Police forces can never be free of corruption, a Scotland Yard chief has admitted.
Alaric Bonthron, (pictured), head of anti-corruption at the Metropolitan Police, said trying to stop criminals infiltrating the ranks was a very difficult challenge.
â€˜There is a threat to any law enforcement agency,â€™ said the detective chief superintendent.
â€˜You will never eliminate corruption. You can make it very difficult and put systems in place. Organised crime by its very nature is very challenging.
â€˜Has corruption gone away entirely? I donâ€™t think it has, you have always got vulnerabilities.
â€˜Part of our role is to make sure the organisation is absolutely doing the best it can to be corruption-proof.â€™
Mr Bonthron, who took charge of the Metropolitan Policeâ€™s Professional Standards Unit nine months ago, said 99 per cent of officers are â€˜honest, law-abiding individualsâ€™.
Previously the work of the PSU has been shrouded in secrecy due to the nature of its work.
But in a frank interview, Mr Bonthron told The Independent newspaper: â€˜One officer, one member of staff, headline news â€¦ and it discredits the organisation.â€™
The officer, who has worked in the police in London for 29 years, denied that the Met was rife with â€˜endemic corruptionâ€™, as has been claimed was the case in the Eighties and Nineties when some of Britainâ€™s most notorious criminals were allegedly able to gain influence and information to compromise investigations.
He said the Metâ€™s Directorate of Professional Standards has 385 staff, spending Â£24 million every year.
Sir Hugh Orde, one of Britainâ€™s top officers, warned recently that police are more likely to take bribes if they are underpaid and have money problems.
Sir Hugh pointed to the Â£19,000 starting salary for junior PCs and said that financial pressure felt by â€˜certain ranksâ€™ could fuel a wave of corruption.
Police will never be free of corruption, admits Scotland Yard chief after claims low paid officers are more tempted by bribes