It has been reported that there is to be an investigation into phone hacking and police corruption in Scotland. This follows the News of the World phone hacking scandal and the reports suggesting corruption within the Metropolitan Police. There is to be an investigation into those matters in England and Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary has been asked to investigate the matter in the remaining 43 forces in England and Wales.
The judge-led inquiry announced by the Prime Minister will cover Scotland it was confirmed earlier this week.
The investigation announced by the Crown Office and Procurator Fiscal Service today will look at 4 areas:
1. Allegations that witnesses gave perjured evidence in the trial of former MSP Tommy Sheridan.
2. Allegations that, in respect of persons resident in Scotland, there are breaches of data protection legislation or other offences in relation to unlawful access to personal data.
3. Alleged offences determined from material held by the Metropolitan Police in respect of ‘phone hacking’ (Contraventions of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000) and breaches of data protection legislation in Scotland.
4. Alleged instances of police corruption linked to items 2 and 3 above, in respect of the unlawful provision of information or other personal data to journalists or persons acting on their behalf.
This is a major investigation and addresses serious concerns arising out of the almost daily revelations in England in relation to the News of the World. There have been calls in recent days for such an investigation to be held in Scotland. With all the different inquiries taking place the truth should be uncovered as to just what has been going on and how wide-spread the corruption has been. They will certainly mean that this issue remains in the headlines for quite some time and it will, without doubt, result in some significant changes.