Police in Southend are appealing for customers of Clicky Printy Photos in North Road to come forward after a police raid revealed that an employee at the store has built up a collection of more than 5000 photos in a so-called ‘SPANK BANK’ – this is an archive of photos of females to be used as sexual stimulation. Shortly after 12pm today, cops entered the photo print store with a warrant that had been granted to search the premises, and they almost immediately uncovered the folder of images in a desk drawer. Upon closer inspection, it became clear that a single employee had been making double prints of any photos that were sexually appealing to him, with the vast majority of these being beach bikini shots and bridal photos from weddings.

Long-time customer Penny Bashout commented: ‘I always thought that there was something funny about that place, and now it has all become clear. A few weeks ago, my daughter got some photos printed there of her holiday in Ibiza, and someone had scribbled marks out of ten on the back of any image containing her or one of her friends – two of them even had a thumbs-up on them. If I am being honest, I wouldn’t be surprised if this sort of thing has been going on in photo developer shops for years, and it may explain why so many these places have dark rooms in them. Having said all of this, the standard of customer service at Clicky Printy has always been fantastic, and they reprinted a whole set of images taken during a yoga class for me last year when I complained about the print quality. Some of them were matte, while others had an odd glossy finish.’

However, a number of local mums who use the shop have expressed outrage about the employee’s behaviour, and they have vowed to stop getting their photos printed there. Westcliff mum-of-three Michelle Nijerk said: ‘I get photos of my kids printed there all the time, and it makes me feel sick that they have this sort of disgusting individual working behind the counter – I will never go there again as in theory there is nothing to stop other future employees doing the exact same thing. From now on, if I want my friends and family to see photos of my kids I will just post them to my Facebook wall, and I can also use my favourite online Facebook mummy groups as they always check every new member really carefully.’