Staffordshire Police have charged an officer from their Child Abuse Investigation Unit following allegations of inappropriate internet conversations with a 15-year-old girl.

DC Andrew Rowe, who is 31 and from the Stoke-on-Trent area, has been charged with causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

The charge follows alleged inappropriate web communication between the officer and the teenage girl from Staffordshire.

The officer – who has been with the force for 12 years – was arrested on April 27 and has been questioned at Burton-upon-Trent police station where he remains detained, ahead of an appearance before magistrates in the town tomorrow.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale said:

“The investigation started as a result of information we received on Sunday evening, and is being led by a senior officer in the force’s professional standards department.  DC Rowe, who has served with the force for 12 years, was charged following close liaison with, and advice from, our colleagues at the Crown Prosecution Service.

“As with any case going through the courts, it is difficult for us to comment in any specific detail on this inquiry or the allegations which this officer must answer in due course.  However, what I will emphasise is that Staffordshire Police treats the safeguarding and protection of children with complete and utter seriousness. It is one of our very highest policing priorities. With our partners, we are committed to doing everything we can to protect children from harm.

“In this case we are giving every support we can to the 15-year-old girl and her family, via a specially-trained family liaison officer.

“The overwhelming majority of Staffordshire Police officers work hard and with integrity to serve their communities – not least the more vulnerable groups, including children. Our officers and staff are under no illusion: we will always deal swiftly and firmly with allegations of criminal misconduct by people within the force, on the rare occasions they occur.”

DC Rowe is based at the Staffordshire Police’s Child Abuse Investigation Unit based in Stafford.

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