George Ince – photo from Norfolk Constabulary
A 26-year-old man who admitted a series of indecent image offences has been sentenced to 16 months imprisonment.
George Ince, from the Stalham area, appeared at Norwich Crown Court today (Thursday 7 October 2021) after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing to three counts of making an indecent photograph of a child, three counts of distributing an indecent photograph of a child and possession of an extreme pornographic image.
Ince pleaded not guilty to a further count of attempting to cause/incite the sexual exploitation of a child, a charge which was later dropped by prosecutors.
Ince was a serving police officer with Norfolk Constabulary when the offences were committed between May 2019, April 2020 and July 2020.
In July last year, police launched an investigation into the sharing of an indecent video of children which had been shared on messaging app Kik. Police received information on 7 July concerning the indecent material and enquiries into the account and IP address led officers from the force’s Safeguarding Children Online Team (SCOLT) to identify Ince as a suspect.
Officers attended his home unannounced the following day on 8 July, where they carried out a search and seized several devices before taking Ince to Aylsham Police Investigation Centre where he was interviewed.
Following examination of all devices, unlawful material was on one device. Ince’s mobile phone was found to contain 71 still images and 22 videos, ranging from Category A-C as well as extreme pornographic content.
Ince, who was a response officer based in Great Yarmouth, was immediately suspended.
He was later charged and appeared at Norwich Magistrates Court on Tuesday 3 August, pleading guilty to seven of the eight charges.
Following his guilty plea, internal misconduct proceedings were fast-tracked and at a hearing on Thursday 26 August 2021, Ince was dismissed without notice for gross misconduct. He had five years’ service.
Chief Constable Paul Sanford said: “The viewing and sharing of indecent images is an abhorrent crime, which fuels the exploitation and suffering of vulnerable children.
“What makes this case even more deplorable is that when these offences were committed, Ince was a serving police officer, the very person who should been working to prevent this type of offending and safeguarding children.
“We know the police service is rightly under intense scrutiny at the moment. When a police officer is convicted and sentenced for offences, it discredits the service and betrays that vital bond of trust with the public.
“I completely understand the concerns people have. As your Chief Constable I share that concern because Ince’s behaviour does not represent the high professional standards that officers of all ranks across the county pride themselves in while carrying out their duties, day in day out.
“Criminals will operate in all walks of life but our resolve remains the same regardless of your profession. If you’re committing these offences, we will bring you to justice.
“I want the public to know that we expect the utmost professionalism and the highest standards of personal conduct from officers. When these are in question, I’m confident we have the right processes in place to take swift, impartial and robust action and when we’re able to, we’re open and honest about it. In both cases the officers were immediately suspended and when possible in according with Police Regulations, the necessary misconduct proceedings were held.”