A Metropolitan Police officer has been accused of sexual offences against a child which are said to have taken place in Croydon.

Pc Anthony Rowley, 51, works in the force's South Area Command which covers Bromley, Sutton and Croydon.

He will appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday charged with four counts of sexual assault on a girl under the age of 14.

The allegations, which were reported to police in May last year, relate to one girl and are said to have occurred in Croydon between 1988 and 1989.

Rowley was arrested on June 1 last year and charged on Tuesday February 27. He has been suspended from duty.

Chief Superintendent Andy Brittain, lead for policing in Croydon, said: “I recognise the serious concern this news will have, and I can assure local people that officers acted quickly on receipt of the allegations and that inquiries are ongoing.

“It would be inappropriate for me to comment further at this time. It is imperative that no information or material is shared that could prejudice court proceedings.”