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Tuesday, December 15, 1998 Published at 11:54 GMT


Condon's 'crusade' against corrupt police

Deputy Assistant Commissioner Roy Clarke (second left) is in charge of implementing the new strategy

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Condon, has spoken of his determination to root out corrupt officers in his force.

Home Affairs Correspondent Graeme McLagan reports on the latest attempt to clean up Scotland Yard
Before outlining his new Corruption and Dishonesty Prevention Strategy, he said: "This has been a crusade for me over the years."

He added that he had inherited a police force "with deep-seated problems of malpractice".

Part of the strategy includes expanding the work of undercover officers within the force. Undercover officers are already used to uncover dishonesty among colleagues, with members of the Yard's Criminal Investigation Bureau (CIB) offering bribes to other officers.

This will be widened to include "integrity tests", aimed at deducing an officer's honesty and ascertaining whether he or she has racist or sexist attitudes.

Suspect officers will be tempted with financial or even sexual inducements in a bid to test their integrity.

Undercover officers will use similar tactics to test for racist attitudes.

[ image: Sir Paul Condon is determined to stamp out police corruption]
Sir Paul Condon is determined to stamp out police corruption
The move follows admissions in recent years by Sir Paul, and provincial chief constables, that corruption and racism are endemic.

Critics say the Stephen Lawrence inquiry uncovered the depth of racism within the force.

Fifty officers have already been suspended and 20 charged as part of Sir Paul's purge against dishonest or "bent" officers.

Glen Smyth of the Metropolitan Police Federation: "Law-abiding officers have nothing to worry about"
He hopes the new "strategy" will nip any future corruption in the bud.

The last major corruption crackdown in the Met was in the 1970s when a team led by Sir Ronald Mark investigated officers - mainly in the vice squad - accepting bribes from criminals. Scores of officers resigned or were sacked.

[ image: Disgraced detective John Donald...serving 11 years]
Disgraced detective John Donald...serving 11 years
The problem seemed to have been conquered but in recent years there have been more embarrassing cases.

The most high-profile was the unmasking of "bent" detective, John Donald, who was filmed by BBC's Panorama team accepting a £20,000 bribe from an intermediary.

Donald is now serving 11 years for corruption.

Several provincial forces are expected to follow Scotland Yard's lead on the issue of corruption by introducing integrity testing.

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