Vicar arrested in child sex probe

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The Independent Online

A Church of England vicar has been arrested after an allegation of a sex attack on a child.

The Rev Chris Hanson was bailed as police continue to investigate the alleged "historic" offence in Berkshire.

Scotland Yard detectives working on behalf of Thames Valley Police arrested the 63-year-old in east London on suspicion of inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

A statement from Thames Valley Police said he was arrested at an address in Broadgate Road on May 23.

A spokesman added: "An investigation was launched earlier this year following an allegation of an historic offence committed within the East Berkshire area."

He has been released on bail until June 29.

The Bishop of Chelmsford has suspended Mr Hanson from all his duties within the Church of England and as vicar of Ascension Church, Custom House.

A Chelmsford Diocese statement said: "This suspension is without prejudice. The Church of England follows established policies and procedures and training programmes in child protection.

"We are holding all those who may be affected by the situation in our prayers and are providing pastoral care to Rev Hanson and the parish.

"We cannot make any further comments in view of the police investigation which is under way."

A woman who answered the door of Mr Hanson's home in the Victoria Dock area declined to speak to reporters.