year, to actually tell their stories far more in a positive way. I know good news doesn't sell newspapers or the media, but we were going to try and do some of that.
Q. The link between the positive media image and increased funding, I mean, was that a link which you perceived at the time as being necessary and one that it was appropriate to foster?
A. Yes, I think in terms of resourcing, it's quite right for politicians and for, latterly, the Mayor of London later on that year to say, "Look if we give you extra resources, we want the results", and these results were all about making London the safest city in the world to live in, which was part of the vision I had.
Q. The dividing line between a positive media image and spin is often difficult to see. Of course, it's quite easy to formulate. How did you see that dividing line, if at all?
A. I'm one that actually believes in "actions speak louder than words", and over my career of 43 years in the Police Service, I've always held to that. It's not for a commissioner, a chief constable or anybody to start saying their force is doing brilliantly. Let others say that and I think actions will speak louder than words in that respect.
Q. Thank you. The means by which this culture change was achieved paragraph 17 covers the exhausting programme. Many aspects of that programme had little to do about the media.
A. That's right.
Q. But some aspects did. I'll come back to dealings with the media in a moment. You make it clear that this programme, this culture change, was successful. Paragraphs 18 and 19 of your statement. Again, in your own words, would you like to cover those matters?
A. Well, it was successful, because at the end of my commissionership, independent surveys showed that and here it's a matter of record that contact with the public, the public in London, 85 per cent of them were satisfied with what they got from the police. In terms of action taken by the police, 77 per cent were satisfied. Overall satisfaction rates were 78 per cent. These were probably nearly the highest and were the highest, probably satisfaction rates taking place in the United Kingdom at that time. They came from a very low point.
Q. One matter I missed out
A. Sorry, I must apologise. Complaints had also reduced over that five years by 50 per cent, against the police.
Q. So you point to those as being objective markers of success, regardless of
A. Well, I think so, and of course, the other objective marker was we met all our targets. Crime was coming down considerably and fortunately, thank God, we'd managed to divert terrorist attacks both from the provisional IRA we'd arrested people, there was eight attacks when I first became Commissioner, a bomb in the high street in Ealing, a bomb underneath Hammersmith. We managed to arrest those and convict those people. But 9/11, 2001 was a complete change in terms of how we have to approach terrorism.
Q. What I didn't deal with in introducing your career history is I'm told you're currently chairman of the Independent Review of Policing.
A. That's right.
Q. Which is a body established by the opposition, but with all party support. It's reviewing policy and aiming to take account of this Inquiry's findings.
A. That's true.
Q. Looking at it the other way, are there any preliminary findings which you've come to which might inform this Inquiry's findings?
A. No, sir, there are not. We're about to take evidence from former home secretaries, we have seven or eight universities involved, we will be taking evidence from the Federation of Superintendents Association, and everybody that we need to do understand what police the needs for policing in the 21st century. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON What is your timeframe?
A. Reporting in spring, sir, of next year. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MR JAY Your approach to media relations, paragraph 24 of your statement, our page 9801. You say that prior to you becoming Commissioner, the relationship with the media was based on mistrust: a general reluctance to provide information, unless absolutely necessary organisation was seen as secretive and unwilling to engage with the media." What do you think the reasons for that were?
A. I think Lord Condon this morning probably said it. We had I'd been in the Inspectorate of Constabulary for the Metropolitan Police before coming back as Deputy Commissioner with specific responsibilities for anti-corruption. I think the Metropolitan Police had been hammered, over a large period of time, with some very bad media, and I think the reason that people did not want to speak to the media at that stage was they thought that it would be counter-productive and they'd be criticised.
Q. So when you came in, there was a new policy agreed with the Secretary of State for the home department and outlined in the special notice. We have those materials available, I hope in that bundle immediately to your right.
A. I think I have a copy here, actually, Mr Jay.
Q. Thank you. There was a policy in place when you arrived, special notice 24/98, promulgated on 21 August 1998. In the bundle of policies and procedures we're working from, it's tab A, sub-tab 1. This is a policy which you were responsible for as Deputy Commissioner?
A. That's true, yes.
Q. Can we just take a little bit of time to look at this policy. The aims this is on the internal numbering page 2. The policy itself, I can give the I thought I could give the page number. Bear with me one minute. 04681 is the first page, so this is going to be 04682. Level with the upper hole punch, the aim: "Strengthen public confidence and trust, improve the public perception and satisfaction of the MPS and reassure the public that the police are tackling crime ethically, effectively and professionally, without increasing the fear of crime." Then the strategic communication framework: "Effective communication can help improve and enhance the overall performance, image and reputation of the MPS. The corporate communication strategy must provide a framework which reflects corporate activities and encompass Then there's a whole range of objectives. Involvement with the media presumably was one aspect of this strategy; is that right?
A. It was one aspect, yes.
Q. On the second page, level with the lower hole punch this is the following page in the URN references: "Media relations. Our relationship with the media is crucial and encompasses three main areas: proactive actively promoting the policies, work and achievements of the MPS; reactive responding quickly and accurately to media enquiries; and media training to give professional advice and training to officers dealing with the media and assist officers in handling the media at scenes." So before you become Commissioner, these are the strategies and ideas which you wish to get across. Most of them, of course, are self-explanatory. Can I deal with media training. First of all, have you had any media training?
A. Yes, I was one of the first officers under Sir Robert Mark to undertake training as a Detective Sergeant first class. I've always had a bee in my bonnet about media training being necessary in terms of dealing with the press.
Q. I'm not going to ask you to list all the aspects of that training, but what were the key messages which the training taught?
A. To be open and honest, to directly answer questions, and the most important thing is never to tell lies to the press. That's gone through all of my training, including things that came out of the senior FBI course which I attended: never tell lies to the press.
Q. Which is not the same, necessarily, as giving them the whole story, but you're certainly not going to mislead them directly?
A. It's misleading. Of course, you have confines Official Secrets Act, Contempt of Court Act and the like and as Paul Condon was explaining this morning, you have your judgment. Police officers have their own expertise and judgment.
Q. Page 9 on the internal numbering, which is going to be about 4690, I hope, on the URN numbers. It's annex C, media policy.
