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Officer pleads guilty to indecent images offences

A police officer has pleaded guilty to eight offences relating to indecent images of children.

PC Darren Bond, 46, who was based at Kenneth Steele House, appeared at Gloucester Crown Court yesterday (10 August) where he admitted charges of possessing, making and distributing indecent images of children through online chat platforms.

Some of the images were classified as Category A, which are the highest in severity.

PC Bond, who was suspended in November 2017, was arrested following information received by another law enforcement agency.

He will be sentenced at the same court on 21 September.

Chief Supt Carolyn Belafonte, Head of Investigations, said: “This officer has pleaded guilty to wholly abhorrent offences and we utterly condemn his behaviour.

“Downloading or sharing indecent images of children perpetuates this vile industry and encourages offenders to commit acts of abuse. There is no place to hide for those who commit this kind of offence.

“His crimes have had a lasting impact on those who worked with him who were completely unaware of the deplorable offences he was committing away from work online.

“A full safeguarding review has been carried out to identify and address the risks posed by his offending.”

Supt Simon Wilstead, Head of Professional Standards, said: “Any conviction for a criminal offence against a police officer leads to a loss of public trust and confidence in policing. Given that this conviction relates to serious offences relating to indecent images of children, and now the criminal justice process is almost complete, we’ll move swiftly to hold a special case misconduct hearing which will consider dismissal as an option.

“We need to rebuild public trust in our service quickly by demonstrating that this type of behaviour is not acceptable in society and is certainly not conducive to the role of a police officer, whose priority should always be to protect and serve the public.”