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31 January 2011, 12:14
The 1,000th appeal has been posted on Crimestoppers Most Wanted site in Hampshire since the charity launched the rogues' gallery in 2007.
Hampshire was the first force to make extensive use of this internet tool and the results from which have been exceptional.
Police are seeking the identity of a man suspected of indecent and lewd behaviour in Itchen Stoke, after he approached a female dog walker in a country lane. To see this appeal, click http://wanted.crimestoppers-uk.org/index.asp?aID=42640
The public respond to 65% of the images that are shown and a significant number of arrests can be attributed to the site. In the last nine months more than 45% of all actionable information received about crime in Hampshire & IOW results from Most Wanted. The site is run by PC Simon Wright, the Force Crimestoppers Co-ordinator, who also handles all the reports generated by Crimestoppers. "Most Wanted as a title does suggest we are only interested in those who have committed heinous crimes and some forces reserve its use accordingly," he says. "However in Hampshire & IOW we were the first to use it for any crime for which an appeal had been made. It harnesses the power of the public and the results speak for themselves."
A recent success for the site was the arrest on Christmas Eve of a prolific burglar from the Farnborough area who was about to board a flight with a one way ticket to Spain.
Following Hampshire's example, Most Wanted sites have been launched recently by the Metropolitan police as well as the Thames Valley and Surrey Forces. PC Wright received an award at the recent Crimestoppers national conference for his contribution to Most Wanted.
To help manage the large number of images on display, search facilities allow the site to be searched by crime category or postcode. 25% of those who respond to Most Wanted appeals use the encrypted on line reporting facility which offers a secure two way connection. It allows questions to be put to sources without any breach of their anonymity.
Most Wanted was established by Crimestoppers four years ago and has been used in a number of highly successful campaigns with the Serious and Organised Crime Agency. Its world wide reach has been responsible for valuable reports from across the globe, which has lead to the apprehension of dozens of high profile criminals. At the time of its introduction the crime editor of The Sun, Mike Sullivan, called it "the most exciting tool in the fight against crime since the discovery of DNA. It's every armchair detective's dream come true!"
The gallery can be found at: