A CRIME-fighting charity is offering £1,000 to witnesses who help bring Clacton criminals who use knives to justice.

Crimestoppers has launched the initiative to encourage residents to help identify thugs who carry weapons.

The campaign, launched this week in Clacton, Basildon and Southend, has seen an appeal for anyone with information on knife crime who feels unable to go directly to police to contact Crimestoppers anonymously.

They could receive a cash reward of up to £1,000 if their information leads to a successful arrest and charge.

Det Insp Russ Cole, of Clacton Police, said: “There have been several high profile and tragic knife crime incidents in Essex over the past few years, which is why I fully support any campaign that seeks to save lives.

“We appreciate that not everyone is comfortable in contacting police about crime.

“We want to do everything possible to ensure that people living, working and visiting Essex have an avenue to give information if they wish”.

Ann Scott, of Crimestoppers, said those who come forward will not be identified.

“We want to hear from anyone who has information on a recent knife crime incident or about anyone who regularly carries a knife,” she said.

“By telling Crimestoppers nobody will know it was you and you could end up saving a life."

Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555111 or online at crimestoppers-uk.org.