A lawyer for the force told the Leveson inquiry into press conduct that “a number of Surrey Police officers were victims” of phone hacking soon after the case opened in March 2002. Previously it was known that the News of the World had hacked into the mobile telephone of the missing 13 year-old, whose remains were later found in Hampshire. But this is the first time it has been confirmed that the phones of detectives were hacked. John Beggs QC, for Surrey Police, told Lord Justice Leveson at the High Court: “It is very likely that a number of Surrey Police officers themselves were victims of hacking.” Earlier this month, Surrey Police admitted they learned that Milly Dowler’s phone was hacked by the Sunday tabloid in 2002 but did not act.Mr Beggs did not disclose whether the force also learned then that its officers had been hacked or whether this has since come to light during Operation Weeting, the Metropolitan Police’s investigation into phone hacking. However, it is believed that the officers were not aware until they were told by Scotland Yard. The Surrey force has applied to become a core participant in the Leveson inquiry, to look at the culture and ethics of the press. The force’s then chief constable, Mark Rowley, said officers became aware in April 2002 that someone from the News of the World had accessed the missing girl’s voicemail. However, a formal investigation was not launched. Mr Rowley says in a letter that an inquiry is looking into why no formal investigation was opened. He also revealed that the original Scotland Yard phone hacking investigation in 2006 was not told that the News of the World had accessed Milly Dowler’s voicemail in 2002. The reason for that is also being investigated.