The final total of people whose phones were hacked by the News of the World will be around 800, according to the head of Scotland Yard’s hacking inquiry Operation Weeting.
This figure is substantially lower than the latest Met Police estimate of potential phone-hack targets – which was nearly 5,800.
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Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers told The Times she was confident her officers had met all the likely victims of the tabloid’s activities.
‘We are confident we have personally contacted all the people who have been hacked or are likely to have been hacked.”
She added: “There is a raft of people still to be spoken to who are potential targets, but are unlikely to have been hacked.”
A further 1,200 people have been in contact with the inquiry, but they are not believed to have been hacked or are not named in the notebooks seized from the private detective Glenn Mulcaire, who was employed by the News of the World, the newspaper said.
Thousands more people will be contacted, but it is thought that because of the lack of personal information about them, they are unlikely to have been hacked, it added.
A Scotland Yard spokesman said: “Operation Weeting has been in contact with or been contacted by 2,037 people, of which in the region of 803 are ‘victims’, whose names have appeared in the material.”
The scandal led to the closure of the News of the World after 168 years, prompted a major public inquiry, and forced the resignation of Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson and assistant commissioner John Yates.
It was known that some 1,800 people had come forward to express fears that they may have been hacked.
In November it emerged that officers from Scotland Yard’s 45-strong phone-hacking team have so far contacted 638 suspected victims of mobile phone voicemail interception by the News of the World.
On the same day it week announced that the number of potential targets had risen from 3,870 in July to almost 5,800, a figure based on the list of first and second names recovered in material from private investigator Glenn Mulcaire.
Operation Weeting is trawling through 11,000 pages of evidence obtained from former News of the World investigator Glenn Mulcaire.