Force challenged to root out corruption after report leaked

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Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe will be asked ensure corrupt oficers no longer serve in his force after leaked secret report revealed organised crime had infiltrated Scotland Yard over a decade ago.

The Independent said organised criminals “were able to infiltrate Scotland Yard at will by bribing corrupt officers”, according to a secret internal report written in 2002.

It said the likes of “underworld king’’ David Hunt were able to corrupt police and access sensitive information to evade prosecution.

Home Affairs Select Committee chairman Keith Vaz said he would be writing to Sir Bernard at the Met to “ensure that these allegations have been fully investigated and to confirm that he is satisfied that corruption no longer exists”.

He told the newspaper: “It is vital that the police have the utmost integrity. The public must be able to trust them to do their job and ensure justice prevails.

“The Met have made vast progress rooting out corruption in the force in the last 20 years but it would appear more may still need to be done.”

The secret report said only a few of the corrupt police were convicted, but that the problem went to the heart of operations at Scotland Yard, with officers alleged to have fraternised with known criminals and informants leading to botched prosecutions and inquiries.

In a statement, the Met said it is “determined to pursue corruption in all its forms and with all possible vigour”.

It said: “All such allegations and intelligence are taken extremely seriously and any any lessons learnt from resulting investigations are used to further our efforts to reduce the likelihood of such offences occurring in the future.”

Last year the Sunday Times won a landmark libel action brought by Hunt, after the newspaper described him as an ‘’underworld king’’. Mr Justice Simon said he was satisfied that it was reasonable for the newspaper to describe Hunt as “a violent and dangerous criminal and the head of an organised crime group”.