A. Yes.
Q. The general point is made level with the upper hole punch: "Our policy is to be open and honest in dealing with the media. We will tell the media things which are in the best interests of the public to know about, help to show the public the way in which the police go about their work and help to build public confidence in the police." So those three elements are all to do with the public interest perhaps, more than the interests of the police, but the two, of course, can intersect?
A. That's right.
Q. A Venn diagram. Then the categories of information: "The information provided will be in one of the following categories: "For offer this is the information we want the media to use. "If asked this is the information we release if asked specifically about something. "Non-attributable this is information that we give to the media and which may be published, but the MPS is not quoted as the source. "Not for the publication." So it means what it says; it's for guidance only. May I ask about the category "off the record"? In your view, is that the non-attributable category or is it something different or might its meaning depend on the contents?
A. I think it depends on the contents. I think I, like Paul Condon, have a problem about off-the-record briefing, especially if police officers are giving their opinion rather than what the evidence is, and it's very dangerous territory, I think, in my view.
Q. So you don't favour off-the-record briefings, but what about a briefing which is clearly coming from the MPS, although the individual within the MPS is not named? Do you see a problem with that?
A. Yes, I do, because quite often you see in newspapers "police sources", and some of those sources, of course, can never be attributable to anybody. But going along the lines of what Lord Condon said this morning, I can give examples of when we had to give private briefings to editors in terms of terrorism or what we were doing. I can give examples of that which were in the public interest and it's "in the public interest" that's the important part of it.
Q. We're going to come to those. Am I right in saying that those would fall within the "not for publication" part
A. That's true.
Q. of these four categories, rather than the third part?
A. Yes.
Q. There is a LORD JUSTICE LEVESON What do you think about the phrase "police sources"?
A. I always look at it with a certain amount of cynicism. If, in fact, the officer is not named or the force is not named, that could come from all sorts of areas, one of which, of course, could be leaks, and others can be actually attributed to the police when they are not coming from the police. MR JAY So is this right: off-the-record briefings may encourage culture, sometimes within the press itself, to be, as it were, lazy or inaccurate, because they will then start using the term "police sources" when they know full well that there isn't a source or it's not a reliable source?
A. Yes, I think so.
Q. The policy you refer to at the end of paragraph 24 is under tab 2 of this bundle, and by now, of course, you are Commissioner, although you sign it at page 4. Does it follow that you took ownership of this policy, rather than your deputy?
A. Oh, anything that happened in my on my watch is my responsibility. Good or bad.
Q. That's technically right, Lord Stevens, but we saw that the 1998 policy was specifically from the Deputy Commissioner. Of course, the Commissioner would be ultimately responsible, but trying to understand the 2000 policy, is this one that you specifically took to yourself
A. That's absolutely right. I was involved in a consultation and getting agreement of the management board, the Home Secretary and others.
Q. Thank you. In our bundle let's just check it's correctly up on the screen. The first page is 04692, so I think this is following on sequentially. On the internal numbering, page 2 is going to be 04693, I hope and believe. Just looking at parts of this, Lord Stevens because this chimes precisely with the evidence you've already given, but if you look at the third paragraph of the second page: "Over the years, I have seen the Met become increasingly cautious in its media relations and become far too reactive. This cautiousness can breed suspicion and contempt, while an open approach tends to breed confidence and respect. If we are to gain the goodwill, confidence and support of the general public and achieve our aim of making London a safe place, we need to reengage the with the media and seize every opportunity to be much more proactive." Then the policy itself this is more of a summary of the policy, rather than but it's giving us a good idea. Level with the lower hole punch: "By being proactive, we intend to gain maximum media coverage and understanding of MPS policies, actions and decisions." Then the three bullet points are very similar to the bullet points we'd seen in the 1998 policy. The bottom of the page: "Operational information. Inspectors and above are authorised to speak to the media about their own areas of responsibility." So you're it defining there both the rank at which information can properly be disseminated and the domains from which that information can be disseminated?
A. That's true.
Q. For reasons which are probably self-explanatory. "Where appropriate, officers below the rank of inspector may speak to the media but only with the approval of a special officer." And then implementation on the next page. This covers the off-the-record point, but again, I think we're going to have to be careful in defining our terms. As we heard from Mr Baker, there's some uncertainty as to what this means and it's context-specific. The second paragraph, under the rubric "Implementation": "When confidence and trust is established, there may be occasions when senior officers will feel able to talk to reporters on an off-the-record basis [and then italicised] dealing with matters not for public disclosure, explaining reasons for maintaining confidentiality and specifying what might be published." Am I right in saying that this is really falling within the fourth category of information we saw in the previous note, the 1998 guidance
A. Yes.
Q. rather than the third? Then skipping a paragraph: "This approach in dealing with the media will involve risks, disappointments and anxiety, but officers who act and speak in good faith may be assured of my support." Well, the risks, disappointments and anxieties, could you expand on those for us, please, Lord Stevens?
A. Well, I had a basic confidence in the majority, 98 to 99 per cent of the Metropolitan Police, that they would do things in an honest way and in a way that actually could show the force what the public show the public what the force was doing, and I think the best people to do that, quite frankly, are those people on the front line: the PCs, the sergeants, the PCSOs. The risks are that you're exposing people who perhaps have not had full public training full training in terms of the press to an exposure which is difficult to handle. However, I have to say in my time, both as Chief Constable in Northumbria, inspecting some of the major forces in the United Kingdom as HMI, and then Deputy and Commissioner, I've never been let down too much by people who are doing the job on the front line. They tell the story far better than we, who are the so-called chief officers.
Q. Is there not and I just throw this out for consideration additional risk that if the strategy is to promote the police in the best possible light, anybody who is aggrieved and who feels that the "truth" is negative and not quite as positive as was being promoted by senior officers may be more inclined to leak the negative picture, because they feel that that represents the truth and therefore there is a public interest in giving out that leak? Is that a risk?
A. Yes, but I think you'll see there that you also there is also an issue where we admit our mistakes. My own view is that a so-called open-door policy does not allow those people who are leaking for money, for corruption, to flourish. If, in fact, you have an open-door policy that is explaining in a transparent and open way what you're doing in policing, that will have the effect of eradicating some of these corrupt practices that do go on.
