The probe is focused on the Metropolitan Police’s directorate for professional standards (DPS), the department which itself investigates corruption and misconduct within the Met.
The investigation is being carried out by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC) and is centred on claims “potentially conflicted” senior officers within the DPS interfered with and curtailed investigations, or failed to look at alleged wrongdoing altogether.
The inquiry is believed to be at a relatively early stage, but so far gross misconduct notices have been served on three officers, one of whom is also under criminal investigation.
A number of other officers are also being assessed and could face a more detailed investigation.
In a brief statement, the Met said it was “fully co-operating” with the IOPC’s investigation into allegations against “a number of Metropolitan Police service personnel”.
Jonathan Green, the IOPC’s London director, said the watchdog was also investigating claims of racial discrimination within the DPS.
Mr Green said: “I can confirm we have begun an investigation into allegations of serious corruption and malpractice within the directorate of professional standards of the Metropolitan Police.
“The investigation includes alleged interference in, and curtailment of, investigations by potentially conflicted senior officers, failure to investigate allegations of wrongdoing, systemic removal of the restrictions of officers under investigation and racial discrimination.”
The Sunday Times has reported that “three whistleblowers” from the force approached the IOPC to allege members of the DPS were shielding officers from a range of allegations.
The Met said the force had referred allegations regarding the conduct of a number of MPS personnel to the independent police watchdog.