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Police probe bogus fundraising following death of Clacton teenager

PUBLISHED: 16:31 08 August 2018 | UPDATED: 16:31 08 August 2018

Ben Quartermaine, 15, from Clacton-on-Sea, who died after gettinginto difficulty in the waters near Clacton Pier. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

Ben Quartermaine, 15, from Clacton-on-Sea, who died after gettinginto difficulty in the waters near Clacton Pier. Picture: ESSEX POLICE

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Police are investigating allegations that fake fundraisers have been raising cash in memory of Clacton teenager Ben Quartermaine.

Floral tributes to 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine line railings at Clacton Pier Picture: NIGEL BROWNFloral tributes to 15-year-old Ben Quartermaine line railings at Clacton Pier Picture: NIGEL BROWN

The 15-year-old died after getting into difficulty while in the waters near Clacton Pier on July 26.

Following news of his death, legitimate fundraising efforts were set up to support the family as well as raising money for their chosen charity the RNLI.

However, according to Essex Police an approach was made to a local charity between July 30 and 31 asking for help raising funds in support of the teenager’s family.

A spokesman said: “An investigation is ongoing into the legitimacy of the fundraising.

“Ben’s family have requested that anyone kindly wishing to donate in Ben’s memory, can do so by contributing to the Royal National Lifeboat Institution.”

Councillor Mohammed Khan, of Clacton’s pier ward, said: “If this has happened it is very disappointing.

“It is unfair to the family and to Ben who passed away.

“It shouldn’t happen.

“We must show our sympathy and concern about this tragedy.

“I would like pass on my condolences to the parents, I send them my support and sympathy.

“This is a nice community and something like this is a very rare occurrence but we have to confront these people, take action against them and make sure they are punished to make sure this doesn’t happen in the future.”

In a tribute issued by the family, they describe Ben as a ‘happy, loving and independent boy’.

“He was loved by everyone that had the pleasure to know him and will be missed by all,” they said.

A spokesman for the Charities Commission said: “At difficult times such as this, we know that people often find comfort in donating to important causes.

“We want to ensure that the generous public can show such support safely.

“We encourage donors to give with their heads as well as their hearts - by looking for a registered charity number, performing some simple checks, such as asking for ID, and asking some basic questions about where your donation will go.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Clacton police station on 101, quoting reference 42/110392/18.

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