Q. You refer in this paragraph to disclosing information to the media for financial gain. That's self-explanatory and that's a clear offence under what was then the 1906 Act. You also refer to favour. What are the range of favours which might be in play here?
A. Well, if anyone does anything and this is where I would get quite cross with people with their own agenda and puts that in front of the agenda of the Metropolitan Police or the public interest of delivering out there on the streets, in terms of making the streets safer, that has to be questioned. Why would they do that, bearing in mind they're being paid a salary, they've taken an oath, they're a sworn officer? Why would they do that? That is what I was getting at.
Q. So outside the sphere of genuine whistle-blowing, which is protected by statute
A. Yes.
Q. and was since 1996, I believe, and clearly in place when this notice was promulgated, anything which is in the personal interest of the disseminator, if I can use that more neutral term, rather than the public interest of the nation as a whole or the police in particular would be inappropriate?
A. Absolutely.
Q. Certain other safeguards which you describe in the policy towards the bottom of this page: "Those officers who speak to reporters should always tell the DPA. This will allow for statements to be prepared to deal with any follow-up enquiries following publication or broadcast." Now, would that cover the off-the-record communications
A. Oh, very much so.
Q. Thank you. Taking the media on police operations that's on the next page, Lord Stevens.
A. Yes.
Q. "I am keen to see more media being taken on police operations. It would give a good insight into policing and tackling crime." We heard something of this from Lord Condon. There may be risks here. It will be intrusive, it may infringe the rights of the suspect. How do you see the right balance between informing the public on the one hand, who can see doors being bashed down and usually drug dealers being arrested or whatever but it can go too far?
A. I think it's another very difficult area. I think, one, that the police should maintain editorial control, bearing in mind that there are probable court cases later on. I think there should not be, as has been explained here it has to be of significant public interest to allow it to happen. I don't think it should interfere with an individual's rights and their private or family life, their home or correspondence, and as importantly as all of that as I've just stated, it shouldn't interfere with an individual's right to a fair trial. That would be totally wrong.
Q. Thank you. There was a specific policy about this in 2001, which is tab 3 of this bundle. This time it's coming from the directorate of public affairs. I'm not going to plough through this with you, but it gives more detail to the general principles
A. That's true.
Q. that you've been stating. I'd like go back to your witness statement. Some of the general matters which you deal with in paragraphs 25 and following you've already discussed with us, with reference to the relevant policy and the lecture you refer to we will take as read. Paragraph 30, please: "As Commissioner, I worked hard to foster good relations withed media. This involved being available to speak with editors or journalists. I had lunches with the editors of all the national newspapers." You say, and I paraphrase, that Mr Fedorcio was almost always there, save when you wanted the media to comment on his performance. That would be a reason for his not being there. It's clear from the diary, which we'll be looking at at a moment, that you had frequent meetings with now Sir Max Hastings.
A. Yes.
Q. Can you provide us, please, with the context for that?
A. Sir Max was editor of the Evening Standard, which I considered to be the local newspaper. So I saw him once a quarter, and Veronica Wadley took over for him in 2003 and I saw her on more or less a quarterly basis, mainly because I regarded them as the local newspaper for London.
Q. Thank you. For the period January 2000 to the end of your career the last entry in the diary is 25 January 2005 we have a record of what's in your diary. We don't have a hospitality register for you, Lord Stevens, although it appears that the policy was that there should have been one since 1998. Do you know the reason for that?
A. No, I don't. Those type of registers would have been up-kept by my PA, staff officer, chief of staff. I don't know why they're not there. But in relation to my diary, that will give details of where I went anyway.
Q. Thank you. Is it probably the case that there was at one stage a register, but it's no longer available, rather than there never was a register?
A. I'd be very surprised if I didn't implement my own policies, or my staff didn't.
Q. Thank you. The picture which emerges from the diary I can take some of this quite shortly because the diary is not yet in the public domain is that you are having frequent meetings with senior members of the press, in particular editors, from the whole range of newspapers.
A. Absolutely.
Q. To be absolutely clear, that would entail evidently those within the News International group, the Trinity Mirror Group and of course the Associated News group, because there are frequent meetings, lunches, on occasion dinners, with Mr Dacre, who was then of course the editor-in-chief.
A. Yes.
Q. Looking at it broadly, it's not possible to say that you're favouring any one newspaper group. Do you feel that that's a fair summary?
A. I was absolutely determined no the to favour any newspaper group. They do talk amongst each other, and I was determined not to do that and the figures of course prove that.
Q. There are one or two entries that one should look at to allay public concern. In any event, I should ask questions to you about them. On the second page of the diary, the entry for 20 January 2000, there's a dinner with Neil Wallis. It says: "Details await." Then there's a name and then the Birdcage, which is or appears to be a restaurant in W1. So it follows from that that is this a private dinner with Mr Wallis?
A. Yes. I met Mr Wallis twice, with my wife and his wife, when we were working up the charity I was basically in charge of, which was Convoy 2000, to involve his wife. We met twice. He paid for the dinner once and I paid for the other dinner, but that didn't come to anything. I think that's the entry you're looking at.
Q. So this relates to your charity work and nothing else?
A. Yes, absolutely.
Q. Can I move forward to 16 August 2000.
A. Can I just have the individual tab there, if I may?
Q. I'm not quite sure how this has been given to you, Lord Stevens. I hope in the same form as it's been given to me. It's about four pages further on. Sorry, this is in the diary entries.
A. Okay. I have the amount of times I met per year. I don't have the individual ones in front of me. I should have but I don't, sorry.
Q. The document which has been supplied to me by the Metropolitan Police and again, this will be made publicly available: "Lunch with Rebekah Wade, editor News of the World, and Andy Coulson, deputy editor, and the DPA." This is at a hotel in W1.
A. Yes.
Q. It's difficult now, 12 years after the event nearly, but are you able to help us with the purpose of that?
A. I think that was Berners Street, Sanderson's. That was a meeting about when I always saw Rebekah Wade, with the DPA or whoever I was with, she was always pursuing Sarah's Law, and at that stage, if I remember rightly, she'd had threats to her, and she got her own private protection, and that was so the conversations with Rebekah Wade were always Sarah's Law, pursuance of that and trying to get my support for that.
