A serving Lincolnshire Police officer has been charged with the rape of a woman in Lincoln.
PC Fraser McDowall, 23, was arrested on November 5 and charged on Wednesday relating to the rape of a woman which is alleged to have occurred in Lincoln in the early hours of October 16 while PC McDowall was off duty.
Lincolnshire Police’s Professional Standards Department has been informed and PC McDowall, a Lincoln-based probationary police officer, has been suspended while the investigation is ongoing.
The matter was referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct who decided it should be subject to a local investigation by the force.
Following the charge, PC McDowall was released on police bail to appear at Lincoln Magistrates’ Court on March 10.
The incident took place just months after the death of Sarah Everard at the hands of a Metropolitan Police officer sent shockwaves through the country in March last year.
Protests were sparked across the UK, and vigils and memorials were placed across Lincoln in solidarity with Ms Everard, as well as in protest of the prevalence of gender-based violence in society.
The old police station on West Parade in Lincoln was the subject of chalk markings calling for change and support for victims of domestic abuse and sexual assault, as well as a tribute to Sarah Everard herself.
Lincolnshire Police Chief Constable Chris Haward said: “I know this will be concerning and upsetting to people in our communities in Lincolnshire and further afield; our entire Lincolnshire Police family feels this way too.
“It has come at a time when police officer conduct is under intense scrutiny and is the subject of almost daily news reporting, so we understand keenly the public’s concern about allegations such as these.
“We have taken swift measures to ensure that this matter has been investigated thoroughly and robustly, and work continues even though a charge has now been brought. We are providing specialist support to the alleged victim and will continue to do so throughout the process.
“I would like to remind everyone that we must allow the criminal and court proceedings to take place without prejudice. It is not right to speculate about the outcome and as soon as there are any significant updates, we will make sure we release that information to you.”