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December 11, 2015

Cost of Met’s journalism investigations rises £4m in seven months to more than £40m

By William Turvill

The Metropolitan Police has now spent more than £40m on investigations into journalism, figures obtained by Press Gazette show.

The cost of Operation Weeting into phone-hacking over the last five financial years is £22.8m – excluding legal fees – according to the force.

The figures have emerged as the Crown Prosecution Service today announced no further action will be taken as a result of the Met’s phone-hacking investigations.

In total, between the 2011/12 and 2015/16 financial years, the Met has spent £41.3m on operations Weeting, Elveden (into payments to public officials) and Tuleta (into computer hacking). The figure excludes legal fees.

This is up from £37.4m at the end of April this year, meaning the force has spent £3.9m on investigating journalism in the past seven months.

The total cost of the controversial Operation Elveden – which has resulted in one journalist, who is appealing, being found guilty in court of the offence and more than 30 public official convictions – has cost the Met £14.7m. This means the force spent £1.7m on the operation between May and November.

Operation

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2011/12 cost

2012/13 cost

2013/14 cost

2014/15 cost

2015/16 cost so far

Weeting

£6.4m

£5.8m

£5.1m

£3.7m

£1.8m

Elveden

£1.6m

£4.1m

£3.9m

£3.4m

£1.7m

Tuleta

£0.5m

£1.1m

£1m

£0.8m

£0.4m

Earlier this year, a Press Gazette Freedom of Information request showed that 51 Met Police staff had worked on Weeting, 56.33 on Elveden and 16.66 on Tuleta.

In total, at least 64 journalists have been arrested and/or charged so far under these operations.

So far Operation Weeting has led to one journalist conviction for phone-hacking, after a trial, with a further seven journalists admitting the offence.

Two convictions stand from Operation Elveden, one of a journalist who admitted the offence.

No journalists have been convicted of computer-hacking, although one journalist had accepted a caution.

Email pged@pressgazette.co.uk to point out mistakes, provide story tips or send in a letter for publication on our "Letters Page" blog

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