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Thursday, 12 September, 2002, 22:09 GMT 23:09 UK
Soham family officer in porn arrest
Detective Constable Brian Stevens
Brian Stevens read a poem at the memorial service
A police officer who supported the family of Jessica Chapman during the police investigation into her death has been arrested on suspicion of involvement with child pornography.

Family liaison officer Detective Constable Brian Stevens, who read out a poem at the memorial service for Jessica, and her best friend Holly Wells, was questioned on Thursday.

A second Cambridgeshire Police officer who worked on the inquiry into the girls' deaths was also arrested.

Jessica's parents, Leslie and Sharon, were immediately informed, although police said the arrests had no bearing on the investigation into their daughter's death.

Jessica and Holly's families, from Soham in Cambridgeshire, released a joint statement in which they said they still had confidence in the inquiry.

Internet

Mr Stevens was one of four family liaison officers made available to the families 24-hours-a-day, from the time Holly and Jessica went missing on 4 August.


This does not affect our view of the credibility of the police investigation

Families' statement
Sources said that he and the second officer were arrested as part of Operation Ore, an investigation into child pornography on the internet.

UK police have been targeting alleged users of pay-per-view child pornography websites based in the United States, leading to 36 arrests in May.

The officers were arrested on suspicion of inciting others to distribute indecent photographs of children - an offence contrary to common law.

Statement

Cambridgeshire's Acting Deputy Chief Constable Keith Hoddy - the man in charge of the Holly and Jessica operation - made the decision to call in an outside force to investigate.

Leslie Chapman (left) and Kevin Wells
Leslie Chapman (left) and Kevin Wells said they still support police
West Midlands Police agreed to carry out the investigation, which is being supervised by the Police Complaints Authority.

A statement from Cambridgeshire Police said: "At around 0700 BST this morning officers from the West Midlands arrested both Cambridgeshire officers at their homes in the county."

Both were stationed at the force headquarters at Hinchingbrooke Park, Huntingdon.

'Credibility'

After the arrests were made, the families of Jessica and Holly said: "We have been informed of today's developments by police.

"This does not affect our view of the credibility of the police investigation.

"We will not be making any further comment."

The girls vanished from their home in Soham, Cambridgeshire, on the late afternoon of Sunday, 4 August.

Their decomposed bodies were eventually found in a remote ditch near RAF Lakenheath, Suffolk, on 17 August.

Ian Huntley, 28, is currently under arrest, charged with the murders of Holly and Jessica and perverting the course of justice.

Doctors at the Rampton high security psychiatric hospital are assessing his mental condition.

His fiancée Maxine Carr, 25, is in custody charged with attempting to pervert the course of justice.

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 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Sarah Morris
"They're being questioned on allegations of inciting others to distribute indecent photographs"

Click here to go to Cambridgeshire

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IN PICTURES
See also:

05 Sep 02 | England
04 Sep 02 | Politics
30 Aug 02 | England
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