British police probing the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch's News of the World arrested a 47-year-old woman Friday on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice, Scotland Yard said.

The arrest was the 17th in the investigation into the illegal hacking of mobile phone voicemails by the tabloid, which Australian-born tycoon Murdoch shut down in July following a public outcry.

"Officers from Operation Weeting have this morning arrested a 47-year-old woman at an address in Essex (east of London)," Scotland Yard said in a statement.

"The woman was arrested at approximately 6:55 am (0655 GMT) on suspicion of attempting to pervert the course of justice, and she is currently in custody at an Essex police station."

The woman was not immediately identified.

Operation Weeting was set up in January 2010 to investigate long-standing allegations of phone-hacking by the News of the World.

Police have arrested a string of people on suspicion of illegally accessing mobile phone voicemails, including Andy Coulson, a former News of the World editor and ex-communications director for Prime Minister David Cameron.

Police have also arrested seven people as part of an investigation into alleged bribery of police, called Operation Elveden, while one has been held as part of Operation Tuleta, which is probing computer hacking.