Former PCSO secretly filmed children in swimming pool changing rooms and downloaded child abuse images

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James Land, who also downloaded child abuse images, had worked in a cyber crime unit and was arrested by his own colleague

A PCSO who filmed children in swimming pool changing rooms and downloaded hundreds of child abuse images has been jailed for 27 months.

James Land, who was previously part of a specialist team tackling online crime for Derbyshire Police, was found with 1,500 sick images and videos of kids.

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A court heard how he also hid a teenage girl’s knickers under his bed and filmed children naked in the changing rooms of a swimming pool in Derbyshire.

Land downloaded images over 19 years

Land resigned from the force in April following his suspension at the beginning of the police investigation.

The 43-year-old was arrested by his own colleague after the force discovered he been accessing some of the images on a police work laptop in May 2021.

Officers searched his home in Cromford in the Peak District and seized nine devices, including a personal laptop, mobile phone and external hard drive.

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They were found to contain over 1,500 indecent images and videos of children – 369 category of them the most serious category A.

Photographs of children as young as two being abused had also been downloaded by Land over a 19-year period.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of making indecent images, one of possessing extreme images, six of voyeurism and one of possession of prohibited images of children.

Land, now of Abergele, Conwy, Wales, was jailed at Derby Crown Court and made subject of a ten year sexual harm prevention order.

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Former PCSO James Land was jailed for 27 months.Former PCSO James Land was jailed for 27 months.
Former PCSO James Land was jailed for 27 months. | NWLD composite/SWNS

Land ‘plainly targeted very young children’

Sentencing, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: “You quite plainly targeted very young children aged from three to five years old, it was a swimming baths.

“That caused a great deal of distress to their families.

“You were at all times employed by Derbyshire Constabulary as a PCSO – in 2017 you were given a role in cyber crime.

“You gave safeguarding advice in online safety and it is against this backdrop that you accept that since 2002 until 2021 you have been in possession of indecent images.

“It involved category A images – there were 369 in total with a large number of moving images.

“This activity continued for nearly 19 years.”

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Land admitted possessing 369 Category A abuse images, 262 Category B and 686 Category C.

Force seeking to place him on barred list

Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell said after the case: “There is no place in Derbyshire Constabulary for anyone who commits such serious crimes as this.

“We, like the communities we serve, are shocked and disgusted by Land’s actions.

“He was arrested and suspended at the earliest opportunity and gross misconduct proceedings are continuing now that the criminal case is concluded.

“We will seek to place him on the barred list, which will prevent him from working for other police forces and within other certain professions.”