A SERVING Avon and Somerset Police officer has been charged with stalking.

Oliver Hampson, 24, a student officer based in Weston-super-Mare, will appear at Exeter Magisrates' Court today (Wednesday, November 1).

He faces one count of stalking following a criminal investigation carried out by the force.

An Avon and Somerset Police spokesperson said allegations were first reported to police in January of this year, which led to him being arrested on Thursday, February 2.

Hampson, who was suspended from duty following his arrest, was later charged with one count of stalking.

A parallel investigation is being carried out by the force's Professional Standards Department which will focus on whether any standards of professional behaviour have been breached.

Supt Lisa Simpson said: “We know the fact a serious criminal charge has been brought against a serving officer will be of great concern to the public.

“We’d like to reassure our communities that an investigation was launched as soon as the allegations were made, resulting in the officer being arrested and suspended from duty.

“As a result of these detailed enquiries, a file of evidence was gathered and submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, which authorised the charge of stalking to be brought.

“We’re unable to go into further details at this stage as we cannot risk prejudicing the ongoing criminal proceedings.”