A WOMAN traffic officer with North Yorkshire Police has been arrested over allegations of fraud and misconduct in public office.

PC Rachel Hewitt, 39, was questioned by officers from the force’s Professional Standards Directorate (PSD) on Monday.

It is understood the allegations relate to reports that she raised money after claiming one of her daughters was suffering from leukaemia and used the cash to fund her other daughter’s showjumping career.

Fellow police officers are said to have raised as much as £20,000 for the family.

Police declined to say where PC Hewitt, currently on a career break from the force, was taken into custody, but said investigations were ongoing.

The allegations surfaced after one of her daughters rode three horses in the 138cm championship at the Horse of the Year Show, at Birmingham’s NEC on Saturday.

It is understood another parent confronted her with the claims following an argument.

The PSD, based at Newby Wiske, Northallerton, investigates complaints from the public and allegations of misconduct about the force’s officers, staff and special constables.

A spokesman for North Yorkshire Police confirmed that a 39-year-old woman had been arrested and bailed but would not confirm or deny the allegations.

He said: “We can confirm that a 39-year-old woman from the Selby area was arrested by officers from North Yorkshire Police’s Professional Standards Directorate on Monday, October 10.

“She has been arrested on suspicion of misconduct in a public office and fraud.

“As this is an ongoing investigation it is inappropriate to comment further. The woman who has been arrested is on a career break and not currently employed by North Yorkshire Police.”

PC Hewitt, who is believed to be based in the south of the county, is well known in the North Yorkshire equestrian community for training ponies and has attracted sponsorship from a horse supplements manufacturer.

The Northern Echo made repeated attempts to discuss the allegations with PC Hewitt yesterday but, in an answer message on her phone, she said she was too busy to talk.