A Northamptonshire Police officer has today been charged with the rape of a 17-year-old girl.

Pc Declan Gabriel, a local response officer, has been charged with a single count of rape and two further charges of sexual assault on a female on September 21, 2015.

Gabriel, aged 26, has also been charged with misconduct in a public office on the same date.

The officer has remained suspended from duty for the duration of the investigation and will remain so until the conclusion of court proceedings.

The inquiry was led by detectives from Northamptonshire Police and the Force’s Professional Standards Department (PSD).

The Independent Police Complaints Commission is also aware of the investigation.

Gabriel will appear in magistrates court at a date to be fixed.

In a statement, Deputy Chief Constable Andy Frost said: “Northamptonshire Police takes seriously any allegation made against officers in our Force.

“Any internal decision regarding possible misconduct will take place only upon completion of court proceedings and because they are now active it would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment at this stage.”