Q. Thank you. In October and November 2000, on the first occasion, there's a lunch with Lord Alli and Neil Wallis, on the second occasion, a short meeting with Lord Alli and Neil Wallis at New Scotland Yard. Could you help us with the purpose of those encounters?
A. Yes. Neil Wallis was a friend of Lord Alli, Waheed Alli. I wanted Waheed Alli to be an adviser a group of about 12 or 14 people, and I wanted him to be one, to be advisers, to actually say what we were doing wrong, in particular what the Metropolitan Police was doing wrong, what I was doing wrong, and what we could do to right that. So there were two meetings with Lord Alli and he then agreed to be one of the advisers who I used to meet up with once every three to four months for dinner at Scotland Yard.
Q. Thank you. 27 June 2001, this is an evening appointment: "Dinner Neil Wallis, Sunday People editor." It says.
A. Yes.
Q. Is this part of the same charity work you're referring to?
A. No, that would be seeing him as editor of the Sunday People, which would revolve around issues that he had or we had in terms of policing.
Q. So it's no different then from the other lunches and dinners you had with other editors?
A. No.
Q. The purpose is generally the same?
A. The issue with the Sunday People and with the Mirror Group and that the Trinity House Group is we also met when Roger Graef was the editor-in-chief, we met and had lunch and Piers Morgan was there I think about three times over five years to discuss what was happening there, and more importantly, for them to hold me to account on some of the promises we had made in terms of policing London.
Q. Thank you. Then the following year, 16 April 2002 this is the evening again: "Dinner with Neil and Gaye Wallis, London's Brasserie." Was that a social occasion?
A. That was the one to do with the charity, yes.
Q. To be clear, there are a lot of interactions with the press which we'd describe generally as being with national editors.
A. Yes.
Q. 28 August 2002. This is one which others may have already picked up on: "Dinner with Rebekah Wade and husband, the Ivy." Your wife, I think, couldn't be there?
A. There were three dinners with Rebekah Wade and Ross Kemp at the Ivy, which over the five years, I met up with her 12 times, three of which were to do with the charity. Ross Kemp very generously agreed to front an evening whereby we were going to get charitable donations to the charity, which he did. My wife was at two of those, and on one of those evenings I paid I personally paid, at the Ivy.
Q. Thank you. In relation to Mr Wallis, 11 September 2002, dinner with Mr Wallis and his wife at a restaurant called Convivio. Then June 2003 sorry, that's moving on there, but again, is that a private dinner?
A. Charity again. That was the two occasions I was talking about in terms of trying to get perhaps get Neil Wallis' wife involved with the charity.
Q. Thank you. Then there's one more in 2003, September 2003: "Dinner with editors and Dick " That's Mr Fedorcio?
A. Yes.
Q. News of the World, Scalini. Andy Coulson, editor, Neil Wallis, deputy editor And then it says: Stuart Kuttner, journalist." Presumably that's part of the general pattern
A. Yes.
Q. of meeting with editors?
A. Yes.
Q. How would you describe your relationship with Mr Wallis, particularly by the time we reach 2005? How close was it, if at all?
A. It was totally professional. I never went to his house, he never came to mine or to my flat. It was all on a professional basis, and that's how I wanted it to be and that's how it was with all of the people involved in the press.
Q. Thank you. Moving forward then through your statement, paragraph 34 I think we can move to, where you say: "Ultimately, however, it was my view that the people who sell the MPS best are the people doing the job out on the street." You pick this up in paragraph 37, where you say you encouraged Met-wide communication: "I wanted everybody to get out and tell the story and face the questions." Do you consider, Lord Stevens, that without formal and consistent guidance, this policy was open to different interpretations and possibly to abuse?
A. No. I think part of the process was to have training, which I think I've talked about, but in addition to that we had a leadership programme which was on top of all of this, which was for chief inspectors and above, which I personally opened on every occasion bar one, I think, and that was to all chief inspectors and above in the Metropolitan Police, which it is all about integrity and all about dealing with the press in the right manner. You know, going back to what I said earlier, the people who do the job on the streets, PCs and sergeants, they know what they're doing and they do it in a way which is extraordinary and I think that had to be told, that story had to be told.
Q. Lord Justice Leveson asked the question of Lord Condon what his reaction was to some of the evidence which this Inquiry received last week. It's inevitable, therefore, that I ask you the same question generally. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Or on the basis that if you don't, I will. MR JAY Yes.
A. I find it very difficult to criticise people who followed me up in the job. I purposely don't to that. I've only been back to the Yard once since I left as Commissioner, although I continue the Diana Inquiry and Northern Ireland Inquiry from Putney. I'd rather not comment, to be honest. If you want to push me on it, you can.
Q. May I push you just to this extent LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes. MR JAY Some people might say that if one is looking at some of the evidence we've heard there may be a connection here between the tone that was set previously and what they did.
A. Yes.
Q. Just to put the point as generally as I can. May I ask you to comment on that?
A. Well, I suppose, like Paul Condon, I've been disappointed on what has taken place. I'd like to have thought that the issues the Guardian had raised I would have picked up as Commissioner. If they'd have been picked up then, I think I'd have been quite ruthless about pursuing it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Could I ask a slightly different question? I'm not asking you to be disloyal to the service; I wouldn't want that for the world. I'm obviously anxious to receive all the help I can get, but let me ask this: you'd had a relationship with Mr Wallis, as you described it and I'm not gainsaying that for a moment. Would that have caused you concern if somebody had asked you and I'm not talking about you then as the Commissioner, obviously to look into what was happening at News of the World in the context of senior editorial staff? How would you have dealt with that problem?
A. Exactly the same way I dealt with the inquiry in Northern Ireland, where we had to arrest over 150 people, some from the security services. I'd have gone on and done it. That's what police officers are paid to do: to enforce the law. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But the 150 people in Northern Ireland that you arrested, how many of them had you had a relationship that was the type of relationship that you had with Mr Wallis?
