Published: 15:13, 09 September 2020
| Updated: 19:13, 18 September 2020
A police worker posed as a teenage girl online in order to convince boys to send him indecent images.
Mandeep Rai, from Herne Bay, used various social media channels to befriend youngsters before exchanging with them sexually explicit photographs and videos.
The paedophile - who pretended to be a 16-year-old girl online - was first arrested in April 2018, before being apprehended twice more over the following two years in relation to child sex offences.
He was suspended from his role within the police - but was not officially dismissed until August 24, following the conclusion of a misconduct hearing.
DC Graham Oliver said: "He deliberately set out to trick boys into thinking they were engaging with a girl online for his own sexual pleasure."
Police found an account on his phone that he used to contact a 14-year-old boy, after searching his home in April 2018.
While pretending to be a teenage girl, Rai made his victim believe they were in a relationship and asked him to send inappropriate images and footage.
"It is clear he is a risk to the public..."
The predator would also encourage the boy onto video calls, during which Rai did not appear on camera, and ask him to carry out sexual acts.
Rai was released on bail while officers continued their investigation.
He was arrested once more in September 2019 after disturbing images of children were found on a phone seized during his original arrest.
And in April this year, the mother of a 12-year-old boy contacted officers after her son told her that he had been talking to a girl online and sent images of himself to the account, which was later found to be run by Rai.
After being arrested, he denied all of the allegations.
He was then charged with three counts of inciting a child to engage in online sexual activity, two counts of engaging in online sexual communication with a child and two counts of making indecent images of children and remanded in custody.
On Friday, September 4, he was jailed for five years and three months after pleading guilty to all of the offences at a hearing in June.
"It is clear he is a risk to the public, and the prison sentence and subsequent registration on the sex offender register should help protect them," DC Oliver continued.
"We will do everything in our power to proactively target people who seek to commit sexual offences against children and ensure they receive a prison sentence but it is also important for parents to understand how the internet works.
"The internet is an incredible tool, but there are people who use it for bad purposes. Parents should talk with their children, open up those lines of communication and learn together to ensure children use the internet safely."