Crimestoppers launches 'most wanted' website

Crimestoppers is launching an FBI-style website today aimed at tracking down Britain's most wanted suspected criminals.

For the first time police will be able to post details of the most wanted crime suspects in the country online.

Until now there has been no single place where police could share information with the public about suspected criminals.

But from today the Most Wanted website ( www.mostwanted-uk.org) will provide a comprehensive list of current police appeals across the UK.

Photographs, CCTV footage and descriptions of people the police are searching for will be available for the public to view.

Crimestoppers is an independent UK-wide charity working to prevent crime. The site will carry appeals in relation to suspects wanted both locally and nationally and people will be able to see pictures of the Most Wanted in their local community.

If people recognise any of the individuals listed they can call police, Crimestoppers anonymously or fill in a secure online form.

Mick Laurie, chief executive of Crimestoppers, said it would be the first time they were able to receive information about crime anonymously via the internet.

"This is a major step forward for Crimestoppers - being able to use new technology to aid UK policing and help make our communities safer," he said.

Nick Ross, presenter of BBC's Crimewatch, hailed the website as the "biggest advance since the 'Wanted' poster".

He said: "It is astonishing this has never happened before. Apart from Crimewatch there is virtually no way of getting national publicity for most cases and many wanted people could just disappear - until now.

"Even the police have no effective way of communicating the huge number of wanted suspects."

Since it was set up in 1988 it has received more than 640,000 calls, with useful information, resulting in over 57,000 arrests and charges.

Every month it receives an average of 6,000 anonymous calls which lead to more than 500 arrests.

The information it receives is often used to help solve existing investigations but it is also used to inform police of crimes they may otherwise be unaware of.

Suspects featured on the website include:

* Ayub Khan who is wanted in connection with the double murder of Amarjit Singh and his nephew Rajinder Singh. The pair, who owned a hotel in east London, were shot dead on August 29, 2003. They went outside to investigate after hearing three Asian men damaging their van in Altherton Mews. One of these men produced a machine pistol and shot them both dead. Police are anxious to speak to Ayub Khan in connection with the shooting and a £10,000 reward is being offered for information leading to his arrest and conviction. He is described as being aged 20-25, 5ft 6ins tall, with short black hair and a beard. He is of thin build and has a scar on the right side of his face.

* Police are also searching for James Francis Hurley, 42, a convicted murderer and armed robber, who escaped while being transferred between prisons on February 16, 1994. He was sentenced to life imprisonment in 1989, having been convicted of murdering a police officer, armed robbery and firearms offences. He was found guilty of murdering Pc Frank Mason who attempted to intervene in the robbery of a security van outside Barclays bank, Hemel Hempstead, in April 1988. As Hurley was being transferred to HMP Wandsworth in February 1994, he and another prisoner pulled a knife on a prison officer and he managed to escape. Hurley is the only convicted murderer of a police officer in the UK who is on the run. He is described as being white and about 6ft tall.

* Joseph Oduguwa is wanted for questioning by detectives from the Metropolitan Police's Economic & Specialist Crime Unit in connection with a substantial fraud. He is believed to have connections in Nigeria and may be in the African country. He is described as being black, aged 42, of stocky build, with short black hair and a beard.

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