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Commons tribute to Crimestoppers

PUBLISHED: 10:18 23 June 2008 | UPDATED: 11:16 03 July 2010

THE birth of Crimestoppers in Great Yarmouth 25 years ago has been celebrated in a Commons debate.

Constituency MP Tony Wright recalled that the scheme facilitating the anonymous reporting of crime had been launched in the town on June 24, 1983, on an initiative by Det Insp Mike Cole and the then manager of the Woolworths store in the town centre, Jim Carter.

THE birth of Crimestoppers in Great Yarmouth 25 years ago has been celebrated in a Commons debate.

Constituency MP Tony Wright recalled that the scheme facilitating the anonymous reporting of crime had been launched in the town on June 24, 1983, on an initiative by Det Insp Mike Cole and the then manager of the Woolworths store in the town centre, Jim Carter.

Since it had gone national in 1988, he continued, 84,000 arrests and charges had been made, nearly one million actionable calls had been received and, as a result, more than £100m of goods had been recovered and more than £145m of drugs had been seized.

As a result of information given to Crimestoppers, 17 people are arrested on a typical day, he continued, and every five days a person is charged with murder.

Home Office minister Vernon Coaker said that “when people see the impact that Crimestoppers has had in bringing people to justice and leading to arrests - not just for small crimes, important as they are, but for murders too - they will reflect on the brilliance of Mike Cole and Jim Carter in having the imagination to pick an idea up, seeing its potential and, above that, having the confidence to drive it forward”.

Mr Wright said that the origins of Crimestoppers lay in an initiative in New Mexico in the US in 1976 and a similar scheme in Illinois in 1982, that Mr Cole had seen on a police visit.

Both Mr Cole and Mr Carter were in the Commons to hear the debate.

Tribute was also paid by Mr Wright to support given by the then local chief superintendent, Peter Howse, the then chief constable, George Charlton, and Peter Ware, editor of the Yarmouth Mercury at the time.

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