Deputy Assistant Commissioner Sue Akers's evidence to the Leveson inquiry illustrates the level of corruption of public life inflicted by News International newspapers.
It leaves no grounds for the previously expressed belief that the phone and email hacking unearthed at the News of the World was peculiar to that title and to a minuscule number of employees.
Akers describes a web of bribery spreading to encompass officials in "all areas of public life," which demands sharp uncompromising action.
People in Britain often speak complacently of corruption as endemic to other countries and cultures but somehow alien to this country's mature democratic tradition.
There is a basis for this belief, in that citizens are not driven to bribe public officials to secure rights to health, education, housing or justice.
However, there has been a growing trend in recent years for a minority of politicians to prostitute themselves to the rich and powerful, as seen, for instance, in the "cash for questions" scandal.
There are few institutions as rich and powerful as the Murdoch media empire, which has secured its corporate interests by seducing politicians from parliamentary parties with the offer of supportive coverage or threatening them with the opposite.
The headline "It's the Sun wot won it" wasn't totally accurate, but it had enough credibility to convince Margaret Thatcher, Tony Blair, Gordon Brown and David Cameron to worship at the shrine of St Rupert or take the consequences.
And it is clear that, just as political leaders did all they could to cement mutually beneficial links with News International, others in public life, including police at all levels, did likewise.
Such relationships at the highest levels of politics, media and policing conspired to build a culture of impunity where normal considerations of decency and honesty did not apply.
The single-minded and, arguably, cruel pursuit of Charlotte Church's family and the heartless hacking of murdered schoolgirl Millie Dowler's mobile phone messages were symptomatic of a situation where morality no longer has meaning.
News International boss Rupert Murdoch and his son James have already attended Leveson, as have former top employees.
All have stuck to the "tiny number of bad apples" approach, insisting that they knew nothing and were in no way responsible for or tolerant of wrongdoing.
Yet revelations have continued to spew forth, with huge sums apparently available for journalists to hire hackers but with no senior manager putting their hand up to admit to authorising these crimes or knowing who would have done so.
Despite constant claims of co-operation with the police, News International staff have continued to delete emails, thereby hampering efforts to nail those responsible.
Murdoch senior went for the sympathy card when he gave evidence to Leveson, passing himself off as a slightly bewildered, out-of-touch old geezer with hearing problems.
Yet his robust personal involvement in the launch of the Sun on Sunday this week gives the lie to this caricature.
The sleazy picture sketched by Akers justifies an ongoing investigation that gets the drains up and makes it unlikely that such an unhealthy intermeshing of political, business and policing interests could recur.
It should also lead the appropriate authorities to examine this cesspit of corruption and recommend, on the basis of hard evidence, that certain people are not fit and proper to own media outlets in Britain.