Crime Stoppers is a non-profit, community-driven program that relies on help from citizens, the media and the police. If your tips lead to an arrest or charges being laid, you may receive a cash award. Crime Stoppers relies on donations from private citizens, organizations, local businesses, and fundraising activities. Callers are issued code numbers and 100% anonymity is guaranteed. We do not subscribe to caller display services, and will not accept tips through e-mail . For every dollar paid out in Canada, $50 in property and drugs is recovered. There are over 1100 programs in Canada, the U.S., Europe, and around the world. Crime Stoppers has been proven effective against crime, making communities safer.
Crime Stoppers is a registered, non-profit community oriented program that relies on help from the citizens, media and our local police, in conjunction with other jurisdictions. We are governed by a volunteer civilian board under the direction of our civilian coordinators.
Our Vision: To be the leading nonprofit organization to promote peace and prosperity by reducing crime in Canada through cooperative efforts of police, media and the community.
Our Mission: To promote safer communities by encouraging residents to identify and report crime.
Crime Stoppers began on September 8th , 1976 in Albuquerque New Mexico, following the senseless murder of a young university student. After 6 weeks of investigation without success, a local Canadian born detective named Greg MacAleese appealed to the public for information. Greg and a local TV station made a re-enactment of the murder and asked for anyone with information to call him. Greg guaranteed anonymity and offered a cash reward. Within 3 hours of the broadcast the detective received his first call with information. Within 24 hours two individuals were arrested and the case was cleared!
Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers began on January of 1986. It is a joint effort between the public, the media and the police. Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers was originally established by the Sarnia Police Commission who recruited members for the board of directors from the communities of Lambton County and promoted the program through the media
In 1997 the Ontario Provincial Police became involved and D/Cst Don Foley of the Ontario Provincial Police was recruited as the first full time OPP coordinator for the Sarnia Lambton Crime Stoppers.
The present coordinators are Amy Leggate and Les Jones.
Put simply it is a three part approach to solving the crime problem. Crime Stoppers relies on cooperation between the police, the media and the general community to provide a flow of information about crime and criminals.
The Phone Call
Calls are received at the local Crime Stoppers tips line phone. This phone is a stand alone instrument which does not provide caller ID and conversations are not recorded. The Crime Stoppers police or civilian Coordinator receiving the information completes the tips information form, makes initial inquiries and then passes the information to the investigating officer. Calls are accepted regarding any publicized request for information, such as “Crime of the Week” or such other crime(s) the caller has knowledge of.
By guaranteeing a caller’s anonymity, Crime Stoppers allows the caller to give information in a positive atmosphere without the prospect of retribution. By offering cash rewards for information leading to indictment or arrests, the program encourages otherwise reluctant callers to provide information.
Structure and Funding of Crime Stoppers
Crime Stopper Programs are organized as a not for profit organization (Charity). A civilian community board of directors provides direction as to the financial and promotional activities of the program. The board of directors enhances the community involvement aspect, and its function is vital to the programs success. The Crime Stoppers program is funded by private donations and fund raising. NO TAX DOLLARS are involved. The reward money paid out by the program is from the fund raising and donations from concerned citizens and businesses. A community board of directors, made up of persons from throughout the area, meets on a monthly basis to evaluate arrests and to decide on the size of rewards to be paid, up to $2,000. Rewards are then distributed in a private manner to the callers. Callers are eligible for rewards up to $2,000, but, despite this, many callers choose not to collect their rewards.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
The answer is quite simply yes. Since the start of Crime Stoppers, many calls have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Calls have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug and firearm offences.
Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay. It has been accepted by police as a valid and effective investigative tool and the public, through its overwhelming response, appears to have accepted it as a more palatable alternative to traditional methods of giving information.