LONDON (AP) — A former British police officer has been arrested as part of an investigation into the bribery of police by U.K. tabloid journalists, the U.K. police watchdog said Tuesday.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission that a 52-year-old man was arrested at his home on suspicion of public-office misconduct and offenses related to the data protection act.
The complaints commission said the arrest relates to the passing of unauthorized information to a journalist and the man remains in custody at a Thames Valley police station.
It added the arrest came after Scotland Yard passed on information relating to its investigation into illegal payments to police officers for information. That probe has now led to nine arrests and is linked to Britain's investigation into phone hacking at the News of the World tabloid.
Rupert Murdoch closed the 168-year-old tabloid in July following revelations that journalists there eavesdropped on the cell phone voice mail messages of celebrities, politicians and crime victims.
More than a dozen journalists have been arrested in the hacking scandal, senior executives with Murdoch's News Corp. global media empire have lost their jobs, and top U.K. police officers have resigned over their failure to tackle the problem. So far no one has been charged in the latest investigations.
Prime Minister David Cameron also set up an inquiry last year into media ethics in response to the scandal. His spokesman Steve Field said Tuesday that Cameron will give evidence there if asked — but added that Cameron so far has not been asked.
Cameron's communications chief, Andy Coulson, resigned last year over the phone hacking scandal. Coulson had been editor of News of the World when a reporter and a private investigator working for the paper were jailed for phone hacking in 2007. Coulson is one of those arrested in the scandal and on bail.
Over the past two months the inquiry has heard from journalists and newspaper executives, as well as celebrities and others who say their lives have been marred by press intrusion.
Financial Times editor Lionel Barber told inquiry chief Brian Leveson on Tuesday that the phone hacking scandal was a wake up call for British media.
"We need to change the way we do business," he said.
Barber said the U.K.'s system of media regulation had to be overhauled. He said the current Press Complaints Commission was ineffective because it was run by media insiders. He said any new regulator should oversee with web-based news organizations such as the Huffington Post as well as newspapers.
Daily Telegraph editor Tony Gallagher and former editor Will Lewis — who is now general manager for Murdoch's News International papers — also gave evidence Tuesday.