Shredded police corruption inquiry cost taxpayers £8m


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The Independent Online

The top-secret investigation into police corruption that was mysteriously shredded by Scotland Yard cost taxpayers almost £8m, it emerged last night.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe revealed that Operation Othona, a covert inquiry from the 1990s which found detectives trafficking drugs, fabricating evidence and leaking sensitive intelligence to organised crime gangs, had a projected budget of £7.82m over a three-year period.

Britain’s biggest police force is at the centre of a major crisis over the inexplicable destruction of some of its most sensitive material, amid suspicions it may have contained intelligence relevant to a public inquiry into the murder of Stephen Lawrence.

Last night the MP Keith Vaz, chairman of the Home Affairs select committee, released correspondence from Sir Bernard that revealed the Met had spent almost £45m on a number of inquiries related to malpractice, including the phone-hacking, bribery and computer-hacking probes.