Send us news by text, start your message Globe News and your send photos and videos to 80360
Police launch nationwide campaign in search for wanted man
1:52pm Thursday 1st November 2012 in News
POLICE in Lancashire have launched a nationwide poster campaign to trace a man described as dangerous and predatory who is believed to have committed a serious sex offence while on the run.
Police forces across England and Scotland are working together in an effort to track down 47-year-old absconder Ivan Leach.
Ivan Leach, also known as Lee Cyrus, went missing from North Sea Camp open prison, Boston, Lincolnshire on Tuesday October 9 after going on day release.
Posters are now being distributed across England and Scotland and will appear in shops, community centres, hospitals and on bus and train stations. The posters will also be put up on all Preston Buses.
A £3,000 reward has also been offered by the charity Crimestoppers for information leading to his arrest and conviction.
Officers have warned Leach should not, under any circumstances, be approached as he poses a significant risk.
He is believed to have carried out a very serious sexual attack in Tayside, Scotland, since he absconded on October 9, although further details cannot be released for legal reasons.
The last believed sighting of Ivan Leach was in Nottingham City Centre at 11:20am on October 20 at a cash point outside Barclays Bank on High Street, however, forces across the UK have received over 100 possible sightings since he went missing.
Leach was born in Preston and has connections across the city as well as in South Ribble.
He is known to have been in the city on a number of occasions since he absconded, but he could be anywhere in the country. Enquiries are also ongoing in Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire and Tayside.
The nationwide poster campaign has been launched by Lancashire Police.
Detective Superintendent Paul Withers, from the force's major investigation team said: "Whilst Leach remains at large he continues to pose a serious threat to members of the public.
"He has previous convictions for burglary, sex offences against a young girl, assault and robberies in which he has targeted elderly people in their own homes.
"We believe he could be sleeping rough and travelling extensively throughout the country, most likely on public transport – alternatively, he may be being housed by someone he knows.
"I would 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.
"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'd 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 remind people that he is violent and should not be approached. We will continue to have officers out looking for him and we are doing everything we can to find him.
"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 given the publicity of the past week, 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.
Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.