One of the earliest victims of serial killer Peter Tobin will speak out for the first time on BBC One’s Crimewatch, on Monday 5 July at 9pm, in the hope it will encourage other victims to come forward.

The victim, who cannot be named, was sexually assaulted by Tobin in 1968 and describes meeting him in Glasgow when he was 21 going under the name Jim McLaughlin: “He was very polite to me, nice, laughing and joking… just an everyday guy.”

Over 40 years later, she recognised a picture in a magazine of a young Tobin and subsequently came forward after a Crimewatch appeal last December: “I don’t know how many times I went to phone the police… I wouldn’t know what to say – are they going to believe me? Then Crimewatch came up and I texted.”

Crimewatch then passed her details on to Operation Anagram, the UK-wide police probe set up to identify all Tobin’s victims.

Detective Superintendent David Swindle, who is heading up Operation Anagram, and Criminal Behavioural Psychologist Laura Richards will join Kirsty Young in the studio to talk about this crucial new development and to appeal again for people to come forward if they have any information about Tobin’s life.

Crimewatch is on BBC One on 5 July 2010 at 9pm.


Oh dear. Silly ol’ BBC have made a boob. Auntie has ‘fessed up that pictures were posted of actors from the film The Firm on the Crimewatch website, making out that they were real life, genuine football hooligans.

Apparently, Daniel Day Lewis is also being hunted out for being a terrorist. Not to mention the joyous news that an American schoolboy has befriended a alien lifeform with a glowing finger.

The BBC wasn’t alone. Yesterday the Sun also printed the same snaps of The Firm actors under the headline “Hooligan Hunt”.

However, it seems that the real blame lies with the Metropolitan police who supplied everyone with the photographs.

The Met released 66 shots of people they want to trace following violence during a football match between West Ham and Millwall in August. Crimewatch ran a piece about it on BBC One on Wednesday night.

In fairness, most of the hooligans that appeared were bona fide, however, six of them carry equity cards, rather than stanley knife blades glued together with match-sticks.

A statement on the BBC’s Crimewatch website said: “Yesterday we published photographs of 66 men supplied by the police who told us they were wanted in connection with violent behaviour at a football match.

“Six of the images supplied by the police were sent by them in error and the men pictured were not wanted for any crime. The police have asked us to pass on to the men concerned their sincere apologies for this mistake.”

A spokeswoman for the Metropolitan Police Service apologised for the error. She said: “Newham Borough Police regret this mistake and any embarrassment it has caused, and wish to apologise unreservedly to those affected. The borough is actively seeking to contact those persons whose images were released and will be offering personal apologies once they have been identified.”

As Jim McDonald from Corrie and Phil Mitchell from Eastenders were in the cast, I can only hope that they appeared in the mugshots!

After 23 years, Nick Ross is to leave Crimewatch to pursue other ventures.

Nick will remain one of the BBC’s family of presenters and we are talking to him about other potential projects. He leaves Crimewatch at a time when the programme’s conviction rate is at its highest, solving one in five cases featured on the programme.

Nick’s last programme will be on Monday 2 July and will include an item celebrating his contribution to Crimewatch and some of the major crimes that have been solved while he has been presenting the programme.

Peter Fincham, Controller, BBC One, says: “Nick has made a gigantic contribution to Crimewatch which for 23 years has been a uniquely important BBC One programme. The BBC is in his debt, as are the countless victims of crime whose cases Crimewatch has taken up and, on many occasions, helped to solve. It’s no exaggeration to say that, without Nick, there would have been no Crimewatch. We wish him well for the future and I am hoping that he will be back on BBC One soon.”

Nick Ross says: “After more than 23 years at the helm of Crimewatch I shall greatly miss the programme, and I am grateful to the BBC for the privilege of presenting this flagship show. Together we have created something of a national institution which continues to be a phenomenal success in solving crime, winning ratings and maintaining high standards of public service.

“As a direct result of Crimewatch dozens of murders have been solved and undoubtedly many very serious crimes have been averted. All terrestrial audiences have declined in the multichannel era but our last show, as so often, beat all the competition and won some of the highest audience approval ratings on TV.

“I have watched police professionalism grow over more than two decades, and it has often been a humbling experience to work with victims on appeals. I have no bad memories other than of April 1999 and the death of my colleague Jill Dando.

“I shall continue to do all I can to support the Jill Dando Institute at University College London which, with huge public support, we created in her memory. I shall also stay working with the police on crime prevention and other initiatives, and retain my role with Crimestoppers and as an adviser to Victim Support.

“I want to thank my other co-presenters over these two decades, Sue Cook and Fiona Bruce, and Crimewatch’s resident police officers David Hatcher, Helen Phelps, Jacqui Hames, Jeremy Paine, Jonathon Morrison, Rav Wilding and Jane Corrigan, who have all been such professional and supportive colleagues.

“Crimewatch has also been blessed with a consistently strong production team and along the way secretaries, researchers, directors, producers and departmental heads have gone on to make award-winning programmes, direct major dramas and feature films, and become leading figures in the television industry.

“I have hugely enjoyed working with them and learning from them. Finally, as I shall say in my last appearance on the show, I am grateful for the enormous warmth and loyalty of Crimewatch viewers.

“My career thus far in broadcasting has spanned many different types of factual programme, but nothing has given me a greater sense of public service than my time on Crimewatch. I wish the series well. I am sure the BBC will continue to cherish it, and I shall watch with interest to see how they will do better over the next two decades than we have in the past.”

Ben Gale, Commissioning Editor for Factual Features and Formats, says: “We remain committed to the long term future of Crimewatch, which continues to perform well. However, every long running strand needs to be regularly refreshed and we are currently taking a wide-ranging look at all aspects of the programme.”

Fiona Bruce will continue to present Crimewatch.

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