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Police officer groomed girls as young as 12 on Snapchat and blackmailed them

30 May 2023 3 minute read
Cardiff Crown Courts. Photo by Along time ago… is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

A former South Wales Police officer has pleaded guilty to more than 100 charges of inciting children to engage in sexual activity online.

Lewis Edwards, 23, of Heol Ty Cribwr, Cefn Glas, Bridgend, posed as a teenager on Snapchat to groom girls as young as 12 into sending him images and videos he covertly recorded.

He then used the recordings to blackmail his victims, forcing them to send him increasingly graphic and explicit images.

Edwards, who appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, was a serving police officer when his “extreme” and “predatory” crimes were uncovered.

During his arrest, Edwards’ home was searched and a number of heavily encrypted electronic devices and a blackmail manual were recovered.

The South Wales Police (SWP) Online Investigation Team said it has already identified a dozen victims but is working to identify others as a priority.

During the hearing, Edwards admitted a total of 106 offences including blackmail, inciting a child to engage in sexual activity, making a child watch a sex act, sexual communication, making indecent images of children, possessing indecent images of children and a single charge of distribution.

He will be sentenced on August 23.

Suspended

Edwards was immediately suspended from duty after being arrested and later resigned, the force said.

It added: “An accelerated misconduct hearing was held which delivered the sanction of dismissal. He has been added to the barred list, preventing him from returning to policing.”

Edwards is said to have used his job to tell his victims he would not be investigated.

Detective superintendent Tracey Rankine, head of the Police Online Investigation Team, said Edwards’ victims “lived in fear of him”.

SWP’s assistant chief constable Danny Richards defended the force’s vetting process and said it was “recently only one of two in the country to be assessed as good by His Majesty’s Inspectorate for the way we carry out vetting of officers and staff, how effectively we protect information and data we hold and how well corruption is dealt with”.

He added: “The public will be as shocked and sickened as I am that such appalling offences have been committed by a serving police officer.

“The behaviour of Lewis Edwards only serves to damage the public’s trust and confidence in policing and undermines the work of the vast majority of responsible, hard-working police officers who serve the communities of South Wales with courage and pride.”


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Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
10 months ago

REFORM THE POLICE NOW!

Murders
Rape
Grooming
Extortion
Corruption…and so much

They commit crimes and we pay their salaries and overtime. NO MORE BRIT COPS ON CYMRAEG STREETS

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

First this report and the account of a 91 year old lady being handcuffed, having a ‘spit hood’ placed over her head and being threatened with a good tasering by 6 cops in London with Ely and Porthmadog still in our thoughts begs the question what happened to the BNP etc…they all got jobs working for the government, jobs for life too !

Mab Meirion
Mab Meirion
10 months ago

Par for the police training course…

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
10 months ago

Heddlu? Byddai ‘treislu’ yn well gair. Llawn pobl efo problemau ego. Angen torri ceilliau y cythraul yma.

Windy
Windy
10 months ago

As the offences took place when he was a serving police officer his resignation should not be accepted he only resigned to keep his pension this should not be allowed as the police authority also paid into his pension that means the ratepayers of the area he committed these atrocities in will be paying towards his retirement , this seems to be the norm in the police service no wonder some people think that it’s not only offenders that are corrupt

Frank
Frank
10 months ago

Imagine, this policeman could be arresting a member of the public for committing the same crime as he was allegedly doing himself. There are officers of the law who are probably up to all sorts of offences and then have the audacity to arrest Joe Public!!

Last edited 10 months ago by Frank

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