Detective Chief Inspector Pete Quinn has spoken about indecent images offences after a man was sentenced for possession of over 50,000 images.
A 33-year-old man was handed a three year community order for possession of more than 50,000 indecent images of children. Alexander Mountain, of Philip Road, Newark, pleaded guilty to the charges and was sentenced on Monday 6 January 2020 at Nottingham Crown Court.
Pete Quinn explains how indecent images offences are investigated. “We work closely with service providers and the national crime agency to detect and investigate people who download and share indecent images of children,” he says. “We have various tools available to us which we use to police the internet.”
Although it is down to the courts to decide the lengths of sentences, DCI Quinn believes that prosecuting people for these offences has a wider impact. “It’s not just the sentence itself which acts as a deterrent; it’s the extent to which this type of conviction shatters people’s lives.
“They often lose their job, they lose their reputation, if they have children they’re no longer able to see them. I think that often has a far greater impact on people than a sentence can.”
DCI Quinn also thinks how we talk about these types of offences is important. “When we talk about indecent images, we’re talking about a record of a child being abused, he says. “Offenders can be quite detached from this, they often don’t see the connection and don’t think they’re causing any harm.”
People may have their own ideas about who commits these crimes, but in DCI Quinn’s experience there is no typical offender.
“Often it’s people with good jobs and families – it really respects no boundaries. That’s why we put so much time and effort into tracking down the people who do this.
“I’d like to say thank you to the officers who do this difficult work. It takes a special type of person to be able to do it, to handle this type of material and to remain professional. They are doing really important work to keep children safe.”