Essex Police has confirmed that the killing of a cat in Essex has been referred to the Metropolitan Police team investigating the M25 cat killer.

The body of a cat was found on Saturday afternoon (March 3) in Western Road, Billericay, and the police were called.

A spokesman for Essex Police said: "We were contacted just before 1.50pm on Saturday, March 3, with report of the body of a cat being found in Western Road, Billericay.

"Officers have passed details of the incident to colleagues at the Met in case the incident may be linked to an ongoing operation.

"Anyone with information should contact police on 101."

The M25 cat killer, also know as the Croydon cat killer or the UK cat killer is thought to have killed, dismembered and decapitated more than 400 cats across England, beginning in 2014 in Croydon.

The Met launched an investigation in December 2015 under the name Operation Takahe led by DS Andy Collin after the animal charity South Norwood Animal Rescue and Liberty (SNARL) raised concerns about a series of cats found sead and missing their heads and tails.

Writing on their Facebook page, SNARL said: "We confirm social media reports that we attended yesterday reports of an attack on a cat which occurred in the BN12 6 area of Worthing on February 27/28.

"This is being linked to the Operation Takahe series of offences.

"We also confirm social media reports that we attended an incident in Billericay which occurred March 2/3.

"This incident is also being investigated as part of the Operation Takahe series.

"We would like to express our condolences to both families and also to the families of victims whom, for operational reasons, we have not posted here.

"Rest in peace little ones xx"

A £10,000 reward if being offered by Peta and Outpaced for information leading to the arrest and conviction of a suspect.

A spokesman for the Metropolitan Police said: "Police will assess the latest report to see if it is linked to the cases already established as part of the ongoing investigation led by police in Croydon."

Anyone with information is asked to call the Metropolitan Police on 101, the RSPCA on 0300 123 8018 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.