HOW IT WORKS THE TIP
Tips are received at the local Crime Stoppers Tips Line 1-800-222-8477, via the internet (click the Submit a Tip button at right), on TipSubmit.com, or using a Smart Phone application. The tip line uses a stand alone telephone which does not use caller ID, and conversations are not recorded. Web tips and Mobile tips are received by the program only after the originator's IP address or device identity is removed from the tip.
The Call Taker will ask questions about the suspect and the crime, completes the report, then passes the information to the police for their investigation. Callers are given a report number and encouraged to call or write back if they obtain further details that could assist the police investigation. The more details the tipster can provide about the suspect, the crime, and information to support the allegation, the more the police have to work from. Callers can also call or write back to inquire regarding the status of the investigation. Crime Stoppers takes information on all types of crimes including but not limited to driving offences, illicit drugs, Elder abuse, theft, assault, mischief, homicide, fraud and more.
The Police Investigation
The Police receive a report from Crime Stoppers outlining the information provided by the anonymous tipster. The police then conduct an investigation into the information provided. The tip information may be part of an already ongoing police investigation or create a new investigation. A Crime Stoppers tip is not considered evidence in itself. If the police are able to establish the information is true and correct, it is considered a tool in their toolbox which enables them to discover the evidence needed to make an arrest or lay charges. The more information and detail a tipster can provide to Crime Stoppers, the more the police will have to go on as they initiate their investigation.
The police notify Crime Stoppers of the results of their investigation. Crime Stoppers will update their records and wait for the tipster to call back for an update. If the tip led to an arrest, charges, recovery of stolen property or seizure of illegal drugs or weapons, the tipster becomes eligible for a cash reward of up to $2000.
The rewards are calculated individually for each case. A number of factors are considered when applying a monetary value to the reward amount. Some of these factors include how much detail was provided by the tipster, how many times they called back to provide additional information, how many arrests or charges resulted from the tips, and also the type and value of any property, weapons or drugs seized. The seriousness of the crime is also a consideration. The Board of Directors meets monthly at which time they determine reward amounts and authorize the payments to be made to the eligible tipsters.
The tipster must call back to the tip line for instructions on how to pick up their reward. All rewards are distributed in cash through a financial institution. Tipsters never reveal their identity at the financial institution, but instead use a secondary code issued by Crime Stoppers. Many tipsters are not motivated by the cash reward and simply decline to pick up their payment. These funds are recirculated through the reward fund.
Our valued and dedicated volunteer team is the strength of Crime Stoppers of Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka. Citizens who join our locally focused committees participate in activities and events to promote public awareness and knowledge of the Crime Stoppers program, the Tip Line, and how we ensure anonymity. Committees meet once each month or as needed. Committee volunteers are encouraged to liaise with various leaders within their community to build relationships with all stakeholder groups.
Each committee is led by a Chair Person and has a representative who sits on the Board of Directors. Committees create and execute awareness and/or fund raising events that they feel reflect the personality and character of their local community. An example of this is the Race Night ran by the South Simcoe committee at Georgian Down Raceway each year. This event is attended by local residents, elected officials, police managers and corporate sponsors. Watch for a Crime Stoppers booth set up at your local fair or festival throughout the year
Annual training seminars and conferences are available for volunteers to network with other Crime Stoppers program volunteers, develop new skills and concepts for event planning and hosting, as well as further their knowledge of the provincial, national and international initiatives being implemented across their regions and across the world.
Crime Stoppers of Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka committees are currently located in Barrie, Midland, South Simcoe (Innisfil), Dufferin (Orangeville), Muskoka, Georgian Triangle (Wasaga Beach), Orillia and Oro-Medonte. If you would like to join one of these committees or start up a new committee in your home area we'd welcome the opportunity to talk with you!
The Board of Directors is comprised of a cross-section of volunteers who govern the overall operations of Crime Stoppers. Reward payments are authorized by the Board of Directors. The Board creates and ensures adherence to policy and our By-Laws, executes some fund raising events such as the annual gala ball, and the annual golf tournament.
Does Crime Stoppers Work?
The answer is quite simply yes. Since Crime Stoppers began, thousands of tips have been received resulting in thousands of arrests and recovery of substantial amounts of property. Tips have included information about murder, robbery, rape, assaults, drug and firearm offenses.
The success of a Crime Stoppers program cannot be purely judged on statistics, however, other benefits have come to notice:
• A greater awareness in the community that there is a crime problem.
• A willingness by the community to fight back against crime if it is given the opportunity and motivation.
• Improved relationships between police, media, and the community.
Crime Stoppers is here to stay. It has been accepted by police as a valid and effective investigative tool. The public, through its overwhelming response, recognizes the value of fighting back against criminal activity in their neighbourhoods.