Leeds & West Yorkshire

West Yorkshire failed to investigate child rape allegation

A police officer has been sacked for failing to investigate an alleged rape of a school pupil.

PC Mark Beardsley lost his job as a Safer Schools Officer following a misconduct hearing held by West Yorkshire Police.

The officer was told during a school visit that a student under 13 was "having sexual intercourse".

The tribunal found that PC Beardsley had acted "responded inappropriately" after the school made him aware.

In law, nobody under the age of 13 can legally give consent, so the offence is classed as rape, said the NSPCC.

In a statement, the force said: "Even though PC Beardsley had been made aware of this information he responded inappropriately; he failed to record the matters disclosed as a crime; failed to initiate an investigation into suspected offences; and failed to make any referrals, record intelligence or take similar action for safeguarding purposes."

The tribunal heard that PC Beardsley held a second meeting at the school where he discussed the allegations with the child and a teacher.

"Following this meeting, PC Beardsley knew or should have known that the child was a potential victim of child sexual exploitation, was at significant risk of harm and therefore should have recorded the disclosures as a crime; initiated an investigation into those matters; and recorded intelligence and/or referred the matter on for safeguarding purposes," the force's statement said.

The hearing ruled that PC Beardsley had breached the police's standards of behaviour in relation to his duties and responsibilities.

He was dismissed without notice.

Det Supt Richard Crinnion said Mr Beardsley had completely failed "to safeguard a victim at risk of very serious harm".

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