Colchester: Man admits 30 child sex offences
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A man has admitted 30 child sex offences following work by our specialist team who which investigates the complex and organised exploitation of children.
Matthew Clarke, 22, of Delamere Road, Colchester, was arrested after officers from the Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) Proactive Investigation Team carried out a warrant in Colchester in November last year.
He was charged in May and at Ipswich Crown Court on 11 August he admitted:
- 12 counts of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity;
- Six counts of making indecent images of a child;
- Five counts of causing a child to watch a sexual act;
- Three counts of sexual communication with a child;
- Two counts of sexual activity with a child;
- One count of assault by penetration;
- One count of sexual assault.
He is due to be sentenced at the same court on 8 September.
The investigation, which involved 13 victims with offences taking place between 2015 and 2019, was carried out by our CSE Proactive Investigation Team.
Detective Sergeant Ben Rushmere, from the CSE Proactive Investigation Team, said:
“Matthew Clarke exploited and preyed upon young girls for his own sexual gratification.
“Due to the excellent work of my team he was left with no option but to plead guilty to 30 offences.
“He now faces a significant amount of time behind bars.
“I want to pay tribute to the courage of the girls involved and I hope this result will help them move forward.”
About the CSE Proactive Investigation Team
The CSE Proactive Investigation Team was formed earlier this year and deals with both reactive and proactive investigations that have been referred by partners or from other teams within Essex Police.
They take on both new and older referrals where conventional safeguarding tactics have been previously unsuccessful.
They deal with the most complex and difficult criminal investigations involving the sexual exploitation of children.
Offenders can be individuals or organised groups, they could be using fake profiles to groom young people online, or befriending them and giving them money or alcohol.
We use a variety of tactics to mitigate the threat they present.
This includes reactive investigations responding to referrals from victims, families, and partners as well as those identified through proactive intelligence gathering.
The team also work with our partners to ensure there are bespoke care plans for victims which mean they don’t have to speak to us if they don’t want to, but mean they are given proper support, assistance and guidance by trained professionals from the many children’s charities we work alongside in Essex.
If you have any information or concerns about a child being groomed or exploited, please call us on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.