A police officer who worked in a child abuse investigation unit has appeared in court charged with causing or inciting a 15-year-old girl to engage in sexual activity.
Detective Constable Andrew Rowe, who has served with Staffordshire Police for 12 years, was remanded in custody by magistrates in Burton-on-Trent.
Rowe, who is from the Stoke-on-Trent area, was yesterday ordered to appear at Birmingham Crown Court on May 8.
The 31-year-old officer was arrested on Monday after allegedly making inappropriate internet communications with the girl, Staffordshire Police said.
A police spokesman confirmed that Rowe had been formally suspended from duty yesterday and that the matter had been voluntarily referred to the Independent Police Complaints Commission.
Stafford-based Rowe was charged on Tuesday under Section 10 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
In a statement issued before the court appearance, Staffordshire’s Assistant Chief Constable, Marcus Beale, said Rowe was charged after the force sought advice from the Crown Prosecution Service.
Mr 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.
“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.”