Former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie has condemned a police force for not informing the press about the theft of a professional footballer's car.
The newspaper today reports that former Chelsea midfielder Michael Essien's Range Rover was stolen from his driveway in Cobham, Surrey.
After being informed of the crime by a friend, MacKenzie checked the story with Surrey Police and asked why the press and public had not been informed.
"It’s very much in the local residents’ interests, who pay police wages through their council tax bill, that they know there is a ruthless car gang around stealing from driveways," he wrote in his Sun column today.
On the police's response, he wrote: "They gave no proper explanation as to why they didn’t alert the press but basically said they couldn’t disclose everything.
"Really? If you want a laugh, see what they do put out on their PR site."
He added: "The reality is, with a mixture of Leveson — if he’s an example of the finest minds in the judiciary, God help us — and the witch hunt against innocent Sun reporters, the police aren’t telling journalists (or you, the public) anything these days as they appear to enjoy the power of a secret society.
"In that secrecy lies corruption. Journalists are the eyes and ears of a free society.
"Lose that and we end up like Russia or most Middle East regimes.
"Never forget that…"