One of Lancashire’s top police officers today spoke out to assure the public they “are doing all we can to catch Ivan Leach.”Advertisement
Leach, a violent sexual offender, is on the run from police after absconding from an open prison in Lincolnshire in early October.
Detective Superintendent Paul Withers, who heads up Lancashire Police’s Major investigation team, said: “I want to reassure the public that we are doing everything that we can to locate Ivan Leach and are working closely with other police forces across the country.
“We have a large team of highly trained detectives and police staff responding to reported sightings in our area including officers from our Mounted Branch. Officers are trawling through hours of CCTV footage to see if he has been captured on camera, and speaking to his known associates.”
Police forces across the UK have received 100 possible sightings of Leach since he escaped.
Officers have warned Leach, who also goes by the name Lee Cyrus, should not under any circumstances be approached as he poses a significant risk.
He is believed to have carried out a serious sexual attack in Tayside, Scotland on two teenage schoolgirls since he absconded.
Detective Superintendent Withers said any information about Leach, who is well known in South Ribble and Preston, where he is born, could be vital.
He said; “We are liaising with a number of other forces across England and Scotland and have a huge number of resources dedicated to tracking him down and apprehend him but we need the public’s help.
“I want to reassure people that we follow up every potential sighting of him so I’d urge people to call police if you think you see him or know of his current whereabouts.
“I would also like to warn anyone who may be harbouring him that if they know where he is, and they fail to notify police, action will be taken against them.
‘‘At the same time I would appeal directly to Leach, wherever he is, to hand himself in. Police forces across the UK are alert to the fact that he has absconded and given the publicity of the past two weeks, his face is now well known within communities across England and Scotland. He should do the right thing and give himself up.’’
Leach is described as white; around five feet 11 inches tall, of stocky build with cropped hair and hazel eyes. His has a distinctive scar on his top lip under his nose and two distinctive tattoos, one with the name ‘Annette’ on the bicep of his left arm and a figure of a barbarian woman on the back of his right shoulder blade.
Anyone with any information in England is asked to contact police by calling 101 if in Scotland, people are asked to call 999 (the 101 service is not yet available in Scotland)
People with information can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or on-line at Crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
Police launched a poster campaign yesterday across England and Wales, you can download the poster below to display to the public.
8850 Wanted Appeal_Ivan Leach