PCSO filmed children in locker rooms and collected child abuse footage for 19 years

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Imprisoned: James Land. (SWNS)

A PCSO who filmed children in swimming pool locker rooms and uploaded hundreds of child abuse footage has been jailed for 27 months.

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

A court heard how he filmed naked children in the changing rooms of a swimming pool in Chesterfield, and also hid a teenage girl’s underwear under her bed.

Land, 43, was arrested by his own colleague after police discovered he had accessed some of the footage on a police work laptop in May last year.

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

They contained more than 1,500 indecent images and videos of children, including 369 in the most serious category A.

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Derby Crown Court heard he had been collecting the images since 2002.

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

Land, now from Conwy in Wales, was jailed and placed on a 10-year sexual abuse prevention order.

At sentencing, Judge Nirmal Shant QC said: ‘You clearly targeted very young children aged three to five, it was a swimming pool.

“It caused a lot of distress for their families.

“You have always been employed by Derbyshire Constabulary as a PCSO – in 2017 you were given a role in cybercrime.

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“You have given safeguarding advice on online safety and it is in this context that you accept that from 2002 until 2021 you are in possession of indecent images.”

Land had resigned from the force in April after his suspension at the start of the police investigation.

Dep Ch Cons Kate Meynell said after the case: ‘There is no place in Derbyshire Constabulary for anyone committing crimes as serious 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 the gross misconduct proceedings continue now that the criminal case is complete.

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

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