Information that has been leaked to the press regarding police collusion into phone hacking has been done so deliberately to undermine the investigation into corruption, Scotland Yard said Monday.
In a statement the Metropolitan Police said that the leaks were intended to "divert attention from elsewhere" and could hurt an investigation into payments made to officers by journalists.
The Evening Standard reported Monday that personal information about the Queen and her aides was sold to the News of the World by members of the Royal police for sums of around £1,000. Those details included phone numbers and information about private movements by senior royals including the Queen and Prince Phillip.
In a separate story it was also reported that Prince Charles and Camilla Parker-Bowles have also been targetted.
The Standard says that News International discovered in 2007 through an internal investigation that the payments had been made to royal protection officers, but only told the the Met last month.
The allegation that News International failed to pass on the information despite the serious security implications for senior royals will serve only to increase the pressure on Rupert Murdoch's company, and by association his planned takeover of the broadcaster BskyB.
The Met said that "it was agreed by all parties that this information would be kept confidential" and that only a small number of people knew of its existence.
The full statement said:
"It is our belief that information that has appeared in the media today is part of a deliberate campaign to undermine the investigation into the alleged payments by corrupt journalists to corrupt police officers and divert attention from elsewhere."
"At various meetings over the last few weeks information was shared with us by News International and their legal representatives and it was agreed by all parties that this information would be kept confidential so that we could pursue various lines of inquiry, identify those responsible without alerting them and secure best evidence."
"However we are extremely concerned and disappointed that the continuous release of selected information - that is only known by a small number of people - could have a significant impact on the corruption investigation."