Home AffairsWritten evidence submitted by Patricia F Gallan QPM, Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Metropolitan Police [IPCC 39]

Thank you for your letter of 9 January 2013. I appreciate the concerns of the Home Affairs Committee and I would, of course, upon completion of the investigation and at a time that will not prejudice any possible judicial proceedings, be happy to come and give evidence to the Committee.

I can confirm that the investigation is progressing expeditiously and that I am in regular and personal contact with Deborah Glass, Deputy Chair of the IPCC and I have also recently apprised the CPS of the investigation.

I will address the points raised in your letter in turn:

(a)To date the estimated cost of Operation Alice is £82,500. This is solely the cost for staffing the operation since the case was reopened on 15 December 2012.

(b)The investigation is progressing as expected. An advice file will be submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service by the end of January asking them to consider whether there should be relevant and appropriate charges arising from the investigation.

(c)The original team engaged in the leak investigation in September 2012 consisted of officers.

(d)Since the case was reopened in December 2012 the team has increased in size and a Detective Superintendent has been appointed as the SIO. The original four officers form part of the larger team. There are no known conflicts of interest and there has been no reason to remove any officer from the team.

(e)The team are made up from officers from the Department of Professional Standards.

(f)I have included the Terms of Reference agreed with the IPCC. Deborah Glass has strategic oversight for the IPCC and I am in regular contact with Deborah updating her personally. In addition to this high level oversight the IPCC have appointed a Senior Investigator, Steve Reynolds, to monitor the investigation and liaise regularly with the Senior Investigating Officer. As part of the supervision by the IPCC, Steve Reynolds has a meeting scheduled on Monday 14 January with the SIO to review the investigation to date.

January 2013

Annex

OPERATION ALICE BACKGROUND

DPG officers spoke with Mr Mitchell on the evening of 19 September 2012 as he was leaving Downing Street, requesting that he used the side pedestrian entrance to leave the street rather than via the main vehicle gate. Mr Mitchell took exception to this as he had his pedal cycle.

DPG officers reported the content of the verbal exchange to their line management via email. The content of this email subsequently appeared in both The Sun and The Telegraph newspapers.

On Thursday 13 December 2012, the MPS received fresh information that resulted in the re-opening of the investigation into the alleged unauthorised disclosure of information on Saturday 15 December 2012. The information handed to Police included a DVD containing CCTV footage of Downing Street on the said 19 September, at the time of Mr Mitchell leaving Downing Street and a bundle of e mails pertaining to the incident. The Deputy Chief Whip had received an e mail from a constituent stating that he witnessed, with his nephew, the events of 19 September 2012 at Downing Street between the Police Officers and Mr Mitchell.

Revised Terms of Reference

1. To investigate the circumstances surrounding the Police Officer’s claim to have witnessed the incident in Downing Street.

2. To establish if there is any evidence of a conspiracy between this officer and any other person.

3. To investigate the allegations made by the Rt. Hon Andrew Mitchell in his statement that police lied in the police log dated 19 September 2012.

4. Establish what, if any criminal or misconduct offences are apparent.

5. To progress the supervised investigation to wherever the evidence takes it.

6. Establish if there is any organisational learning as a result of this investigation.

Prepared 1st February 2013