Of the 100,000 criminals arrested and charged across the UK because of the anonymous information passed to Crimestoppers since it was formed in 1988, West Midlands has contributed a total of 2,826 - the crime-fighting charity has announced today.
Last year (2009/10) was Crimestoppers’ most successful with 7,474 arrests and charges being made across the UK, over 2,000 higher than ten years ago. 466 of these were made in West Midlands.
For over two decades Crimestoppers has received anonymous information from the public in West Midlands via 0800 555 111 and www.crimestoppers-uk.org. Combined with figures for the whole of the UK, this has led to:
• 21 people currently being arrested and charged every day
• 887 people being charged with murder/attempted murder since 1988
• Over £189 million of drugs being seized and the recovery of over £112 million of goods.
Maz Iqbal Vice Chairman of West Midlands Crimestoppers, said: “Without the continuing support from the people of West Midlands, these numbers of arrests would never have been achieved. By helping to catch those on the wrong side of the law the anonymous information we receive makes a real difference to making our cities, towns and villages safer.
“Thank you to everyone in West Midlands who has provided information which helps to catch criminals, keep it coming.”
Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, founder and Chairman of Crimestoppers, said: “Reaching this milestone shows the vital role Crimestoppers plays in the fight against crime and in making our country’s streets and communities safer. Many criminals would never have been caught without Crimestoppers.
“When I set up the charity more than 20 years ago, I wanted to empower the man -and woman - in the street with the means to hit back against criminals they could see were ruining our society - but without any risk of the informant being identified by those they were targeting. Anonymity for those providing information to the police has been the key to our success.
"These landmark figures are testimony to the way that the public has embraced Crimestoppers, and they are the result of an amazing amount of hard work from everyone associated with the charity. I am immensely proud of what Crimestoppers has achieved."
Crimestoppers has a proven history of getting public support to assist in locating and arresting people wanted for serious crimes.
In recent years, the charity has launched a number of specific initiatives including:
• Fearless – aimed at promoting and introducing young people to the service provided by the charity. Fearless also promotes Crimestoppers’ anonymous text messaging service on knife crime.
• Operation Captura and Operation Return – aimed at capturing criminals on the run in Spain and the Netherlands respectively. 34 fugitives of the 50 being sought have been captured as a result of Operation Captura.
• Most Wanted – The Crimestoppers website (www.crimestoppers-uk.org/wanted/) allows the public to view photos, watch CCTV footage and read descriptions of people who the police are currently looking for. Since November 2005, over 900 of those featured have been arrested.
• Two-way online form - Crimestoppers can now facilitate a ‘conversation' with people who provide information online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. While the contact remains entirely anonymous and is not a ‘live chat' system, users are provided with a login so that they can return at a later date to see if Crimestoppers has any further questions for them about the information they have provided previously.