Three people have been arrested in relation to alleged illegal payments to police officers.

Two of the arrests were made in Lancashire and one in Kent under Operation Elveden, the Metropolitan Police's investigation into illegal payments made to police and public officials.

The CPS were handed detailed documents to be used as evidence against a total of 11 people including four journalists.

A 36-year-old man was arrested in Kent on suspicion of conspiracy to corrupt under the Prevention of Corruption Act 1906. He is being questioned at a police station in Kent.

A 42-year-old man and 38-year-old woman were arrested at their home in Lancashire. The man is a former member of the armed forces and is arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public offense.

The woman is arrested on suspicion of aiding and abetting misconduct in a public office.

The homes in Kent and Lancashire are both being searched for evidence.

It is believed that this morning's arrests are a direct result of these documents.

Following news of the allegations, Keir Starmer QC, the Director of Public Prosecutions, said: "We are now entering a period where we are likely to make a decision one way or another."

"The decisions we are going to make are going to be extremely difficult and extremely sensitive," he said.

"We have got to make a decision because these cases are coming. We cannot duck that."

Operation Elveden exists as a result of alleged foul play at the News of the World and runs alongside Operation Tuleta and Operating Weeting which investigate computer hacking and phone hacking respectively.

The police said in a statement: "Today's operation is the result of information provided to police by News Corporation's Management Standards Committee.

"It relates to suspected payments to a public official and is not about seeking journalists to reveal confidential sources in relation to information that has been obtained legitimately."

Elevden has now arrested 26 suspects since it began in January 2011.