Police hunting fugitive Ivan Leach have turned to BBC1’s Crimewatch programme in a bid to track him down.
Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, went missing from North Sea Camp open prison, Boston, Lincolnshire on Tuesday 9th October after going on day release and police forces across England and Scotland continue to work together to find him.
Leach will appear on the wanted board of the Crimewatch programme which is aired on BBC1 at 9pm tonight.
The last confirmed sighting of Leach came from CCTV footage which shows 47 year old Leach at a Barclay’s Bank cash machine in Nottingham city centre at 11.13am on Saturday, October 20th.
Police have also today released a new CCTV image of Leach on board a train between Preston and Nottingham on the same day.
Police then believe he caught a bus from Nottingham on October 20th to the Hampstead area of London but the latest unconfirmed sighting of him is in Preston.
Detective Superintendent Andy Murphy from Lancashire Constabulary’s Force Major Investigation Team said: “At about 8.30pm on Sunday 18th November 2012 a member of the public reported a possible sighting of Ivan Leach in the area of St Marys Street close to HMP Preston in the Deepdale area of Preston.
“At this time Leach is believed to have approached a street worker and engaged her in conversation before walking off along St Marys Street in the direction of New Hall Lane.
“Leach is described as having dark stubble on his face wearing a black hooded fleece type top and light grey jogging bottoms that were elasticised at the ankle. He also wore black training shoes.
“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.
“We are continuing to liaise with a number of other forces across England and Scotland and have a huge number of resources dedicated to tracking him down but we also need the public’s help.
“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 has absconded and with an impending appearance on Crimewatch his face will be now well known within communities across England and Scotland. He should do the right thing and give himself up.’’
The latest sighting comes as police say they have also received a significant number of possible unconfirmed sightings.
Posters have been distributed across England and Scotland appearing on buses, in shops, community centres, hospitals, and in bus and train stations.
Leach was born in Preston and has connections across the city, but he could be anywhere in the country. Enquiries are also on going in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and London. He is known to have been in Tayside sometime between October 13 and 16.”
Officers have warned Leach should not, under any circumstances, be approached as he poses a significant risk.
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.
Since he absconded he may also have grown a beard and moustache and may change his appearance to evade capture.
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.