London, Dec 10(ANI): The final number of victims who had their phones hacked by the News of the World (NOTW) is likely to be about 800, the head of a British police investigation has said.
Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers, who heads Operation Weeting, said that as of Tuesday, police had contacted 803 people ranging from public figures like Manchester United striker Wayne Rooney to British actress Sienna Miller.
Akers said that a further 1,200 people have contacted detectives, but officers do not believe they have been hacked or are not named in the notebooks seized from Glenn Mulcaire, a private detective hired by the now defunct-Sunday tabloid.
The victims, she said, included those who either had, phone messages intercepted by the NOTW or were likely to have been.
“We are confident we have personally contacted all the people who have been hacked or are likely to have been hacked. But there is a raft of people still to be spoken to who are potential targets, but are unlikely to have been hacked,” Akers told The Times.
She also said that the investigation is seeking more resources to cope with the increased workload.
The phone-hacking scandal is an ongoing controversy involving mainly the NOTW, but also other British tabloid newspapers published by News International, a subsidiary of News Corporation.
NOTW employees were accused of engaging in phone hacking, police bribery, and exercising improper influence in the pursuit of publishing stories.
Investigations conducted from 2005-2007 concluded that the paper’s phone hacking activities were limited to celebrities, politicians and members of the British Royal Family.
However, in July 2011, it was revealed that the phones of murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler, relatives of deceased British soldiers, and victims of the 7/7 London bombings were also accessed, resulting in a public outcry against News Corporation and owner Rupert Murdoch.
Advertiser boycotts contributed to the closure of the NOTW on 10 July, ending 168 years of publication. (ANI)