Land was immediately suspended from duty while the investigation was carried out (Picture: SWNS)

A man has been jailed for two years and barred from working for the police after he was found to have hundreds of sick images and videos of children.

Former PCSO James Land had filmed children as young as three-years-old getting changed at a swimming pool in Chesterfield, Derbyshire.

A court heard how he had also hid a teenage girl’s underwear under his bed.

Land, who was previously part of a specialist team tackling online crime for Derbyshire Police, was arrested by his own colleague.

He had been caught accessing some of the images on a work laptop in May 2021.

Officers searched the 43-year-old’s home in Cromford, in the Peak District, and seized nine devices including a personal laptop, mobile phone and external hard drive.

They were found to contain over 1,500 indecent images and videos of children – 369 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.

Land was sentenced to 27 months behind bars at his sentencing at Derby Crown Court (Picture: PA)

Land 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 on Tuesday and made subject of a ten year sexual harm prevention order.

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.’

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

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

Speaking after the case, Deputy Chief Constable Kate Meynell said: ‘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.’

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