A. None, but I had a professional relationship with Mr Wallis, and I'm afraid if it comes to enforcing the law, a professional relationship has to go any relationship has to go to one side. If there's evidence to pursue in terms of any criminal activity, whether it be phone hacking, corruption or otherwise, that has to be pursued. That's why we take an oath becoming a police officer, and I'd have pursued it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Yes, and what about the perception that if things don't turn up what they might, some people may say, "Well, that's not terribly surprising"?
A. Well, if that's the perception, then if you're asking me, people who say that, would know me, would know that that wouldn't be the perception. That's the issue around dealing with people in the press. They know how far to push it. Of course there's no such thing as a free lunch, but these people who we were dealing with were professional people. They knew my reputation and my reputation would have been to have pursued whatever the evidence was and go where the evidence takes us, which was the phrase I used when I went to Northern Ireland. I knew of no other way of pursuing these things. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That probably feeds into the answer that you have given in relation to the Guardian material.
A. Yes, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I understand that.
A. Yes, sir. MR JAY Paragraph 38, please, Lord Stevens, of your statement. You said: "I have been grateful on several occasions for the objective and informed coverage given to cases and concerns involving the MPS." How often, in your view, was press coverage subjective and ill-informed?
A. On a number of occasions. I personally had to sue the press on two occasions and only recently got satisfaction for not just myself but the Stevens Inquiry team a year and a half ago. On two occasions, I've had to make complaints to the IPCC and got actually good service from them. On one occasion, I came into the Yard, I think, in 2002 and the headlines were, in the editorial: "Stevens should be stripped of his knighthood because of the way that the Burrell case had been dealt with." So there are many occasions when the press are used. That's what I'm saying.
Q. I think your statement says somewhat later on there were two occasions when you complained to the PCC; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Could you assist us, please, with how that went?
A. Well, the first occasion was when it was reported in a paper that I'd said I believed in legalising cannabis, and that came out of some of the problems we had down in Brixton and Brian Paddick. I complained that wasn't the case, that was dealt with. And on the second occasion was during the Diana Inquiry, when the reports of what I was earning were just absolutely absurd and ridiculous, and I made a complaint in relation to the newspaper reporting on that and got satisfaction out of that. The only problem is that when you do get satisfaction, of course they don't deal with it in the same way as they've dealt with the previous article. I think we should have a system like Germany where it's put on exactly the same page and given exactly the same type of attention. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON You'll probably have heard other people say that to me over the course of the last few months.
A. Yes, sir. MR JAY Paragraph 41, Lord Stevens. You say that what the media wanted fundamentally was to investigate and report on topical policing issues.
A. Yes.
Q. Were there occasions when you felt, in your interactions with the media, particularly those which were taking place on a one-to-one basis or in a small group, that the media were trying to get more out of you?
A. The media always try and get more out of you, but to be frank I mean, the vast majority of editors I dealt with were highly professional and actually wanted to know what the true story was. To use Lord Condon's phrase, they weren't pariahs; these were highly professional people, some of which I respected immensely.
Q. Thank you. Paragraphs 43 and 44 we've covered. This is probably a good opportunity to look at the 2003 policy, which is in this master bundle at tab 4. The first page of tab 4 is 04702. Again, it comes from the directorate of public affairs. This may be something you had a brief look at; is that right?
A. Yes.
Q. Before it goes out?
A. Yes. Well, I think it would have a gone beyond that. It would have come into the strategic senior management team and we'd have discussed it. Nothing went out into police orders unless it was discussed by the whole senior team and we took kind of consultation in the force over it. These things weren't done in isolation.
Q. Thank you. The internal numbering page 9, but it's probably, in the URN numbers, the number immediately following the number I read out a minute ago, under the heading "Administration, Metropolitan Police Service media relations policy", you say: "The new policy in September 2000 [I paraphrase] has considerably improved matters. However, there's more to be done because there are so many good news stories that still fail to reach the views, listeners and readers or those who report on the MPS. We therefore need to refresh our approach to working with the media by developing effective and positive relationships with journalists from the wide range of news organisations that cover our work." Now, lord Stevens, in your interactions with the press, whenever they took place, were you telling them: "You print too much bad news; what about the good news?"
A. I was incredibly frustrated about that. Once every six months or so six weeks, sorry, or two months, we used to have commendation ceremonies at the Yard, where police officers in particular were commended on their bravery and the work they did. I mean, to get that into the written press sometimes we were lucky enough to get it into the TV but it was incredibly difficult to get coverage of these type of actions and that was so frustrating.
Q. This policy is not much different from the previous policy, the 2000 policy, but it's making it clear that proactivity is the strategy.
A. Yes, and with, of course, the safeguards that anyone who does not follow the proper guidelines is subject to discipline and the criminal law.
Q. Yes, that is made clear. I think it's made clear in one of the annexes.
A. Yes.
Q. While we're on the policies, the gifts and hospitality policy. Under tab B, the first of them is. Item number 3. It's notice 17/03, 23 April 2003.
A. Yes, I have that, thank you.
Q. The page number for that one is 04768.
A. Sorry, could you if we have it here, there's no problem. Thank you.
Q. That's the first page, the one I read out, but the very next page is the one we're going to look at specifically, headed "The policy for the acceptance of gifts and hospitality". A number of important themes emerge from this. There's reference to the law, the Prevention of Corruption Act. There are two relevant Acts, but we're principally concerned with the 1906 Act. In the middle of the page, "Policy statement": "The actions of members of staff of the MPS will not give rise to or foster suspicion that outside individuals or organisations have gained favour or advantage by the acceptance of gifts or hospitality from any person of organisation." So the "foster suspicion" part, that is dealing with the issue of perception as much as reality; is that the intention?
A. That's true, yes.
Q. Then I read on: "No member of staff should accept any gift or hospitality which could cause their judgment or integrity to be compromised in fact [and then I pause there] or by reasonable implication, and by implication damage the reputation of the MPS." So again, we have factual impairment of judgment and then the perception of impairment of judgment.
