The chairman of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) has been suspended as he is being investigated over alleged sex crimes.
John Apter has also been suspended from duty by Hampshire Constabulary as well as from his role in the PFEW, a union which represents more than 130,000 officers from the rank of constable to chief inspector.
The allegations relate to four alleged breaches of professional standards between October and this month.
There is also a criminal investigation being carried out into allegations of sexual touching on two of those occasions.
The latest allegedly took place at a bravery awards ceremony on 9 December, according to the Telegraph.
The Police Federation (PFEW) said: “We have been informed that the National Chair of the Police Federation has been suspended from duty by Hampshire Police whilst an investigation is undertaken.
“As a result he is also currently suspended from his current PFEW role. PFEW has acted as swiftly as possible in conjunction with the force.
“The investigation is being undertaken by the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC). We are unable to comment on this matter until the investigation has concluded.
“National Vice-Chair Che Donald will be fulfilling all PFEW commitments in this area until further notice.”
An IOPC spokesman added that the investigation started last Friday after a referral about a constable from the Hampshire force was received.
He said: “We can confirm that, on Friday 17 December, we received a referral relating to a police constable from Hampshire Constabulary and we have started an independent investigation.
“On Monday 20 December, the officer was served with a notice of investigation for potential breaches of police professional standards relating to four separate alleged incidents.
“They were also advised they are subject to criminal investigation, for sexual touching contrary to section 3 of the Sexual Offences Act 2003, in relation to two of those alleged incidents.”
It comes after Mr Apter announced in October that he would be standing down in April next year and not seeking re-election as President of the Police Federation.
He said in a statement issued at the time: “I’ve been a Fed Rep for as long as I can remember; I love what the Federation and our Reps do and I couldn’t be more proud of the small part I have played.
“A lot has happened since I became National Chair, both professionally and personally; it’s been relentless. In all that time, all I have ever done is my best, and I hope that in some small way I have helped make a positive difference.
“I will continue to do my very best until the new National Chair takes up the position in April 2022 and I wish them well in this exciting and unique role. It’s truly something special.”