Met Suspends 9 Officers

Met suspends nine police officers in corruption inquiry

Enfield officers removed from duty over allegations of 'mishandling of property', says Scotland Yard, Tuesday 17 February 2009 18.56 GMT

Scotland Yard suspended nine detectives today over corruption allegations.

The nine are based in the north London borough of Enfield and face allegations concerning stolen flat-screen televisions, computers and other consumer electrical goods.

Anti-corruption detectives have been investigating claims that the electrical goods were taken from criminal suspects.

The Metropolitan police, which is Britain's largest force, has fought a decades-long battle against corruption in its ranks. Senior officers hoped reforms and efforts to stress the importance of integrity to officers would make such scandals a thing of the past.

Officially the Met said the allegations focused on the "mishandling of property". It said a further two officers had been placed on restricted duties.

All those concerned are detectives in Enfield's crime squad, part of that borough's CID unit. Police said they were not of senior rank.

The Met said there had been no arrests, and that its investigation, which is believed to have been running for more than a year, was continuing.

In a statement, the Met said: "The MPS [Metropolitan police service] demands the highest levels of honesty and integrity from its officers and staff. All allegations of malpractice are taken extremely seriously and are investigated swiftly and thoroughly."

Scotland Yard's anti-corruption squad is an elite unit of hand-picked detectives that has been nicknamed "the ghost squad". In the mid-1990s, Scotland Yard began a new drive against corruption, setting up the special squad, which included retired detectives and even accountants. Their investigation led to a host of trials and several convictions.