A Met police officer will now face misconduct proceedings after being convicted of child sex offences, following an investigation by Hertfordshire Constabulary.

Detective Constable Francois Olwage, 52, of Hertfordshire was found guilty of the following offences at Winchester Crown Court on Thursday, 14 April, following a trial:

– Attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child contrary to Section 1, Criminal Attempts Act 1981;
– Attempt to cause / incite a girl 13 to 15 to engage in sexual activity (penetration), contrary to Section 1, Criminal Attempts Act 1981;
– Attempt to meet a girl under 16 years of age following grooming, contrary to Section 15 Sexual Offences Act 2003.

Olwage also previously pleaded guilty to one count of corruption or other improper exercise of police powers and privileges, contrary to section 26(1) of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015.

The court heard that Olwage, attached to Specialist Operations, had engaged in a sexualised conversation with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl over an instant messaging app over a number of weeks in October 2021, and had arranged to meet her.

However, he was in fact talking to an undercover officer and was subsequently arrested by officers from Hertfordshire Constabulary on 29 October 2021.

Upon the Met being notified of his arrest, he was immediately suspended from duties.

Olwage has been remanded ahead of sentencing to take place on Wednesday, 27 April at Winchester Crown Court.

Detective Chief Superintendent Donna Smith, of the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, said: “These are appalling crimes, and the fact that these crimes were committed by a police officer makes them all the more deplorable.

“It goes without saying that officers who behave like Olwage have no place in the Metropolitan Police Service. His offending is deeply disturbing and shocking, and he has now rightly been brought to justice thanks to an investigation by colleagues from Hertfordshire Police.”

Following Olwage’s arrest, the matter was referred by the Met to the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC).

The IOPC determined that a local investigation be carried out by the Met’s Directorate of Professional Standards, and now he has been convicted, a date will be set as soon as possible for the accelerated misconduct hearing.