A Metropolitan Police Safer Schools officer has pleaded guilty to a string of child sexual offences.
PC Hussain Chehab admitted sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15 before he became a police officer, but also pleaded guilty to offences linked to indecent images of children that he committed while in the force.
The 22-year-old pleaded guilty at Wood Green Crown Court on Tuesday (24 January) to four counts of sexual activity with a girl aged 13 to 15, police said.
The offences took place between March and September 2019, before Chehab joined the Met the following year.
His offending only came to light in July 2021 when the family of a 16-year-old girl called the police to raise concerns their daughter had been in a sexual relationship with Chehab, which it later emerged began when she was 14.
He was arrested on 24 August 2021 and placed on restricted duties, which ordered him to work in a non-public-facing role and to have no contact with schools or children.
Police found several indecent images on his phone during examination and he was further arrested on 28 October, when he was also suspended from duty.
Further scrutiny of his phone revealed messages between PC Chehab and a 14-year-old girl engaging in sexual communication. She later provided evidence to police that they had entered into a sexual relationship in 2019 when she was just 14. He was charged for these offences on 13 September 2022.
Chehab also admitted three counts of making indecent photographs of a child and one of engaging in sexual communication with a child.
The Met said some of these offences were committed while he was posted at a north London school between May and August 2021. He will be sentenced at Wood Green Crown Court on 17 March.
No verdict was recorded in a further four counts of making indecent photographs of a child, so the Judge ordered they be left to lie on file. A misconduct process has been initiated following his guilty plea and will be held as quickly as possible, the Met said.
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.”
Ms Haines said no concerns were raised about Chehab either in the recruitment process or later when he was vetted to work in a school. She added: “A review of the information provided to the Met prior to him joining as a police officer was carried out and nothing was found that could have indicated his offending.
“Prior to commencing his role as a Safer Schools officer he was also subject to further Child and Vulnerable Group Supervision vetting, in line with the current vetting standards for all those who work with children and young persons.
“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.
“While no evidence has been found linking any of Chehab’s offending to his role, we are engaging with our local schools, community forums and independent advisory groups to reassure them following the damage his actions will have caused.
“The Met continues to ruthlessly target those who corrupt our identity. We have made it clear there is no place for the likes of PC Chehab in the Met and will take quick and immediate action to arrest and prosecute anyone who commits such abhorrent criminal acts, and will work to quickly remove them from the organisation.”
Anyone with any information about a police officer or member of staff who works for the Met and is corrupt, abusing their position and power, can call the Anti-Corruption and Abuse Hotline, run by Independent charity Crimestoppers, on 0800 085 0000 or complete the online form crimestoppers-org.uk.