Sunday, October 19, 2014

At least 2,000 corrupt British police officers suspected of 'tipping off criminals, stealing, fabricating evidence and using their power to get money and sex', says Home Office report

At least 2,000 officers have been suspected of tipping off criminals, stealing and fabricating evidence, says a Home Office report.

The Home Office Select Committee will launch an investigation next month into police corruption after claims officers also used their power to get money and sex.

The probe comes amid a series of police scandals that have related to recent inquiries involving phone-hacking and the Plebgate scandal.

In a Home Office report analysis by researchers revealed that the government estimate that at least 2,000 officers of all ranks could be comprimising the police by dealing with criminals.

The report states that intelligence over a one year period from some forces involved in their research showed that between 0.5 per cent and one per cent of the 200,000 police staff were 'potentially corrupt.'

It explains: 'Corrupt activities across these examples have included the protection of criminals for financial payments, the theft and recycling of drugs to criminals, the stealing of money from crime scenes, and the fabrication of evidence to obtain convictions.'

It also adds how some officers 'used their powers to obtain money or sexual favours from the public.'

Among the corrupt practices listed by the 2003 report are dealing and using drugs, fraud and domestic violence as well using 'sexist, racist and homophobic behaviour.'

It also pointed to raids where suspects could have been tipped off because when officers arrived there was no incriminating evidence and they already 'had the kettle on'.

The report also adds that corruption could be taking place at all levels and suggests that police should be dealt with behind closed doors if they commit crimes, to make it 'less damaging'.

Critics say this Home Office report shows why now Home Secretary Theresa May is having to deal with historic police scandals.

Member of the Home Affairs Select Committee and Conservative MP Lorraine Fullbrook told the Independent: 'Labour's kid-gloves treatment of the police bred a lack of accountability which ultimately let down the public.

'There has been a loss of confidence in the police as a result, which is quite dangerous. Theresa is trying to tackle these historic issues to restore the public's trust.'

Earlier this year, it also emerged that dozens of corrupt police officers helped organised criminals hide evidence, intimidate witnesses and access details of ongoing operations.

An internal investigation by the Metropolitan Police claimed officers were bribed to destroy surveillance logs and some officers even co-owned houses and racehorses with suspected gang leaders.

The 2002 report, produced as part of Operation Tiberius, an investigation into police corruption, named 80 corrupt officers. More than half of them were still serving at the time.

However, a statement issued by Scotland Yard said said that the Met continued to investigate corruption, and has 'no complacency' about the matter.

Policing minister Mike Penning told the newspaper: 'The public expect the police to act with honesty and integrity and it is right that the full force of criminal law is available to punish and deter acts of corruption by police officers.'

Original report here

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