78 year-old Hertfordshire sex offender sought in Crimestoppers’ campaign to hunt suspected criminals in Spain

Crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers’ latest campaign to locate 13 wanted fugitives, believed to be hiding in Spain, includes an appeal for a man wanted by Hertfordshire Police for indecent assault offences [14 November 2013].

Michael McCartney, 78, from Letchworth, is convicted of committing sexual offences against three young males on different occasions over a number of years. All the boys were under 16 when the abuse occurred.

He was found guilty of these offences in March 2013 but he failed to appear in court for sentencing and is believed to have fled to Spain.

McCartney makes up 13 new wanted individuals on the multi-agency Operation Captura campaign list, which involves Crimestoppers and the newly formed National Crime Agency (NCA) working closely with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in Madrid and with British and Spanish law enforcement agencies.

The campaign highlights appeals for information on criminals who have European Arrest Warrants (EAWs) issued against them. Information given to Crimestoppers can help locate these criminals so that arrests can be carried out by the Spanish police.

This is the eighth appeal to launch as part of the ongoing fugitive campaign, which has so far seen 53 of 63 individuals located since its first launch in 2006.

Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Founder and Chair of Crimestoppers, said: “The fact we are able to once again launch Operation Captura is an indication of how successful the last seven years have been since its inception.

“However, despite our success so far, there are still a number of dangerous criminals who see Spain as a safe haven to hide from their past, but with the support of the Spanish and UK public, we can hunt them out and bring them to justice.”

Hank Cole, Head of International Operations for the National Crime Agency, said:  “The NCA and its partners have the capability to pursue fugitives relentlessly. Spain is not a safe haven. Fifty three fugitives have been caught since Captura was launched, and many more linked to other operations.

“The exceptional level of collaboration and intelligence sharing with the Spanish authorities has been vital to many of these arrests. The most important thing though is the power of this campaign to harness the eyes and ears of the public, both here and in Spain.”

Crimestoppers’ Regional Manager, Ann Scott, said: “Michael McCartney has committed truly despicable crimes which he should not be allowed to get away with. This man remains a potential threat to any community and therefore needs to be put behind bars.”

“I would urge anyone with information on his whereabouts to contact Crimestoppers anonymously on our 0800 555 111 number of by filling out our anonymous online form on our website.”

For a full list of the 13 individuals featured as part of the campaign please visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org/opcaptura.


For further information on Crimestoppers contact the Press Office on 0208 835 3727 or email press.office@crimestoppers-uk.org.

Notes to editors

Michael McCartney Op Cap 8_Nov2013_222
Name: Michael MCCARTNEY

DOB: 27/06/1935

From: Letchworth

EAW issued: 30/05/2013

Issuing force: Hertfordshire

Accusatory/Conviction: Conviction

Offences: Indecent assault (x9), indecency with a child and inciting sexual activity involving penetration.

Summary:  MCCARTNEY committed sexual offences against three young males on different occasions over a number of years. All of the boys were under 16 when the abuse occurred. The MO of the offences was consistent and involved MCCARTNEY grooming the boys – buying things their parents could not afford and gaining their trust before performing sexual acts on them.

MCCARTNEY was found guilty on all counts in March 2013. The matter was adjourned for sentencing till April 2013. He failed to attend court.

  • This is the eighth appeal launched by Crimestoppers and the NCA since the first was launched in October 2006.
  • Of the 63 individuals being sought as part of Operation Captura before this latest launch, 53 of them had been located.
  • Crimestoppers is an independent charity which helps the police to solve crimes, making communities safer. It does this by operating the 24/7 telephone number 0800 555 111 which people can ring to pass on information about crimes anonymously. They can also use our Anonymous Online Form.
  • Around 20 people are arrested and charged every day as a result of information given to Crimestoppers.
  • Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over a million actionable calls, resulting in over 126,000 arrests and charges. Over £126 million worth of goods has been recovered and over £301 million worth of drugs has been seized.
  • In 2005, Crimestoppers launched the UK’s Most Wanted on its website which allows the public to view images of criminals and pass on vital information about their whereabouts. It has been highly successful with over 2,500 arrests to date.
  • Crimestoppers UK was founded by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG PC, Chairman of Trustees. In 1988, he launched Crimestoppers in the Metropolitan Police area. Crimestoppers’ ‘call to action’ is built on a three-way partnership between the business community, the police and the media.