England

Surrey Police deputy chief appointed to Hampshire

Deputy Chief Constable Craig Denholm
Image caption Mr Denholm has been Deputy Chief Constable of Surrey Police since 2009

A senior police officer investigated over his force's handling of phone hacking claims is to become deputy chief constable of another force.

DCC Craig Denholm of Surrey Police has been chosen to take up the same role at Hampshire Constabulary.

He was the subject of "management action" after Surrey Police failed to act on claims that murdered schoolgirl Milly Dowler's phone was hacked.

Hampshire's senior officer said Mr Denholm had a "good track record".

Chief Constable Andy Marsh said: "Craig is an experienced and very capable DCC with a good track record of leadership and delivery of excellent policing services to the public.

"He will be a valuable addition to the team and I look forward to working with him in Hampshire over the next few years."

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes, who was a member of the selection panel, said: "I was very impressed with the high calibre of candidates and, in selecting Craig Denholm, I feel certain that our chief officer team will be strengthened and equipped to take the force in a positive direction."

Image caption Milly Dowler disappeared in March 2002

The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) accused senior officers at Surrey Police of "collective amnesia" when they were questioned about the reasons hacking claims were not investigated.

The IPCC investigation concluded that Mr Denholm and his colleague Det Supt Maria Woodall were not guilty of misconduct, but the force said it had taken "management action and issued words of advice" to both.

Milly disappeared in March 2002, as she walked home in Walton-on-Thames. Former nightclub doorman Levi Bellfield was given a whole-life jail term in 2011 after being found guilty of her murder.

The now defunct News of the World admitted hacking the 13-year-old's mobile phone.

Surrey Police acknowledged it should have revisited the hacking allegations when they began to resurface.

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