Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Police officer held over alleged payments from journalists

A serving police officer has been arrested on suspicion of receiving illegal payments from journalists it has been reported.

Scotland Yard confirmed a 52-year-old woman had been arrested at her home in Essex under Operation Elveden and was being detained at an undisclosed Essex police station.

She is the first police officer to be arrested as part of Operation Elveden, which is investigating illegal payments to officers. The inquiry is running alongside the Operation Weeting investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World.

It has been reported that she is a member of the Metropolitan Police's specialist operations branch, but she has yet to be named. The branch has three functions including protecting the Royal Family and public officials, investigating terrorism and providing protection to major landmarks such as Houses of Parliament and airports including Heathrow.

Her arrest comes less than a week after Lucy Panton, the former crime editor at the now defunct News Of The World newspaper, was questioned over alleged payments to officers.

Panton, 37, who is married to a Scotland Yard detective, was visited by officers at her Surrey home. She has been bailed until early next year. She became crime editor in October 2005 and remained at the paper until it was shut down at the height of the hacking scandal in July.

Clive Goodman, the former Royal editor of the News of the World who was jailed for Phone Hacking, has also been arrested by Operation Elveden detectives. Jamie Pyatt, a reporter from The Sun, who was the tabloid's Thames Valley reporter was arrested in November. Pyatt, 48, was the first Sun employee to be implicated in the scandal.

Sir Paul Stephenson, the former Met commissioner, said in July that evidence from the publisher suggested a small number of officers were involved in the scandal involving the News of the World. However the woman currently detained marks the first arrest of a police officer [BBC / Sky / Guardian / Telegraph]

tvnewswatch, London, UK

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