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Corrupt Britain: Organized crime infiltrates key institutions – report

Published time: January 11, 2014 17:49
Edited time: January 13, 2014 09:00
AFP Photo / Carl Court

AFP Photo / Carl Court

A secret report spanning many years, which was seen by The Independent, reportedly shows a shocking level of corruption in the Metropolitan Police, the judicial system, the Crown Prosecution Service, HM Revenue & Customs, and the Prison Service.

In 2003, Operation Tiberius – an undercover Scotland Yard probe - found that organized crime gangs had compromised virtually all of the UK’s criminal justice system, The Independent reveals.

Tiberius, which was compiled from a number of covert intelligence sources including police informants, telephone intercepts, information from MI5 and MI6, as well as thousands of historical files, came to the appalling conclusion: “Quite how much more damage could be done is difficult to imagine.”

Tiberius, which according to the British daily, was ratified by the most senior management in London’s Metropolitan Police, found jurors being bought off, corrupt individuals working for Revenue and Customs and “get out of jail free cards” being bought for £50,000. The probe found infiltrated murder investigations and sensitive intelligence leaked to the criminals.

The report said that the Met suffered “endemic police corruption” and that organized crime syndicates were able to infiltrate New Scotland Yard “at will”.

One article in Tiberius concluded about the state of the Metropolitan Police: “Witnesses terrified into silence, dodgy jurors, bent lawyers, bent policemen and bent CPS clerks – all are part of the same cancer eating away at justice. A cure for the malady will not be easy to come by. Perhaps we should begin by acknowledging that the patient is sick.”

Some relationships between Met officers and the criminal underworld were reportedly so close that in one case Met detectives were identified as co-owning properties and racehorses with a man widely suspected of being one of Britain’s most hardened gangsters.

The probe also concluded that it became almost impossible for police and prosecutors to successfully pursue the organized gangs.

The Met is flagged up by Tiberius as being unable to successfully tackle the corruption of police officers by organized criminals. It said that the approach was to wait for the intelligence on corruption of individual officers to surface and react to it, rather than introduce a system to try and prevent corruption in the first place.

Scotland Yard said in a statement in response to the publications in the Independent about Tiberius: “[We] will not tolerate any behavior by our officers and staff which could damage the trust placed in police by the public. We are determined to pursue corruption in all its forms and with all possible vigor.”

But a former senior officer, who recently retired from the Met, told the Independent, “Nothing has changed. The Met is still every bit as corrupt as it was back then.”