21 May 2019

Anti-corruption officers in Scotland Yard investigated over allegations of rigging disciplinaries

The police drama Line of Duty was fiction. But this is fact. Not AC-12 but a real-life anti-corruption unit inside the largest force in the country.

Eight officers and one member of police staff in the Metropolitan Police’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) are under suspicion of corruption.

For legal reasons I cannot go any further.

The police watchdog, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) has told Channel 4 News that its inquiry is focusing on 21 allegations which include rigging disciplinary investigations.

All nine have been served notices they are under suspicion – but that doesn’t indicate misconduct proceedings will follow.

The watchdog has been trawling through five million emails following claims of malpractice from three whistle blowers in the DPS last year.

The police watchdog says the allegations include: interference in investigations to downgrade the severity of charges laid against an officer, failing to properly engage with evidence presented and abuse of process while conducting an investigation, and dropping an allegation of racist behaviour to protect the reputation of the Metropolitan Police.

IOPC director Steve Noon told Channel 4 News: “We are also considering the culture, disciplinary process and systems to help improve the MPS handling of internal investigation.”

The Met told me that none of the officers have been suspended, four of them remain within DPS on restricted duties, one of them has retired and the other three are working in other departments – but not as a result of this investigation, dubbed Operation Embley.