Sex charge support officer fell 'well short' of police standards

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The Independent Online

A police community support officer (PCSO) who persuaded a 12-year-old girl to perform sex acts on a webcam had "fallen well short" of professional standards, police said today.

Steven Evans, of Chorley, Lancashire, struck up a friendship with the youngster whom he met on the internet.

Evans, 23, pleaded guilty at Burnley Crown Court to engaging in sexual activity in the presence of a child and inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

He also admitted 15 further counts of downloading indecent photographs and video clips of children.

The offences took place between 2007 and this year, the court heard yesterday.

Evans, of Abbey Village, resigned from his PCSO position when he was arrested in April.

A Lancashire Constabulary spokeswoman said: "Lancashire Constabulary expects the highest professional standards of honesty and integrity from all our staff and we have taken a robust position to the investigation of this case. This individual's conduct has fallen well short of these standards, which is reflected in his conviction.

"It is disappointing that the behaviour of one employee, as in this case, can potentially undermine all the excellent work carried out by the constabulary on a daily basis.

"The public of Lancashire can be reassured that behaviour such as this is not tolerated and will be vigorously investigated.

"We aim to ensure the people of Lancashire trust us as we focus on their needs and priorities.

"He immediately resigned from his position following his arrest."

The defendant will be sentenced at Preston Crown Court on October 30.