PC Gordon Semple
PC Gordon Semple went missing on 1 April after going to a meeting at The ShardFacebook / The Metropolitan Police

A 49-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a missing police officer after human remains were discovered on an estate in London. PC Gordon Semple was reported missing by his concerned partner after he failed to come home from work on 1 April.

PC Semple, 59, had been at the Shangri La hotel at The Shard for a meeting and left around 12.30pm before being spotted on CCTV in nearby Great Guildford Street at 3pm. On 7 April the Metropolitan Police (Met) revealed that it had discovered human remains on the Peabody Estate in Southwark Street, south London.

They later announced that a man had been arrested at the property but did not say whether or not the remains were that of PC Semple. Yet the PC's family have been informed of a "significant development" in their investigation.

Forensic work has been underway at the flat where the discovery was made and police divers were searching the River Thames for the Westminster officer originally from Inverness, but living in Greenhithe, Kent.

A Met spokesman said: "This is obviously a significant development, and we have informed Gordon's family. We are unable to make formal identification at this stage, but this is devastating news for all those involved in the search for Gordon.

"His family are being supported by specially trained officers and his colleagues have been briefed. Our work at that scene is crucial to ensure we capture all available evidence and this may take some time.

Met police refused to speculate about what might have happened to the missing policeman and a post-mortem examination is said to be taking place in due course.

A spokesperson added: "At this stage we will not speculate any further on what may have happened or possible motive. A post-mortem will be held in due course, and until that has taken place we will not speculate on the cause of death."