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Noddy Rice murder suspect named among Britain’s ‘most wanted’ as hunt continues in Spain

Allan James Foster.
Allan James Foster.

The picture of a wanted criminal from South Tyneside will be shown across Spain on a 13ft high digital screen.

Allan James Foster is one of 18 of Britain’s ‘most wanted’ fugitives.

We must ensure these individuals are brought to justice.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, founder and chair of Crimestoppers

The screen is going on tour around British expat hot spots in Spain.

Foster, 43, is wanted by Northumbria Police in connection with the murder of David ‘Noddy’ Rice in a car park in May 2006.

He is also wanted for drugs and diamond theft offences.

Foster, also known as Shaun Michael Wilkinson, is originally from South Shields, and has links to the Canary Islands and Majorca.

The scheme is the latest push by crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers and the National Crime Agency (NCA) to track down the 18 remaining individuals wanted as part of Operation Captura.

The digital screen, attached to the back of a van, is touring areas including Benidorm, Malaga and Puerto Banus, and parking outside nightclubs, bars, British supermarkets and restaurants.

It is hoped that going direct to the fugitives’ back yards and putting their faces in plain sight will help to flush them out.

Lord Ashcroft KCMG PC, the founder and chair of Crimestoppers, said: “Operation Captura has proved a huge success since it was launched in 2006 and the majority of individuals on our most wanted list have been captured.

“However, there are still a number of criminals who are evading arrest. We must ensure these individuals are brought to justice.”

Steve Reynolds, NCA deputy director, added: “We’ve caught 68 out of 86 fugitives on the Captura list and the rest know we won’t stop until we catch them too.

“By taking our campaign directly into Spanish communities where we believe they are living and socialising, their lives will become even more uncomfortable. We want British expats and locals to help us by being extra eyes and ears and telling us what they know.

“These fugitives are wanted for serious crimes. Anyone who is helping them stay on the run, such as girlfriends, wives, family members back home, or criminal associates, should know that assisting them is an offence too.

“There may also be people in the UK with vital information on the whereabouts of these fugitives and we would urge them to get in touch.”

Roger Critchell, director of operations for Crimestoppers, said: “This is something that we have never done before but we believe that broadcasting these fugitives’ faces right in their back yards will not only encourage the public to speak up but show these individuals that there really is nowhere to hide.

“There will be no avoiding the faces on this screen – they’ll be broadcast in all the popular expat areas.

“I would urge anyone who recognises any of those faces to contact Crimestoppers anonymously. We don’t take personal details and you won’t have to give a statement or go to court.

“Many of these fugitives are currently living a life of leisure funded by serious crime. They cannot be allowed to hide forever, they must be brought to justice. Do the right thing and help us find them.”

Captura, a multi-agency initiative between Crimestoppers, the NCA and Spanish authorities, is now in its ninth year.

Its aim is to track down British fugitives believed to be hiding among expat communities in the Spanish Costas.

To date, 68 out of 86 wanted individuals have been apprehended.

A fresh appeal in March this year saw three fugitives captured within a matter of weeks.

Crimestoppers and the NCA work closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Madrid and with British and Spanish law enforcement agencies as part of the campaign.

Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate the fugitives on the Captura list. For those people calling from Spain there is a special freephone Spanish number. 900 555 111. which will be answered in the UK by Crimestoppers’ call agents. 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