Live updates

Arrests over scam targeting elderly

Police investigating a £1 million scam targeting elderly people in the Clacton area have made 16 arrests.

The inquiry led by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate was launched in December and focused on reports of an organised crime gang taking advantage of elderly and vulnerable people.

Essex Police confirmed it had arrested 16 people. There are thought to have been 39 victims aged between 65 and 99.

Officers have been investigating a series of cases which appear to be the work of an organised crime group taking advantage of the elderly and vulnerable.

We have spoken to around 140 people who have assisted us in building a case to the point where we have now been able to make a significant amount of arrests.

The offences we are looking at basically amount to the financial abuse of the most vulnerable members of our society.

The evidence would suggest that these vulnerable people have been groomed and then preyed upon by a group whose sole intention appears to be to line their own pockets.

– Assistant chief constable Gary Beautridge