A. That's true, yes.
Q. And the second may be as important as the first. The overriding principle on the next page: "If the member of staff is in any doubt as to whether or not to accept hospitality, gifts or payments, advice should be sought from someone more senior [I paraphrase]. When there is doubt, caution should be exercised and the offer designed. The use of hospitality registers is not primarily to provide a checking process but to protect individual members of staff and the MPS from accusations that integrity has been compromised." So the expectation there is that they be freely available for public scrutiny and they would be internally audited; is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. Then there's specific guidance on gifts and hospitality. The principles there are the same, but there's something more specific on the next page about arguably lavish entertaining, four lines from the top: "It may be appropriate in some cases to accept the offer of a light working lunch or exceptionally a working dinner, but only if there's no great expense involved. For instance, a meal costing in the region of ?10 per head would normally be acceptable, whereas a meal costing ?150 per head clearly would not." So that's
A. That would only be acceptable in exceptional circumstances.
Q. Private dinners fall arguably into a different category; is that right?
A. I think they do. Going back to what Lord Condon said, the difficulty was with one or two editors, they had their preference of where they wanted to eat. I would have liked most of these meetings to have taken place at Scotland Yard, but it didn't work that way. But it was usually a meal of one meal at their place that they wanted and trying to get them back to the Yard, but one or two didn't like the food in the mess.
Q. Thank you. This policy was updated, but in truth few changes were made at B4 and B5, so we're not going to look at those; we're just going to note the fact that they were updated, and this is a matter which can be dealt with in writing, really. We're taking documents as read. We don't need to read out the text. Can I go back to paragraph 45 of your statement, where you move on to a different theme, which is leaving the MPS and working for media organisations once they've retired. You point out that there are no specific limitations to your knowledge which cover that.
A. No.
Q. Can I ask you, please, about you writing a number of articles for the News of the World, which is paragraph 46. This related to the publication of your auto biography and the serialisation rights which would ensure.
A. That's right.
Q. In your own words, could you tell us about that, please?
A. Well, I did write an autobiography. I was approached by Lord Weidenfeld, who talked me into it. Other Commissioners had written autobiographies and I wanted to model my autobiography on Sir Robert Marks' "In the Office of Constable". Part of the deal was that that would be serialised in the News of the World and the Times and that was part of the package. The proceeds of that were going to go towards officers attending Northumbria University, where I'm chancellor, who had not been to university, who did not have a degree or university education. So the proceeds of the book unfortunately only one of those went through. I put the money into Northern Rock and lost all of it. So that was the process. The question writing articles was part of the package that the book involved, and it was writing no more than seven articles in a year, which were police-related, and being paid ?5,000 per article, which was a vast sum of money as far as I was concerned, but that, I was told, was the going rate, and Jeremy Lee of JLA, who was acting on my behalf in relation to these matters, dealt with that.
Q. You tell us that the articles were edited by Neil Wallis. Did Mr Wallis have anything to do with the contract, that the matters would be serialised in the News of the World?
A. No, that was dealt with by Mr Cutler, who was the managing director of the News of the World, and of course they were serialised in the News of the World and the Times. So they were dealt with by separate people, and Neil Wallis wasn't involved in that.
Q. So was it the publishers who arranged the particular titles where your articles would be serialised? Was that how it happened?
A. Exactly. The publishers linked in with the newspapers and Orion publishers did all of that.
Q. Am I correct in understanding, though, that the seven articles a year that you were writing I'll put this more openly: was this part of the same serialisation deal or was it a separate matter?
A. It came the question of writing as the chief came out of that, and that was part of what took place. So the first year I wrote, I think, about six or seven articles edited by Mr Wallis, there was a to and froing in terms of what those articles should be, and then a second contract was negotiated through Jeremy Lee, which was nine articles at ?7,000 a vast sum of money to me, again said to be the going rate per article. I didn't complete that contract because of the conviction that took place of the two people in the News of the World, and I saw Colin Myler and Neil Wallis and told them I didn't want to continue. I never gave them specific reasons, but from that night on, I never saw them again.
Q. Thank you. When was that?
A. I think it was 2003. I can't remember the exact dates.
Q. Well, the conviction of the two people you're referring to was in January 2007.
A. 2007.
Q. Your statement says you terminated the contract with the News of the World in October 2007.
A. Well, that's when it would be, I think, yes.
Q. Which was nine months or so after the convictions?
A. Yes, but when the convictions were taking place, certain other information was coming to my ears which just I didn't just want to do it. In retrospect it's all very clever to be clever in hindsight. I would never have written the articles if I'd have known what I know now.
Q. I've got to be careful when I ask the question because there's an ongoing police investigation.
A. Yes, exactly.
Q. But are you able to tell us anything about the other information which was coming to your knowledge?
A. It revolved around some unethical behaviour in relation to one or two articles that had got the headlines in the News of the World.
Q. The pieces you did write there was one piece which related to the 7/7 bombings. Another piece, the tragic shooting of PC Sharon Beshenivsky. Can I ask you, please, the 7/7 bombings piece, what was the theme of that?
A. The theme was really about how difficult the policing task is in terms of what they do. I had the idea it might have been naively that no longer having the constraints of being Commissioner, I could talk about things in a far more open manner in terms of what the police do and the excellent work that they do in terms of terrorism. In the tragic death of Sharon, I believe in certain circumstances the death penalty should actually follow some certain cases. I might be unpopular by saying that, but I do believe that, and if you look at the article, that came out in relation to that article.
Q. You were expressing a personal view?
A. Totally personal, no longer Commissioner, and that was my view.
Q. Can I ask you this general question: when you terminated the contract with the News of the World in October 2007, did you feel in hindsight that this was a contract you shouldn't have entered into in the first place?
A. I think, knowing what I do now, I certainly wouldn't have entered into it, and that's a fact. By terminated the contract with five more articles to write, I was throwing away money, but that didn't worry me. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Are you going onto another topic, Mr Jay? There's a question I wanted to ask. MR JAY Yes, please. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON My thinking got slightly diverted in our previous exchange because I'd obviously postulated the basis of your relationship with Mr Wallis as you'd described it and asked for your reaction. The follow-up question which I should have asked was what you would have done had the position been that you were, in fact, a personal friend of such a person. Do you see the point?
A. Yes, I do, sir. Yes, I do. You'd have to pursue it. You would have to pursue it. You'd have to pursue the evidence. If you had difficulty in pursuing it yourself, get someone else to do it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But that's the question. If it does involve someone you know, would you believe that it was proper then to say, "Well, this investigation must go on, but for all sorts of reasons, because somebody will say something, depending on how it goes out, it's just better if someone else does it"?
