A 15-year-old boy has admitted to multiple knifepoint robberies at a south Essex shopping centre.

The teenage boy from Southend, who cannot be named due to his age, pleaded guilty to seven counts of robbery when he appeared before Colchester Magistrates' Court yesterday.

It comes after an investigation launched by Essex Police detectives following incidents of knifepoint robbery reported in Lakeside Shopping Centre, West Thurrock, in November and December last year.

 He has been released on conditional bail and will appear before Southend Magistrates' Court on Tuesday May 7.

 Detective Inspector Richard Trower said:  “After a thorough investigation, a 15-year-old has pleaded guilty to multiple knifepoint robberies at Lakeside Shopping Centre.

 “We work hard to ensure that everyone is safe at Lakeside, whether they come to shop, work or have a night out.

 “Therefore identifying and bringing this offender to justice has been a vital piece of police work.

 “Reports of robbery are taken extremely seriously and we will take action to ensure anyone who commits these offences will be brought to justice.”