New job for Dowler case policeman
Published 26/04/2013 | 12:16
A senior police officer at the centre of "collective amnesia" over the alleged hacking of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone by journalists has been named as the Deputy Chief Constable of another force.
Craig Denholm, who is in the same role at Surrey Police, was given "words of advice" - the lowest form of sanction - after an investigation found the force knew for a decade that News of the World reporters had gained access to the youngster's phone.
But despite this, Mr Denholm was appointed by Hampshire Chief Constable Andy Marsh who said the officer was "an experienced and very capable DCC with a good track record of leadership and delivery of excellent policing services to the public".
Surrey Police said it had taken "management action and issued words of advice" to Mr Denholm and another officer on Wednesday, although the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) concluded neither had a case to answer for misconduct.
The IPCC added it was "hard to understand" how Mr Denholm, the officer in charge of the Milly Dowler inquiry, could not have been aware of the hacking allegations.
The IPCC found a number of more junior officers at Surrey Police in 2002 were frank about their knowledge of phone hacking but the force did nothing.
However, witnesses became much "less specific" in relation to the knowledge and actions of senior officers - particularly Mr Denholm.
Mr Denholm, who was detective chief superintendent and head of crime for Surrey Police in 2002, claimed to have had no knowledge about the hacking of Milly's phone.
The watchdog was unable to find any witness or evidence that contradicted Mr Denholm's repeated assertions that he did not know.
In a statement released by Hampshire Police, Mr Denholm said: "I am absolutely delighted to have been appointed as Deputy Chief Constable in Hampshire. I have had the pleasure of serving with the force before and look forward to working with Andy Marsh and all in the Hampshire Constabulary team, and helping make what is already a great force even better."