May 2023

Former police officer pleads guilty to sexually abusing girls as young as 12 online

A former South Wales police officer has pleaded guilty to more than 100 charges of inciting children to engage in sexual activity and forcing victims as young as 12 to make indecent images online.

Lewis Edwards, 23, of Bridgend, posed as a young teenager to groom children on Snapchat, gaining their trust before requesting images and videos that he covertly recorded.

He then used the recordings to blackmail his victims into sending him increasingly graphic and explicit images. 12 victims have been identified so far with ongoing work being done to identify and support the remaining victims.

Despite a number of his victims threatening to report him to the police, Edwards showed no remorse for his depraved actions and continued to take advantage of young children.

Edwards was a serving South Wales police officer when his predatory behaviour came to light. He was caught after police intelligence uncovered he had accessed and downloaded indecent images of children from the dark web.

Officers from South Wales Police recovered heavily encrypted electronic devices and a blackmail manual belonging to Edwards when he was arrested.