A. Yes, sir. Someone else does it. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON I'm not suggesting you pack it up.
A. No. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But that's what I was actually leading on to. Thank you very much.
A. Yes. MR JAY Paragraph 50, please, Lord Stevens. You were asked there to comment on current culture. You say in paragraph 51 that it seems to you that the MPS personnel have become reluctant to speak to the media: "Culture has changed significantly and understandably in light of recent events." To be clear about this, are you referring to a change in culture which has developed since the summer of last year or are you referring to some earlier period between 2005 and July 2011?
A. I think more recently. And I think Lord Condon dealt with that quite well.
Q. Your view, in paragraph 52, is that that is damaging. The media need to know what the police are doing. Absolutely essential to have transparency and openness. Are you suggesting there possibly that there's been an overreaction, that the pendulum has swung too far in one direction in relation to recent events?
A. What I've heard, people are absolutely terrified of picking up a phone or speaking to the press in any way, shame shape or form and I don't think that's healthy. The press have a job be to do. They deliver, on occasions, some outstanding work, especially investigative journalism sometimes. There has to be a relationship between the police and the media for the right reasons.
Q. Arguably difficult if the allegation has been and it's one that this Inquiry is, I suppose, exploring that in the past there's been overcosy relationships. It's inevitable people will react against that and maintain perhaps too great a distance; is that fair?
A. Yes.
Q. Can I just understand whether you are suggesting, in paragraph 53, that there may be some sort of causal relationship here. What are you saying, Lord Stevens, in the first sentence in particular of paragraph 53 about public order outbreaks occurring?
A. Well, I think if you for instance, in my time as Commissioner, I had two high profile shootings, one down at Brixton and the other was, of course, Mr Stanley at Hackney. One, it's very important to get down there as quickly as you can and sometimes take a fair bit of abuse, as I certainly did in Hackney when I went down there. But secondly, you have to get your message out through the media, which most people are looking at, especially in this day and age, and again, Paul Condon talked about that in terms of Twitter and the rapidity of communication. If you do not deal with that very, very quickly indeed, in terms of saying why you have been involved in a shooting or why you've done the actions you've done, then the whole thing will just escalate in a way that leads to massive public disorder, and any kind of research and knowledge of what takes place in these issues, whether it be in America or other parts of the world, comes out with a specific lesson that the message must be out there as quickly as you can of why the police did what they did and the media have to be the major part of doing that.
Q. Lord Stevens, the next section, beginning at paragraph 55, we've largely covered. Can I just ask you, please, about the last sentence of paragraph 57, which is page 09814, where you explain that usually you were accompanied by a member of DPA to provide professional advice. This is outside the context of a private dinner. What was the sort of advice that the DPA would give?
A. On current issues and what was happening and what wasn't happening. With regard to the Crime Reporters Association and I saw them about four times a year, one year only three times I always went with an assistant commissioner or deputy assistant commissioner. But the DPA were the continuity, if you like. They were the people who are the professional press people, whose advice you had to take in terms of not only delivery but the content of that delivery.
Q. Did they become in any way the spin doctors, as it were, of the Metropolitan Police, in your view?
A. No. As far as I was concerned, going back to what I said, is: don't lie to the press. The reasons for that are obvious. That then becomes the story, apart from the fact of trust. If you tell the truth along the lines that you should do, then you can get some mutual trust with certainly editors and other people.
Q. It's implicit in what you're saying that you felt that you did build relationships of trust with the editors we were looking at in your diary?
A. Absolutely. I had high professional respect for all of them. They were professionals. It was interesting in the kind of deliberations we had. They knew where the boundaries stood and didn't push you. Of course they were interested in getting more out of me in terms of Northern Ireland and other issues, but they knew they were the professionals. They knew how far to press it is and they knew they weren't going to get much more from me, I assure you.
Q. Some must surely have tried to push harder than others, human nature being as it is?
A. Yes. As I said earlier on, if you look at Rebekah Wade, she was very much into Sarah's Law. With Paul Dacre, quite rightly he wanted to know what was going on in relation to the tragic death of Stephen Lawrence and the Macpherson recommendations. These were issues for these people. They were high moral issues for these people, which you have to respect them for.
Q. Thank you. Paragraph 63, please. We may have touched on this already, but the leadership training programme for officers of chief inspector rank or above.
A. Yes.
Q. Integrity and anti-corruption was part of it but dealing with the media presumably was also part of it?
A. Very much so, yes.
Q. Apart from the general messages we see elsewhere the need to build trust, the need not to mislead, the need to be open and transparent were there any other messages which were communicated?
A. Well, integrity was one of the major issues, obviously, and all of that was dealt with in the leadership programme, which was a major platform of my commissionership. Leadership is absolutely essential. Proper, firm leadership delivers.
Q. You say in paragraph 65, in the context of the relationship with the editors, that you do not think that these professional relationships could have been fostered without some form of hospitality. Why do you say that?
A. Some editors I saw in their offices and some editors I dealt with by way of phone on occasion. Specifically if I thought, you know, the stories they were putting out were wrong. But in a more relaxed this is the way they did business. And if you didn't do it that way, they probably wouldn't see you.
Q. Did you put it, for example, to Mr Dacre or Max Hastings: "Let's meet in a more formal setting or semi-formal setting rather than over lunch or dinner"? Did you test their reaction?
A. Certainly with Mr Dacre, we used to have lunch, but he used to have some of his premier journalists there, and I have to say, you didn't concentrate so much on what you were eating because you were held to task and you were taken through things, and quite rightly so. With Sir Max, it was probably more relaxed because it was sometimes on a one-to-one basis, but he's a man of immense knowledge and I have to say on occasions I learnt more from them than they learnt from me, I think.
Q. Presumably what you said on these occasions did not find its way into the newspaper the following day?
A. No.
Q. It was more giving a background which could then be the springboard for later stories, or at least giving them a greater understanding of what you were doing on behalf of the MPS; is that correct?
