Former PCSO secretly filmed children in swimming pool changing rooms

Ex-PCSO James Land

James Land, 43, used a police work laptop to view the horrific material (Picture: Google/ SWNS)

A PCSO who secretly filmed young children naked in the changing rooms of a swimming pool has been jailed.

James Land, who was previously part of a specialist team tackling online crime for Derbyshire Police, spent 19 years downloading some 1,500 vile images and videos of youngsters.

Derby Crown Court heard 369 of them were of the most serious category A, with some showing kids as young as two being abused.

When Land’s own colleagues searched his home in Cromford in the Peak District, they also discovered a teenage girl’s knickers under his bed and the footage from a swimming pool in Chesterfield.

The 43-year-old officer was arrested in police headquarters in May 2021 after the force discovered he had been using a work laptop to access the material.

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.

Ex-PCSO James Land

He was immediately suspended from duty after his arrest last year (Picture: Derbyshire Police/ SWNS)

‘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.’

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

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.

Judge Shant sentenced the ex-PCSO, now of Abergele, Conwy, Wales, to 27 months in prison.

Derby Combined Court Centre

Land was sentenced to 27 months in prison (Picture: Google)

Land was also made subject of a 10-year sexual harm prevention order.

Following his sentencing, Derbyshire Police condemned his actions.

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.’

Get in touch with our news team by emailing us at [email protected].

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