Norwich police officer in rape inquiry

A Norfolk police officer could face rape charges following claims he assaulted a dancer after luring her from the club where she worked, the EDP can reveal.

A Norfolk police officer could face rape charges following claims he assaulted a dancer after luring her from the club where she worked, the EDP can reveal.

The PC, who lives in Norwich, has been arrested and suspended from duty following complaints of a "serious sexual offence". Last night a spokesman confirmed officers are continuing to investigate the young woman's allegations.

The lap dancer claims the incident happened in the early hours of the morning last month. It is understood the officer, who was off duty, met the woman at the Devil's Advocate club in Timberhill, Norwich.

A police source told the EDP: "Everyone is approaching this case very cautiously. Officers can be vulnerable to malicious complaints so nobody is jumping to conclusions.

"If it is proven to be true, it is a serious offence particularly for somebody who is in a position of trust and it would almost certainly end his career."

The man, who has not been formally named, spent the evening at the club with a group of friends. He agreed a price of about £20 for the woman to perform for him. Following the dance the pair began talking and as the club approached its 3am closing time they left together by taxi.

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It is claimed that the attack took place at his home in the city. Afterwards the woman returned to the club where it is alleged she told fellow workers what happened and they encouraged her to contact the police.

Officers arrested the man later that day; he was quizzed overnight and released on police bail the following morning. Detectives working on the case said they do not know how long inquiries will take but it is understood that he insists he is innocent.

The investigation is being monitored by the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) to ensure correct procedures are followed.

Guests at lap dancing clubs are expected to abide by a strict code of etiquette including remaining seated during performances and a ban on taking photographs. Customers are forbidden from propositioning dancers and dancers are not supposed to fraternise with customers outside the club for their own protection.

One worker, who did not want to be named, said it was common for dancers to have minor complaints about inappropriate behaviour and customers attempting to touch them without permission. However, she said more serious allegations are rare.

"There are lots of women on our books and given the nature of the business it is inevitable that there will be occasional problems," she said.

"With so many dancers it is impossible to know what is going on with each one of them at any time. But if she asks for it this girl will be given all the help she needs."

The IPCC is automatically contacted when criminal complaints are lodged against officers. The commission has strict guidelines to ensure no bias is shown towards officers by their colleagues.

A force spokesman said he could

not comment on the exact nature of

the allegations and would only add: "Our inquiries are ongoing and the officer in question remains on suspension."

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