A. Yes.
Q. So the confidentiality was honoured presumably on both sides?
A. It was.
Q. Issue of leaks now, Lord Stevens. This is paragraph 71, our page 09818. You have personal experience of this in relation to your Northern Ireland inquiries.
A. And also the national criminal intelligence service inquiry I did as Chief Constable in Northumbria.
Q. From your own experience, how easy is it to enquire into leaks and ascertain who the disseminator is?
A. It's extremely difficult. Whether you're looking at technical leaks through emails and the like, it is difficult. That's more easy. In Northern Ireland I used to have a unit within the Stevens 1 and 2 and 3 which looked at press leaks, because you could actually ascertain from the local media, specifically the newspapers, and sometimes national newspapers, where the next attack was coming in terms of what we were trying to do in Northern Ireland. You can usually work out who is to gain by this leak. There are other ways of looking at things as well, but it's a very difficult business.
Q. Were you ever successful?
A. Yes.
Q. Without going into the details, were these matters usually dealt with through the disciplinary channel rather than prosecution?
A. Yes, that's right. Certainly in the leakage of confidential information in Northern Ireland, there were prosecutions that took place in relation to that, which we pinned down. In terms of the Metropolitan Police when I was Commissioner and the responsibility was Ian Blair, who was an excellent Deputy Commissioner in my time there, five years, the responsibility of tracing down those leaks would have been down to him and also to the department for professional standards.
Q. Thank you. In paragraph 75 you're careful to distinguish between a leak on the one hand and a conversation with the press on the other. It may be easier to define the second rather than the first, but the conversation with the press is the sort of general background conversation that you had with editors?
A. Yes.
Q. And maybe less senior officers were having?
A. Yes.
Q. But obviously only officers at a relatively senior level. But a leak you define as "any information passed that would impair or would cause prejudice to an investigation or the functioning of the police." But whose opinion there is important when it comes to the functioning of the police? Is it the police's opinion or is it the opinion of the disseminator?
A. Both.
Q. Can we be clear about that? If the disseminator has the subjective view that the information being imparted is to the benefit of the functioning of the police, and the police have the view that it isn't, is that a leak or not?
A. I think what is a leak usually becomes obvious, to be honest. A leak that a person does which is to his benefit, his agenda, which is against what the organisation is trying to deliver and the public interest, is a leak that's being done for the wrong reasons.
Q. The primarily point here, whether it's for the personal benefit of the person doing the leaking, rather than the benefit of the public, unless of course it falls within the 1996 Act?
A. Yes.
Q. Where there's special
A. And Contempt of Court Act as well, which some people tend to forget.
Q. Thank you. You deal with politicians at paragraph 76 and following, our page 09821. In the context of paragraph 76, you say: "The only politician I remember discussing media coverage with was the then Home Secretary, Mr Blunkett. At times, there was considerable tension between us. This was often caused by newspapers reporting." What is the media coverage you're referring to there? Is it the police's relationship with the media or was it more what the media were doing, reporting relations between you and Mr Blunkett?
A. No, I think it was this was a misunderstanding. I think that David Blunkett, who I ended up having an excellent relationship with, didn't understand my relationship with the Metropolitan Police Authority, which was my primary relationship once the creation of that had taken place and the Mayor of London had taken place. Every now and again, I was reading seeing headlines saying he was going to sack me and things like that, which of course had never been said to my face, and I found that quite difficult, especially as we were getting superb results.
Q. Are you really saying there that Mr Blunkett was briefing the press behind your back?
A. Yes.
Q. With a political agenda?
A. Well, I don't know the reasons he did it, but he did it, yes.
Q. I think I can move on to paragraph 84. 09823. You say: "When I was Commissioner, there were concerns about bribery of personnel by the media." Can you elaborate upon those concerns?
A. Corruption is always there in a Police Service the size of the Metropolitan Police, and every now and again I was hearing stories that people either within the service or who had retired from the service might well be paid for newspaper reports, or tipping people off as to where certain raids were taking place, and therefore a strong anti-corruption strategy and squad was essential.
Q. Did these concerns relate to any sections of the media in particular?
A. No.
Q. So were these concerns expressed at quite a high level of generality; in other words, part of the rumour mill but with some evidential base
A. That's right. Certain people who were arrested made complaints that the press were there before the police were there, for instance. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON That particularly might be so in relation to the higher profile people, and that actually is itself an issue.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But do you consider that could only be inappropriate, if not corrupt?
A. I think, sir, it's totally inappropriate and totally corrupt, because I suspect these people have done it for payment. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Sorry?
A. They would have done it for payment, sir. MR JAY It's either financial gain I'm looking at paragraph 83 or favour, some different favour, which is akin to financial gain.
A. Which is akin, yes. That's right. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON But there must have been well, not many, but a number of examples on your watch where that sort of thing happened, and indeed I've heard evidence of just the same thing, that when you have a burglary, the first person to turn up isn't the police, it's the photographer, the newspaper.
A. Yes. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Was there ever any investigation of that sort of activity?
A. We had a system, which is actually in the anti-corruption strategy, which is called ethical testing, whereby we actually tested out members of the service as to what they were doing. It wasn't quite being an agent provocateur, but it wasn't far away from that and that strategy. During my time and it would have been the ability responsibility of the Deputy Commissioner and his command I don't know of any maybe he does. I don't know of any issue that came up, real issue, on my watch. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Do you have any recollection of it actually happening on your watch?
A. No, I don't. No, sir. MR JAY Your deduction is that there's likely to have been financial gain or favour involved. Are you able to assist us there with at what level in the Police Service this information would have been given to the press so that the press could turn up with the photographer or whoever?
A. I don't know, but I would suspect there's only a small number of people who do that, because we had the whistle-blowing process and all the other processes there, which didn't identify specific issues. MR JAY That may be a convenient moment to break. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Very good. 2 o'clock is not inconvenient, I hope?
A. No, sir. LORD JUSTICE LEVESON Thank you very much. (1.00 pm)


Gave a statement at the hearing on 06 March 2012 (AM) ; and submitted 3 pieces of evidence
Gave statements at the hearings on 06 March 2012 (AM) and 06 March 2012 (PM) ; and submitted 2 pieces of evidence


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