IPCC accuses Met Police of 'poor judgement' over News of the World

A police regulator has found that professional boundaries were blurred between figures at the Metropolitan Police Service and the News of the World, over the appointment of Neil Wallis.

Dick Fedorcio: 'poor judgement'
Dick Fedorcio: 'poor judgement'

Following investigations carried out by the Independent Police Complaints Commission, the watchdog said ‘there was a case to answer’ in relation to misconduct by the force's former director of public affairs, Dick Fedorcio.

Its findings come after allegations around Fedorcio employing former NotW senior executive Neil Wallis’ company Chamy Media to work for the Met in 2009.

A separate IPCC report also looked into any impropriety around former assistant commissioner John Yates' alleged involvement in securing a job at the force for Wallis' daughter.

Deborah Glass, IPCC deputy chair, criticised actions taken within the service at a time when news of the phone hacking scandal – which eventually led to the closure of the NotW – had started to emerge.

‘Senior people appear to have been oblivious to the perception of conflict. It is clear to me that professional boundaries became blurred, imprudent decisions were taken and poor judgement shown by senior police personnel,’ she said.

However, Glass added that allegations of corruption were unfounded.

‘In these investigations, at the heart of the issues affecting public confidence was the question of whether two separate arrangements – both involving a form of employment connected to Neil Wallis – were either corruptly entered into or otherwise breached MPS policies and procedures.

In neither case did we find evidence of corruption, but in both cases we found that policies were breached.’

Fedorcio resigned from his role late last month. In his Leveson Inquiry hearing on 13 March, he admitted helping organise work experience placements at The Sun for his own son and his former police commissioner's son. This was while Rebekah Brooks (then Wade) was the editor at the paper.

Regarding Fedorcio, a Met statement said that in the 14 years he had been in his role he had made a 'significant contribution'. It added he had 'the right to resign' while the 'subject of an investigation.'

Regarding Yates, a separate statement read: 'As the IPCC has previously made clear, it found no evidence of misconduct that would justify disciplinary proceedings in relation to allegations about forwarding a CV for the purposes of employment at the MPS.'

It added: 'The MPS has been the subject of much external scrutiny in recent months and the review recommended by the IPCC will form part of our wider response in taking forward the emerging issues and advice such as that from Elizabeth Filkin and the Leveson Inquiry.'

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