On the hunt for missing offenders

A MISERABLE Christmas could be ahead for Hertfordshire’s most wanted criminals.

They may be behind bars at Yuletide if Hertfordshire Constabulary, working with independent charity Crimestoppers, Hertfordshire Probation Trust and her Majesty’s Courts and Tribunals Service, have their way.

Action is being mounted in the run up to Christmas.

Operation Scorpion’s Claw is a specially targeted arrest operation focusing on wanted offenders, including those who the police believe are no longer in Herts.

From today (Thursday) police will carry out a number of warrants on addresses across the country over a three-week period.


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Det Supt Jane Swinburne, head of criminal justice, said: “These warrants will send a clear message that criminal activity will not be tolerated in Hertfordshire. It is important that we capture these offenders in the run up to Christmas, which is traditionally a time when we can see higher levels of criminal activity.”

The Constabulary is urging the public to alert them as to the whereabouts of wanted offenders.

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“Our intention is to relentlessly pursue these offenders and bring them to justice,” added Det Supt Swinburne. “The public are our eyes and ears and it is so important that you tell us if you know the whereabouts of these criminals. Please call us on 01707 806463 with any information that you may have.”

Alternatively, if people don’t want to speak with police, they can give information about crime and criminals anonymously to Crimestoppers.

Ann Scott, its eastern regional manager, said: “You have nothing to fear by contacting Crimestoppers. We do not ask for your name or any personal details. We also do not trace your IP address or call and we do not record our calls. You will not have to give a statement to police or go to court. Nobody will know you contacted us. In the 23 years that we have been running, we have never broken our promise of anonymity.”

Steve Johnson-Proctor, director of operations at Hertfordshire Probation Trust, said: “Where offenders fail to comply with their community sentence or their licence following release from prison, it is important that the public have confidence that they will be held to account and where appropriate returned to prison.”

Details of those wanted within Hertfordshire can be found on both the Force website http://www.herts.police.uk/hertfordshire_constabulary/help_us_fight_crime/wanted.aspx (visit www.herts.police.uk and click on ‘Wanted’ under ‘Help us fight crime’), and Crimestoppers ‘Most Wanted’ www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Throughout the campaign there will be a dedicated telephone line 01707 806463 available 24 hours a day to report any known locations. You can also contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Those on the most wanted list include:

Scott Wood born 31/10/80, reference number 41WE-6849. His last known address was in Stevenage. He is wanted for failing to attend North Herts Magistrates’ Court for failure to notify change of address as a sex offender.

Jonathan Martin born 3/3/78, reference number 41WE-96. Last known address in Stevenage. He failed to attend Stevenage Magistrates’ Court for rape.

Mahdi Abdul-Mohammed born 1/7/90, reference number 41WE-4588. Last known address in Middlesex. He failed to attend court in August 2008 after being charged with burglary at a petrol station in Bradman Way, Stevenage on July 12, 2007.

Regis Paradza, of Redhill Road, Hitchin, born 27/11/60, reference number 41WE-2318. He failed to appear in court on July 9, 2008 in connection with an offence of assaulting a police officer.

Kirsty Brooks born 31/1/86, reference number 41WC-18765. No fixed address but has links to Stevenage. She failed to attend court for theft.

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