Police officer told 16-year-old she was 'very pretty', court hears
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A Met Police officer is on trial over his alleged "inappropriate" behaviour towards two teenage girls he met while on duty.
Pc Adnan Arib, 45, reportedly asked if a 15-year-old girl had a boyfriend after inviting her to meet him in a park when she finished school, a court has heard.
The Barking officer, based in Bethnal Green police station, is also accused of telling a second girl, 16, she was “very pretty” in the station and asking her out.
Arib is standing trial at Southwark Crown Court, where he denies two charges of misconduct in public office over his alleged behaviour.
Addressing the jury this morning - February 10 - prosecutor Jacqueline Carey said: “His interactions with them, his conduct towards these two young women was wholly inappropriate and the prosecution say amounts to police misconduct.”
She said one of the alleged offences took place at about 7.30am on July 4, 2019.
The uniformed officer was reportedly called to the 15-year-old girl’s flat by her mother, who had accused her daughter of stealing £10 from her.
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Arib asked to speak to the youngster in her bedroom, mouthing to her to “say no” when he asked her about the suspected theft, said Ms Carey.
He then asked the teenager to write her name, phone number and email address on a piece of paper, the girl said in a filmed police interview played in court.
“He asked me to meet after school,” she said. “He asked if I wanted to meet in the park and I said, ‘Yeah’.
“He said to not tell anyone, not tell my mum he’s going to meet me.”
The court heard Arib accessed information about the teenager on the police computer before sending her a text message which read: “It was nice to meet you this morning. Are we still meeting this afternoon?”
“I thought it was dodgy the way he was texting me,” she said.
Arib had changed out of his police uniform into jeans and a pink top when the girl arrived at the park wearing her school uniform, the jury heard.
“I think he put his arm around me,” she said. “He started asking me if I had a boyfriend and if he makes me happy.”
Arib allegedly said he wanted to be friends because “there was stuff he wanted to show me”, the 15-year-old said, adding: “I’m pretty sure he mentioned drinks as well.”
Ms Carey described the alleged conversation as “totally and utterly inappropriate”.
“The prosecution say this officer was tasked to investigate the suspected theft of a small amount of money,” she said.
“Not only did he fail to investigate it but he used it to engineer a meeting with a 15-year-old girl.
“His conduct does betray the public trust and there can be no reasonable excuse or justification for that behaviour.”
The second complainant was picked up by police after she was reported missing on April 1, 2019, the court heard.
Ms Carey said the 16-year-old “began to feel uncomfortable and a bit weird” when Arib started asking her about her personal life while in the station at around 5am.
He allegedly asked for her phone number and if she was in a relationship, told her he wanted to take her out and when she asked why, he said because she was “very pretty”, the court heard.
Arib allegedly accessed a police report about her, and officers later found 47 text messages had been sent between them on a phone he had initially tried to deny was his, the court heard.
He said in a prepared statement he “may have been naïve, but was only trying to help”, jurors were told.
The court heard that Arib accepts meeting the girls, but he denies he was trying to form an inappropriate relationship with them, and claims he wanted to help and provide them with advice, which he thought was part of his policing role.
The trial continues.