Prohibition on the destruction of documents

It is important that the Inquiry’s investigation is not obstructed by the premature destruction of any material that may be relevant to the matters which the inquiry is investigating.  

Accordingly, any individual or organisation who holds potentially relevant material (meaning that which contains or may contain information pertaining directly or indirectly to the Inquiry’s work), should ensure that it is preserved.

This includes all correspondence, emails, recordings, documentation, or data (whether audio, video, written (paper or electronic) graphic or other form) and includes confidential and/or sensitive material. Under no circumstances should any potentially relevant information be destroyed. 

Under Section 35 of the Inquiries Act 2005 it is an offence:

  • to do anything which is intended to have the effect of distorting or otherwise altering any evidence, document or other thing that is given, produced or provided to the Inquiry.
  • to prevent any evidence, document or other thing from being given, produced or provided to the Inquiry, or doing anything that the person knows or believes is likely to have that effect.
  • for a person to intentionally suppress or conceal a document that is, and they know or believe to be, a relevant document, or intentionally alter or destroy such a document. A document is a “relevant document” if it is likely that the Inquiry would (if aware of its existence) wish to be provided with it.

Should you have any queries about the handling or retention of potentially relevant material, please contact the Inquiry by phone on 0207 972 3500 or via email at Alternatively, you can write to the Inquiry Team – The Lampard Inquiry, PO Box 78136, London, SW1P 9WW.