ANONYMOUS do-gooders in the town helped catch hundreds of criminals with tip-offs to a national charity last year.

In total, last year Crimestoppers received 743 useable pieces of information from members of the public in Swindon and Wiltshire between the period April 2011 and March 2012.

Meanwhile, nationally the crime-fighting charity, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year, has said as a result of the 95,276 pieces of information it received in the same period a total of 8,097 people being arrested and charged.

Eagle-eyed and sharp-eared people have helped police collar a range of offenders, from vandals and burglars to murderers and rapists, as the most serious crimes often capture the public’s attention.

The charity received the most calls about drugs dealing acitivity, leading to 983 criminals being arrested and charged with drug manufacture, 1,079 with possession and 2,628 with drug trafficking.

Kieran Theivam, of Crimestoppers, said: “What this figure shows is that the people of Wiltshire are as serious about cutting crime in their community as we are.

“Without the 700 plus pieces of information that they provided, our job would be made all the more difficult, so I would thank them for having the trust in Crimestoppers to support our fight against crime.”

Wiltshire Police Superintendent Gavin Williams said: “Crimestoppers provides an invaluable service as it allows members of the public to leave information anonymously.

“We would always encourage witnesses to crimes or members of the public with information they think might help a police investigation to come forward and feel confident to do so.

“All information given to Wiltshire Police either through 999 or 101 and Crimestoppers is treated in the strictest confidence.

“Even the smallest piece of information might have a significant impact in helping us solve a crime.

“Anyone wishing to report a crime should contact Wiltshire Police on 101 or 999 in an emergency. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 where information can be left anonymously.”