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Serving Met Police schools officer, 22, faces lengthy jail term after having sex with 14-year-old girl
25 January 2023, 06:45 | Updated: 25 January 2023, 07:01
A serving Met Police schools officer has pleaded guilty to multiple child sexual offences, including four counts of sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 15.
PC Hussain Chehab, 22, attached to North Area Command Unit, pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday, 24 January to four counts of sexual activity with a girl aged between 13 and 15 years old.
These four sex offences took place between March and September 2019, before he started working in the Met. He joined the Met several months later on 30 March 2020.
He also pleaded guilty to three counts of taking indecent photographs of a child and one count of engaging in sexual communication with a child.
There were four more counts of taking indecent photographs of a child, but no verdict was recorded.
Chehab's offending came to light in July 2021 when the family of a 16-year-old girl called police to report that their daughter had been in a relationship with Chehab, which they said began when she was 15 years old.
He continued to work for the Met, though in a non public-facing role, and was told he could have no contact with schools or children.
He was arrested on 24 August 2021 during which time a number of digital devices were seized.
An "accelerated" misconduct process will take place following Chehab's guilty plea.
Detective Chief Superintendent Caroline Haines, lead for policing in Enfield where PC Chehab served, said: “Our thoughts foremost today are with the young girls who Chehab exploited and took advantage of for his own sexual gratification.
“These offences are made all the more sickening by the fact that some of the image offences were committed while PC Chehab was in a role as a Safer Schools officer attached to a secondary school in Enfield between May 2021 and his arrest in August 2021.
“Once the initial allegations against PC Chehab were made, he was immediately removed from his role while the investigation took place. We have worked closely with the school concerned, and Enfield local authority, to ensure that there were no further unreported safeguarding incidents or missed opportunities.
He continued: “This news will of course cause considerable damage and concern, not only to the local community, but Londoners as a whole, who place their trust in police officers to go into our schools alongside their children every day and keep them safe."
Home Office Minister Chris Philp urges the Met to bring back face to face interviews 'quickly'
It comes after it emerged that Metropolitan Police recruits are being hired without face-to-face interviews to test their motives and values.
Applicants are still being accepted using mostly online assessments after in-person interviews were abandoned as an emergency measure during the pandemic.
It comes despite the Met being hit with several scandals including the sexual offences committed by PC David Carrick and the murder of Sarah Everard by PC Wayne Couzens.
The virtual approach has been kept in place in a bid to hit hiring targets as part of the government’s drive to improve head counts, a recruitment consultant told The Times.
But most other forces have brought back in-person interviews.
Sir Mark Rowley promised to turn around the force, which he insisted is full of "tens of thousands of hard-working and honest officers".
He said: "I am determined to win back Londoners' trust."We can succeed because of the dedicated, honest, often heroic, men and women who are the great majority of the Met. Our work has begun, but I must be candid.
"We cannot achieve the profound reforms needed quickly or without the ongoing help and support of wider policing, politicians, partner organisations and most of all, communities.
"Lifting the stone reveals painful truths that will not be resolved overnight, and it is critical that these truths cause none of us to lose our resolve to renew Peel’s vision of policing by consent."
Sir Mark has published the "Turnaround Plan", which the force said sets out how it will win back trust, reduce crime and ensure high standards over the next two years.
Sir Mark's priorities are:
- Create the "strongest ever" neighbourhood policing
- Strengthen its work in public protection and safeguarding
- Providing a compassionate and effective service to victims and members of the public
- Proactively reduce crime
- Raise standards and show communities the force cares about them
- "Set the frontline up to succeed"
- Modernising its teaching and development of leaders
- Be "relentlessly" data-driven and evidence-based
- Make efficient use of resources