A CHARITY dedicated to catching criminals is going behind bars.
Crimestoppers is to promote itself in prisons both to the inmates and visitors.
A pilot project has suggested it could reap good information and so is launched today in all 11 prisons in Yorkshire and Humber - including New Hall women's prison near Flockton.
One of the main aims is to prevent drugs and other contraband items from being smuggled into prisons.
These have been found by the Yorkshire Area Search Team, a team of prison officers which goes around the prisons with specialist dogs trained to sniff out drugs.
The Crimestoppers project will also provide an opportunity for inmates to pass on information anonymously.
Ian Froggett, Regional Co-ordinator for Crimestoppers, said: "The new partnership with the Yorkshire Area Search Team in prisons has proved invaluable as they have acted on several pieces of Crimestoppers information along with the police.
"They've arrested offenders and recovered mobile telephones, drugs and other contraband items.
"Several people on the 'outside' are now looking forward to a grim future on the 'inside.'
"There are lots of people within the prison population who possess key information that could assist the police to crack crimes old and new.
"Inmates will now be able to ring Crimestoppers and pass that information without fear of being identified."
Det Chief Insp Paul Fountain, director of Intelligence for West Yorkshire Police, said: "The partnership between Crimestoppers and the Prison Service is further evidence that everyone will work together to tackle crime.
"We are determined to make sure that prison does not become a hiding place for certain inmates to try to continue their illegal activities.
"On the other side of the coin, it is vital that we afford everyone, wherever they are, the opportunity to help the community by giving information on crime and those who are responsible for it."
Steve Harrison, head of the Yorkshire Area Search Team, said: "Our team works across the whole of the Yorkshire and Humber region.
"Our highly-trained dogs play a key role in detecting individuals in possession of drugs, enabling us to help offenders in custody address their offender issues in a safer environment by stopping drugs coming into prisons."