Sunday Mirror reporter is one of two journalists arrested as Elveden spreads

A Sunday Mirror journalist,  Justin Penrose, is one of two journalists who have been arrested today by Police officers from Scotland Yard investigating allegations of payments to public officials.

Trinity Mirror confirmed that one of the two journalists arrested is Sunday Mirror crime correspondent Penrose whose arrest signals the widening of the Operation Elveden  investigation beyond News International.

In a statement Trinity Mirror said it has been informed by the police that  Penrose was arrested this morning on suspicion of “alleged payments to public officials”. It said it was fully cooperating with the police.

The second man arrested is also thought to be a journalist and not connected with News International. Last week a former Mirror journalist, Grieg Box Turnbull, became the first journalist not linked to NI to be arrested as part of the Elveden inquiry.

The Guardian is reporting that second arrested journalist is Tom Savage from the Daily Star Sunday. Although there has been no comment from Richard Desmond’s Northern & Shell.

“Penrose has been with the Sunday Mirror since 2004, when he joined as a general news reporter. He was promoted to the position of full-time crime correspondent in January 2006.

“The arrests represent a widening of the Operation Elveden investigation beyond News International which has confirmed neither of the two works for any of its title.

“Both were arrested on suspicion to corrupt and of conspiracy to cause misconduct in a public office. Scotland Yard confirmed both were journalists and they were being questioned at police stations in Kent and south-east London, the Guardian reports.

Penrose recently told the Leveson inquiry that the clampdown at the Met on relations between the police and the press meant that officers were now being prevented from publicising successful operations. He said the press were being treated like criminals.

“We (the press) are being treated almost like criminals to a certain extent,” he said adding that he had previously entertained several police officers, ranging from constables to chief superintendents.

He told the inquiry he socialised with the police “to cultivate trust. These high-profile people dealing with heinous crimes need to trust the person they are talking to, they need to be confident that I will use the information they give me the right way, and going out for drink means they can trust me.”

The latest arrests bring the total to almost 40.