May 2023

Former special constable jailed for child sex offences

A former Northamptonshire Police special constable has been jailed for two years and six months for child sex offences.

On December 1, 2021, Steven Hayden-Tift, 45, previously of Northampton, engaged in sexualised chat with a person he believed to be a 14-year-old boy but who was actually an undercover police officer.

During the conversation, which took place over Grindr and Snapchat, Tift sent sexual photos of himself and asked for similar photos back.

Following an investigation by Northamptonshire Police’s Online Child Abuse Investigation Unit (OCAIU), Tift was identified as the offender and arrested at his home address on December 19, 2021. 

He was subsequently charged with attempting sexual communication with a child and attempting to incite a child to engage in sexual activity, and was found guilty by a jury following a trial at Northampton Crown Court which ended on March 18, 2023.

He returned to the same court today (May 4) where he was sentenced to two years and six months, half of which he will serve in prison.

He was also handed a five-year sexual harm prevention order and placed on the Sex Offenders’ Register.