Possible Sightings of Escapee

Staffordshire Police have received 60 calls from people offering potential sightings of escaped prisoner John Anslow - and the two vehicles used in his escape on Monday.

John Anslow's now at the centre of an international manhunt, escaped after a gang of three masked men stopped the prison van.

They smashed its windows with sledgehammers and punched the driver who was taking inmates from Hewell Prison in Redditch, Worcestershire, to Stafford Crown Court on Monday morning.

Detective Superintendent Martin Evans, from Staffordshire Police, said: "We're hoping that this sizeable reward will encourage those who know where Anslow might be to come forward. All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence."

On Monday night, officers searched five properties in the Tipton area of the West Midlands, where Anslow comes from, and arrested a man in connection with the escape.

The 44-year-old from Tipton arrested on Monday over the escape has been released on police bail.

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke has ordered an inquiry into how Anslow was sprung from custody.

His security status was upgraded last week after he was charged with the murder of businessman Richard Deakin.

But instead of being transferred in a high-security prison service van with a police escort Anslow was with other inmates in a vehicle run by a private contractor.

Police appealled for any witnesses who saw either of the cars used by Anslow and those who helped him escape.

DS Evans said: "Following yesterday's appeal, we're looking into several calls which came into to our incident room about possible sightings of the silver Mercedes car used by Anslow and his associates.

"We're also very keen to speak to anyone who might have seen the silver Volkswagen Scirocco in the wider Bromsgrove or North Worcestershire area prior to the incident at 8.20am yesterday.

"The Scirocco was abandoned a short distance from the scene before the offenders switched to the Mercedes."

Anslow is the first Category A prisoner to escape from custody in more than 17 years.

Detectives have said the raid was well planned and well executed. They suggested it may have been planned before Anslow had been formally charged by the police.

Anslow, who is also known as Skitz, is said to have connections across the country and overseas.

Officers are working with police forces nationwide, the UK Border Agency (UKBA) and authorities abroad. All airports and railway stations have been alerted.

Anslow is described as white, 5ft 10in tall, of medium build, with short, straight, dark brown hair.