A former Police Community Support Officer (PSCO) who blackmailed prostitutes while on duty was jailed yesterday.

Kabeer Yousaf, 31, of Barley Lane in llford, blackmailed women at brothels in East Ham, West Ham and Walthamstow when he was a PCSO for Green Street Safer Neighbourhoods Team.

In 2012, Yousaf, then a PCSO for Green Street Safer Neighbourhoods Team in Newham, contacted a woman in her 40s on an adult website.

He arranged to have sex with her at a brothel.

After doing so, he returned, wearing his uniform, and demanded that she pay him £2,000 to remove her details from the Metropolitan Police Service's (MPS) data systems.

Fearful, the woman paid him £1,500.

This was repeated at other brothels which Yousaf visited on duty, sometimes having sex with the women in lieu of payments.

The MPS Trafficking and Kidnap Unit (TKU) launched an investigation in 2014 after a fight broke out at a brothel in West Ham.

They executed search warrants at brothels linked to Yousaff’s associates including one in Vansittart Road, Leytonstone, where they found a woman locked in a room.

Scared, she refused to speak to police and returned to Romania.

Eventually she was persuaded to give key evidence.

She told police how she had come to the Waltham Forest brothel to be a sex worker.

Yousaf was convicted of blackmail and misconduct offences at Snaresbrook Crown Court on December 29.

He was found not guilty of rape and one count of conspiracy to control prostitution for gain.

Yesterday he was jailed for a total of six years.

He was handed a total of four years for two counts of blackmail and another two years for conspiracy to commit misconduct in a judicial or public office.

For committing misconduct in a public office he was given two years to run concurrently.

Detective Chief Inspector Phil Brewer, of the TKU, said: "Yousaf’s actions have undermined everything that the Met stands for and the Met will do everything in its power to ensure that those few police staff and officers who commit crimes are brought to court.

“The women that Yousaf blackmailed have shown great courage in working with the police in light of their experience with him.”