The transcripts of the official inquiry into the culture, practices and ethics of the press. More…

Yes, that was a solution that I was putting forward. As I'd already documented in my decision log earlier in the proceedings, I think around May time, 31 May, from memory, I proffered that as an option/opportunity. Again in the latter part of the investigation, September/October time, I was clear, of course, at that time the levels of police resource that were being absorbed by the anti-terrorist branch to fulfil our obligations under current investigations. For instance, both in Op Overt, which was the August 2006 issue, all of the surveillance resource in London and the vast majority of the surveillance resource across the country was used on this operation.

Now, what that meant in real terms was that other criminal investigations, such as serious organised crime, armed robbery, professional standards investigations within the police, fraud investigations, would not have that resource for a considerable length of time. This was the reality of what was occurring in 2006, and I was fully aware of that. In addition to that, we had a whole lot of other investigative resources on loan to us. I think at the beginning of 2006 it was probably somewhere in the region of 750 to 1,000 officers over and above ours. I think as we went towards the end of 2006 that diminished slightly, but it was a constant ebb and flow of requests, both within the Metropolitan Police and outside, for resource to support anti-terrorist branch investigations.

So I could understand Peter Clarke's challenge of going again to ask for more resource with regard to this investigation.

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