DETECTIVES hunting a serial sex attacker in Clacton have renewed an appeal to catch the pervert before he strikes again.

Officers believe an attacker could be linked to 18 offences in Clacton and two in Colchester over the past four years.

The last recorded incident took place on October 26, but Det Insp Leighton Hammett, of Tendring CID, said he believes the attacker could still be living locally.

“He previously offended between August and October,” he said.

“While we do not know who he is, history tells us he could try to attack again this summer.

“August is fast approaching and we haven’t caught him yet.”

For the first time, Det Insp Hammett has released details of the attacker’s methods.

He said: “He approaches juvenile males and engages them in conversation.

"He normally says something like ‘Am I in Colchester?’ when he is in Clacton, deliberately to engage them in conversation and to feel sorry for him.

“The teenagers are usually puzzled and he then makes a strange request that they block him while he ‘goes for a whizz’.

“He uses the word ‘whizz’ a lot, which is not a very commonly used word.

“If they agree it is then that the sex offence takes place.” 

The appeal was also broadcast live as part of the BBC’s Crimewatch Roadshow this morning.

Presenter Sian Lloyd also spoke to Supt Ewen Wilson about Essex Police’s Operation Saturn, which is aimed at thwarting London drugs gangs targeting Clacton, and knife crime charity Only Cowards Carry about an initiative to provide knife amnesty bins across Essex.

Anyone with information about the sex offender should call Clacton CID on 101. 

For the full story, see tomorrow's Clacton, Frinton and Walton Gazette