A police community officer from Padiham has been arrested and suspended from duty following a complaint from a member of the public.
The 50-year-old officer is alleged to have sent text messages of a sexual nature to the woman.
The Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC) confirmed it is investigating contact between a Lancashire Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) and a woman he met while attending a neighbour dispute.
A complaint about text messages of a sexual nature sent by the PCSO to the woman was referred to the IPCC by Lancashire Constabulary last month.
The criminal investigation will examine contact between the woman and the PCSO, and the alleged victim’s vulnerability. It will also look at how many times the PCSO visited her home, and his use of police computer systems.
The investigation will be carried out by Lancashire police officers under the direction and control of the IPCC. The terms of reference for the investigation have been set by IPCC Commissioner for Lancashire, James Dipple-Johnstone, who will also check the final investigation report.
The PCSO was arrested on November 15th on suspicion of misconduct in public office and bailed until February.
He has also been suspended from duty.
Last year the IPCC published a report about the abuse of police powers for sexual exploitation jointly with the Association of Chief Police Officers.
The report urged senior leaders within the police service to determinedly root out this type of corruption. All serious corruption cases, particularly those involving sexual exploitation by officers and police staff, should be referred to the IPCC.
Lancashire Police confirmed that a serving PCSO had been arrested and suspended, but added it would be inappropriate to comment any further at this stage.