A POLICE officer abused his position to track down mobile numbers of women he wanted to meet for sex.

PC Stephen Tilley, 36, of Millview Meadows, Rochford, appeared at Ipswich Crown Court over allegations he misused information from police computer systems for his own purposes.

Tilley, who is based at Rayleigh police station, pleaded guilty to using the police database to research 14 people – 11 of whom were women and three who were men, between May 1, 2012 and June 30, 2013.

The court heard he used mobile phone numbers provided by women he had come into contact with to pursue them for social and sexual relationships.

He has since been suspended by Essex Police and is due to be sentenced at Ipswich Crown Court on September 29.

Essex Police launched an investigation when the allegations came to light, which was supervised by the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

A spokesman said: “A police officer is due to appear in court on September 29 after being charged with misconduct in public office.

“PC Stephen Tilley is currently on bail to appear at Ipswich Crown Court.

“He indicated a guilty plea at his last court appearance on Monday, August 18, and is suspended from duty.”

Tilley was originally due to stand trial at Chelmsford Crown Court, but the case was moved to Ipswich Crown Court at the last minute.

Essex Police declined to comment on procedures around officers using police computers and data protection.

The spokesman added: “As court proceedings are still active, Essex Police will not be making further comment at this time.”