Looking out for Northampton jobless people with 'lavish lives' could net you £1,000 reward, says crime charity
A large advertising board is set to come to Northampton on Monday - offering £1,000 rewards to those who pass on details of gang members.
Crimestoppers is launching a new campaign focusing on serious organised crime gangs operating across Northamptonshire and asking people to speak up anonymously if they have information about those involved.
The charity says serious organised crime has a major impact across the county as gangs typically use weapons, violence and intimidation to sell class- A drugs, engage in human trafficking and launder money.
The eight-week campaign will see a digital advertising van touring the county informing people of a £1,000 reward available to those who report gang members.
East Midlands manager for Crimestoppers, Lydia Patsalides, said: “Criminal gangs operating in Northamptonshire bring violence and intimidation to otherwise peaceful communities.
"Our charity believes passionately in giving people, who feel unable to speak directly to police because of fear of reprisals or cultural reasons, a voice to speak up about what they know.
“Please keep your eyes peeled for suspicious behaviour such as someone not having a job but apparently living a lavish lifestyle; or a business that is cash only and yet they rarely seem to trade or advertise their services.
Crimestoppers will also be sending out details of its campaign on social media and promoting its youth service Fearless service in schools.
It comes as last year saw a worrying rise in the number of gang-related reports given to Crimestoppers in Northamptonshire.
There was a 36 per cent increase in information relating to gangs in 2018 compared to 2017 and a 26 per cent increase in reports of firearms.
On bank holiday Monday, May 6, the advan will be will be visiting Clare Street in The Mounts, St Georges Street in Semilong, Abington Avenue, Spring Boroughs and St James.
The £1,000 reward is available to people who provide information that leads to a 'positive result', says Crimestoppers.
To contact the charity, call 0800 555 111 or use the anonymous online form at Crimestoppers-uk.org.
The charity cannot trace calls or obtain IP addresses.
Mrs Patsalides added: “We value safe communities and are keen to hear from people who are aware of those bringing serious crime to Northamptonshire. In over 30 years we have always kept our promise of anonymity to everyone who contacts us.