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Detectives suspended in leaks inquiry

TWO SCOTLAND YARD detectives have been suspended from duty as a result of an investigation into allegations surrounding the suspected leaking of confidential information from the force's criminal intelligence department.

A third officer, a sergeant at Paddington Green high-security station in west London, was also suspended but has since left the force after completing 30 years' service.

The inquiry is said to involve information which has been passed to private investigation agencies and is said to have begun after an audit of telephone calls from detectives' offices. The section of the force at the centre of the investigation is SO11, the secret criminal intelligence department whose officers gather information on major criminals throughout London. They are considered to be experts in covert surveillance. SO11 is headed by Commander John Grieve, a highly respected officer and one of the Yard's leading specialists on drugs investigations.

A Scotland Yard spokeswoman said last night: 'We can confirm that an inquiry is being conducted by the Complaints Investigation Bureau into the unauthorised disclosure of confidential information.'

Private investigation agencies have previously been involved in controversies surrounding the use of information from police files. Some unscrupulous operators claim to have access to information on the Police National Computer.