Fifth anniversary of Operation Captura campaign sees new appeal for criminals believed to be hiding in Spain

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MADRID / Press Release – UK crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and the Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA) are once again on the hunt for Britain’s most wanted thought to be on the run in Spain.

 Full details of the 10 subjects are available for publication from 09.30 UK time, but in advance of this, Spanish authorities have agreed for details of one subject to be released from 00.01am on Thursday 20th.

 Dominic Steven Powell, 48, is wanted by South Wales Police and CEOP (Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre) to serve a 16 week prison sentence for failing to provide notification of foreign travel as part of his reporting requirement as a Very High Risk Registered Sex Offender.

 In addition he is wanted for prosecution in relation to indecent assaults, offences of sexual activity with a child, attempted rape, making indecent images of children and further offences of failing to comply with police notification requirements.

 Powell has been linked to Spain as well as to Coventry and the Pontypridd area of Wales.

 Half of the appeals are new, while the other five are subjects already publicised through Operation Captura who are being re-issued as all five are wanted for murder.

 The successful multi-agency campaign identifies serious criminals on the run wanted by UK law enforcement agencies for crimes committed in the UK. Since Operation Captura launched in October 2006, 46 out of 60 criminals have been arrested, with many now behind bars.

Crimestoppers and SOCA work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office staff in Madrid and with British and Spanish law enforcement agencies. The campaign highlights appeals for information on criminals who have European arrest warrants issued against them. Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate these criminals so that arrests can be carried out by the Spanish police.

 Lord Ashcroft, KCMG, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “Operation Captura is a unique partnership that has seen huge success in bringing some of the UK’s most wanted fugitives to justice.

 “A small number of suspected criminals see Spain as a safe place to evade law enforcement but, thanks to the confidence the UK, Spanish and ex-pat communities have in Crimestoppers, these individuals will not be able to escape justice for much longer.”

 James Brokenshire MP, Minister for Crime and Security at The Home Office, said: “Crimestoppers, SOCA and all the agencies involved in Operation Captura have made an incredibly valuable contribution to our efforts to pursue criminals and bring them to justice. With over three quarters of Britain’s most wanted in Spain arrested over the last five years, fugitives still on the run should be in no doubt that they have nowhere to hide.

 “When crime crosses borders it is more important than ever to work closely with our international partners in order to keep the UK safe. Operation Captura is a great example of this policing and security cooperation in action. It shows that by working imaginatively and flexibly together we can stop criminals in their tracks and bring to bear the full force of the law.”

 Andy Baker, Deputy Director for SOCA, commented; “Operation Captura has proved immensely successful, not only in aiding the arrest of individuals attempting to hide amongst the ex-pat community in Spain, but also as a means of raising the profile of these individuals and making Spain a hostile environment for British criminals. We look forward to continuing this work with Crimestoppers and extending the programme to other countries popular with our ex-pats; where criminals mistakenly think they can hide from justice.”

 For those people calling from Spain there is a special freephone Spanish 900 555 111 telephone number which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents and a translation service is available upon request. People can also pass on information anonymously via the Crimestoppers number 0800 555 111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

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