A POLICE community support officer (PCSO) has been charged with a series of sex assaults on children.
Humberside Police PCSO Gary Hastings, 48, who works with Immingham Neighbourhood Policing team, has been suspended from the force while the court case proceeds.
ACCUSATIONS: PCSO Gary Hastings has been charged with a series of sex assaults on children.
He has been charged with seven counts of sexual activity with a child and two counts of causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography, contrary to the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
The offences are alleged to have taken place between November 2007 and August 2010.
A spokeswoman for Humberside Police confirmed Hastings has been suspended from his duties since August.
Hastings has appeared at York Crown Court and the case has been adjourned until March.
He has not entered any pleas to the charges.
Guidance issued by the Sentencing Guidelines Council says the maximum sentence for causing or inciting child prostitution or pornography is life imprisonment.
A conviction for sexual activity with a child can attract a prison sentence of up to 14 years.
The force spokeswoman said they could not comment further while court proceedings are ongoing.
Hastings, who lives in Hull, joined the force in June 2008.
As part of his role, Hastings helped organise an annual event providing people with safety advice.
PCSOs are usually full-time paid police staff.
They do not hold the same powers and responsibilities as fully fledged officers, but they do have the ability to issue fixed penalty notices, confiscate alcohol or tobacco, demand the name and address of a person acting in an antisocial manner, enter a property to save a life or prevent damage and remove abandoned vehicles.
PCSOs tend to carry out frontline policing, patrolling a beat and helping the police at crime scenes and major events.