Police inspector could face criminal charges over sex claims

A police inspector could face criminal charges after being arrested over claims he had sex with women he met while on duty.

Inspector Tony Lumb, who was based in Brighton working for Sussex Police, was suspended from his post earlier this year while the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) investigated.

The case has now been referred to the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS), the IPCC said on Thursday.

Mr Lumb, a former elected Sussex Police Federation member for the inspector's branch board in Brighton and Hove, was arrested in March on suspicion of misconduct in public office over allegations he had improper sexual relations with women in the course of his duties.

He was released on bail until May when he was released after being interviewed under criminal caution as part of the IPCC's Operation Nectarine.

The police watchdog's operations manager Catherine Hall said: "These are clearly serious allegations that required an independent investigation.

"We now have evidence to suggest the officer may have committed a criminal offence and therefore have referred a file to the CPS.

"In addition, the investigation has also found the officer has a case to answer for gross misconduct and we will now be in discussion with Sussex Police regarding any disciplinary hearings."

The IPCC makes a referral when an investigation suggests criminal offences may have been committed but does not mean that charges will necessarily follow.

The CPS will decide whether charges should be brought, based on the test set out in the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

A CPS spokesman said: "We have received a file of evidence from the IPCC regarding an inspector from Sussex Police accused of having improper relationships with women in the course of his duties.

"This will now be considered by our prosecutors to see if there is enough evidence to provide a realistic prospect of conviction and if it is in the public interest to proceed with a case."

News of Mr Lumb's arrest surfaced just days before it emerged misconduct papers were served by the force on Chief Inspector Rob Leet and Sergeant Sarah Porter after the pair allegedly had sex on duty.

Mr Leet has been suspended while the IPCC continues its investigation into alleged misconduct.

The father of four previously said the claims were "unfounded".

No action has been taken against Ms Porter so far, the Press Association understands.

At least four Sussex Police officers have been sacked for misconduct over the last year, including police constable Mark Scruby after he told his sergeant she resembled a porn star.

Pc Daniel Moss was dismissed after it emerged he was selling himself for sex while on sick leave.

Inspector Lee Lyons was also fired after admitting he contacted prostitutes while on duty.

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