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A serving British Transport Police officer has been convicted of sexual communication with a child, following an investigation by BTP’s Professional Standards Department.
Police Sergeant James Chatfield, 36, based in London, pleaded guilty to two counts of attempting to engage in sexual communication with a child at Westminster Magistrates’ Court today (18 November).
He will be sentenced at Southwark Crown Court at a later date.
The court heard that on 23 and 26 September 2022 Chatfield was using Snapchat and Chat Avenue when he began conversations with what he believed to be a 12-year-old girl.
He went on to ask her to send intimate photos of herself to him.
The person he was talking to was actually an undercover police officer who reported the incidents to BTP’s Professional Standards Department, after enquiries on his IP address revealed he was a police officer.
Deputy Chief Constable Alistair Sutherland said: “As police officers it is our overriding duty to protect the public and particularly the vulnerable from harm, so it is profoundly disturbing to know that a serving officer could ever consider exploiting a child for their own sexual gain.
“I speak for everyone at British Transport Police when I say we are all truly shocked and appalled by the actions of James Chatfield. He does not represent our values and now he has been criminally convicted, we will be looking to fast track his disciplinary proceedings as soon as practicably possible.
“It is thanks to the swift and thorough investigation by our Professional Standards Department that Chatfield was arrested, charged, and brought before the courts to face justice within two months of these abhorrent offences.”