Police recorded more than 800 complaints about alleged corruption over three years, a report has revealed.
Allegations of police corruption have been damaging to public confidence, an investigation ordered by the Home Secretary ruled.
While corruption is “not endemic” across England and Wales, “it is corrosive of the public trust that is at the heart of policing”, the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) said.
The IPCC recorded 837 corruption-related referrals from forces between 2008 and 2011. Just 122 of the referrals were managed by the watchdog.
The report was requested by the Government in the wake of allegations of police corruption in the phone-hacking scandal.
The IPCC report made recommendations for a “more effective” national system for handling allegations against senior officers.
Chief constables are also asked to ensure “greater consistency in the recording and referral of corruption cases” and to provide clearer public information on what constitutes police corruption.
The report coincides with an ongoing police investigation into allegations that a Scotland Yard anti-corruption officer took bribes from private detectives.