Monday, 19 May 2008 5:24 PM

Police Arrest Off-Duty Officer for Defilement

A professional and swift investigation by Police has led to an off-duty officer being arrested for defilement.

Today, a 24-year-old police officer was arrested for defilement after he allegedly sexually abused a 10-year-old girl at White River Estate whilst off-duty on the evening of Sunday 18 May 2008. Police believe the victim was known to the 24-year-old man.

Police were alerted to this serious crime by a member of the victim's family. An investigation commenced immediately and the 24-year-old officer was located and arrested.

Officers from the Sexual Assault Unit, Forensics Unit and Professional Standards and Internal Investigations (PSII) have ensured the investigation into this incident has been a priority.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Peter Marshall, said police officers need to behave at all times in accordance with the law and represent the organisation with distinction.

"Any criminal conduct by police officers will be dealt with very severely, particularly those of a sexual nature against minors.

"It is not acceptable for anyone to commit such inhuman acts and I can assure the victim, the victim's family and the community that this behaviour is not tolerated by the Police.

"This officer is facing serious charges that if proven carry a maximum penalty of life imprisonment," he said.

The Commissioner may dismiss from the Force any police officer who has been convicted by any court in respect of this type of offence.

Acting Commissioner of Police, Peter Marshall, praised the efforts of the officers involved in this investigation for their commitment and proficiency in dealing with this crime.

"The officers investigating this crime have done an outstanding job and should be congratulated. Investigating a fellow officer can be difficult at times but the professionalism of the Sexual Assault Unit, Forensics and PSII officers has been first class," he said.

The 24-year-old man is currently assisting Police with their enquiries and is expected to be formally charged in the coming days.