Police officer who worked in Richmondshire sentenced for making indecent images of children

A former North Yorkshire Police officer who worked in Richmondshire has been handed an 18-month community order after pleading guilty to making indecent images of children.

Christopher Douglas Groom, aged 41, of Main Street, Claxton, Malton, was dealt with at Leeds Magistrates’ Court today.

The ex-Hambleton and Richmond response officer admitted making 8,707 Category C indecent photographs of children between 3 December 2014 and 14 November 2021.

Category C includes lower-level indecent images of children, with Category B and Category A amounting to more serious offences. 

The defendant, who has been placed on the register of sex offenders for five years, made subject of a sexual harm prevention order, must complete 30 rehabilitation days with Safer Lives and do 150 hours of unpaid work, has been suspended from duty since his arrest on 16 December 2021.

An accelerated misconduct hearing (AMH) will now be considered by the chief constable and the force’s professional standards department.

Groom resigned ahead of his first court appearance on 18 May.

Deputy Chief Constable Mabs Hussain said: “North Yorkshire Police demands the highest level of integrity from our officers and staff.

“This is essential to ensure the communities we are proud to serve have complete trust in their police service.

“The abhorrent and criminal actions of Groom have betrayed that public trust and he has betrayed North Yorkshire Police.”

Detective Sergeant Steve Alderson, of the online abuse and exploitation team, said: “From our investigation, including an extensive digital forensic examination of devices used exclusively by the defendant, we were able to establish beyond any doubt that Christopher Douglas Groom had actively sought out and viewed a significant number of child sexual abuse images.

“We were able to recover 8,707 Category C indecent photographs of children which were made between December 2014 and November 2021.

“There were no other offences identified during the investigation and all safeguarding efforts have been made to mitigate potential risks to young people.”

DS Alderson added: “The fact that Groom was a serving North Yorkshire Police officer made no difference to how we conducted the investigation.

“He was treated the same as any other member of the public who become subject to a criminal inquiry and court proceedings.

“This case shows the determination of North Yorkshire Police to secure justice against those involved in indecent images of children offences, no matter who they are.”