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Police Payments Probe: Three Men Arrested

Police have arrested two serving officers and a journalist in connection with the investigation into corrupt payments to police and public officials.

The three were all held at their homes at 6am on suspicion of offences between 2004 and 2011, Scotland Yard said.

The latest arrests are as a result of information provided to police by News Corporation's Management and Standards Committee.

The 39-year-old journalist who, Sky sources say, is Sun crime reporter Anthony France, was held at his home in Hertfordshire on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt and conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office, and is being interviewed at a police station in north London.

One of the police officers, a 47-year-old man, is from the Metropolitan Police Specialist Operations command and was arrested in Surrey on suspicion of misconduct in public office and corruption.

The other, a 30-year-old man, is from the Met's Specialist Crime and Operations command and was held in Surrey on suspicion of the same offences.

The latest arrests bring the number of people detained as part of Operation Elveden, the investigation into alleged corrupt payments by journalists, to 56.

Specialist Crime and Operations deals with a range of serious offences across the capital, including murder, rape and organised gangs.

It also provides armed officers and dog handlers and deals with public order issues.

Specialist Operations deals with protection of public figures including the Royal Family and Government ministers, counter-terrorism and security at the Houses of Parliament and City and Heathrow Airports.

News International chief executive Mike Darcey said after the arrests that it was "particularly disappointing" that another journalist from the company had been arrested.

Mr Darcey said in an internal message to staff: "It is particularly disappointing that these incidents, the first under my watch, and which have recently become less frequent, continue to take place.

We have provided our colleague with a lawyer and we are helping him in any way we can," he added.

"It goes without saying that we will not prejudge the outcome of any investigation. All those who have been arrested have our full support."