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Crimestoppers chief

Crimestoppers has a new chief executive, as current CEO Michael Laurie retires.

Having been Crimestoppers CEO for over ten years, ‘Mick’ has removed his crime-stopping hat and passed it to Mark Hallas OBE, a former Army Intelligence Officer with 30 years of experience in intelligence, security and counter terrorist duties.

Mick joined the charity in 2003 having been a Major General at the Ministry of Defence, responsible for all defence intelligence collection operations, intelligence units and strategy.

He has seen at the charity actionable information go up 33 per cent in the last ten years, while 20 people are arrested every day thanks to Crimestoppers information; in 2002 this was 16. In his time, the charity has given the UK public an anonymous outlet to pass on information about crime 24 hours.

When Crimestoppers launched in 1988, phone calls were handled by staff that sat within police forces and was only available in working hours. Now, anyone with information can pass it on by phone or online, any time.

In 2005, he oversaw the charity’s launch of its Most Wanted service that can be found on Crimestoppers’ website. To date, some 2,300 people featured on Most Wanted have been arrested and charged, with a success rate of almost 25 per cent.

In 2006, Crimestoppers launched Operation Captura, a campaign run alongside the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) and the Spanish Police to track down, and bring to justice, wanted fugitives who had committed crimes in the UK, but were believed to have fled to the Spanish Costas.

So far, 53 out of 63 wanted criminals have already been located and extradited to the UK. Further campaigns have been launched in Holland and Cyprus on the back of Captura’s success, with a total of 63 fugitives arrested out of 84 across the three countries.

Mick has championed campaigns to tackle fraud over the last few years, such as counterfeiting, benefit fraud and identity theft.

He said: “I have had a wonderful time at Crimestoppers and found it incredibly rewarding, every day knowing that as a relatively small organisation we are making a real impact on crime.

“But it is good for the organisation to have a fresh set of eyes and ears leading it through a time of great change, and Mark Hallas is just the right person for what I believe will be a period when the charity will have a far greater importance in the fight against crime.”

New Chief Executive, Mark Hallas, is of a similar background to Mick having served in the UK armed forces. In 2005, he became the chief of staff to the Chief of Defence Intelligence.

He was promoted to Brigadier in 2008, and appointed the International Coalition’s military head of Intelligence and Security in Afghanistan. He held this position for a year. He returned to the UK to become Director Intelligence Corps, the Army’s professional intelligence head, as well as taking command of all of the UK’s Defence Intelligence training schools.

Mark said: “I am delighted to be arriving at Crimestoppers at such an exciting time in its development – 25 years of continued success is a testament to the value of the charity and the high quality of permanent staff and volunteers. I look forward to the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead, as we continue to make a significant difference in the fight against crime.”

Lord Ashcroft, founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, was heavily involved in the recruitment of Mick Laurie’s replacement. He said: “Mick’s leadership has successfully brought Crimestoppers into the 21st century. He has constantly and effectively sought innovative routes to deliver improved performance from utilising new technologies such as Most Wanted, diversifying income through the Integrity Line, and brokering partnerships to tackle some of the most damaging and prolific crimes.

“In order to achieve this, he has professionalised the way the charity is run ensuring the highest standards in finance, human resources, volunteering and security are met, as well as an efficient and responsive contact centre open 24/7.

“The Trustees and I wish to thank Mick for his tireless work and enthusiasm. We welcome Mark and look forward to a new chapter of Crimestoppers with him.”

Crimestoppers is an independent charity that takes information about crime anonymously. If you wish to contact the charity you can do so by calling 0800 555 111 or by using our anonymous online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.


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