A serving Metropolitan Police special constable has been suspended after being charged with rape.

Paul Hoile, 40, was arrested in Benfleet, Essex, on 6 July in connection with an alleged incident which happened the day before in Lilleshall near Newport, Shropshire.

Hoile faces three charges of rape and an offence under section four of the Sexual Offences Act.

He is currently in custody and is due to appear before Kidderminster Magistrates’ Court on Saturday.

Hoile is based at the Met Police’s North West Command Unit as a special constable – a volunteer officer who works around 16 hours a month.

The Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards is aware of the charges.

The incident has been referred to the Independent Office for Police Conduct by West Mercia Police and the Metropolitan Police.

Visible patrols have been increased across Lilleshall and Newport but police say they are satisfied there is no risk to the public.