Police feared violence during News of the World search

A police officer today told how there had been fears of violence during a search of the News of the World premises during an investigation into phone hacking.

In written evidence referred to today in court, DCS Keith Surtees described how one officer “was concerned at the time that NOTW staff may offer some form of violence against the small police team in the building”. Surtees also said that officers had been surrounded and photographed by photographers from several News International publications, and that some had been refused entry to the building. The search took place in 8 August 2006, as part of of Operation Caryatid, the investigation which led to the jailing of Glenn Mulcaire and Clive Goodman. Surtees was the Investigating Officer of the operation.

News International rejects any allegation that there could have been an air of violence during the search.

The Inquiry also heard from DI Mark Maberly, who confirmed that information belong to people on Witness Protection programmes had been found in Glenn Mulcaire’s notes. Lord Justice Leveson expressed alarm at that fact, describing such information as “Not just sensitive – horribly sensitive”.

The hearing resumes tomorrow with video evidence from former Met Assistant Commissioner John Yates, who is currently working with the regime in Bahrain.

In seperate developments, it was announced that James Murdoch had resigned as Executive Chair of News International.

Meanwhile, at Westminster, Tom Watson MP called for an inquiry into the death of priavte investigator Daniel Morgan, amid speculation that News International resources may have been used to undermine a 2002 investigation.

Follow Index on Censorship’s coverage of the Leveson Inquiry on Twitter – @IndexLeveson