Scotland Yard’s anti-corruption squad has arrested two police officers on suspicion of corrupt links to central London businessmen.
The officers, a sergeant and constable based in the Westminster Licensing Unit, were arrested along with two businessmen on suspicion of conspiring to commit misconduct in public office after a “long-running operation”, the Metropolitan Police said.
The men, who have not been named, were being questioned at police stations in London while officers searched residential, business and police premises for evidence.
The unit, which is the biggest and busiest of its kind in the UK and is run jointly by the police and the local council, is responsible for granting alcohol and entertainment licences in the busy central London districts.
Detectives investigating the case refused to comment on the scale and precise nature of the alleged corruption, but a Met statement said it centred on “inappropriate relationships between the police officers and people running local businesses”. The sergeant was arrested at Scotland Yard, while the constable was arrested at his home address, police said.
Their alleged co-conspirators, both men aged 48, were arrested at their homes in Slough, Berkshire, and Camden, north London.
They were taken for questioning at police stations in west and north London as detectives from the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards (DPS) executed nine search warrants.
Detective Chief Inspector Tom Whorwood of the DPS Anti-Corruption Command, said: “These arrests are part of a long-running intelligence operation. It was started in response to allegations of corruption by Westminster Licensing officers and inappropriate relationships between the police officers and certain people running local businesses.”
A Scotland Yard spokeswoman added later there would be no further comment while the men are in custody.
A Westminster City Council spokeswoman said: “This is a matter for the police but we are co-operating fully with their investigation. No Westminster City Council staff have been involved and the operation of the licensing service is not affected.”Reuse content