Reporting to chief executive Mick Laurie, Hughes will take charge of an eight-strong comms team.
He has been briefed to strengthen ties with corporate partners and help the charity build its fundraising potential. Exploiting new media, particularly the internet, is also part of his remit.
Crimestoppers has had success in driving traffic to its recently unveiled 'Most Wanted' website, and is keen to run more campaigns targeting young people.
The organisation has also just finished running an anti-gun campaign targeting high-crime areas in the UK (PRWeek, 31 March).
Hughes replaces Jane Reay, who left in January after ten years with the charity – three of them as director of communications and fundraising.
At Bournemouth, Hughes was responsible for the creation, implementation and delivery of a 'development strategy' to meet university funding targets.
Prior to that he was appeal director at Hampshire County Cricket Club and the Sail Training Association. He also worked for ice cream brand Ben and Jerry's as campaign and European marketing director.