In July 1976, Detective Greg MacAleese was investigating a robbery/homicide at a gas station in Albuquerque, New Mexico. After 6 weeks with no leads, Detective MacAleese saw two things preventing the public from sharing information: a fear of revenge and public apathy. Detective MacAleese asked the local TV station to air a re-enactment of the crime. To overcome apathy, he offered a cash reward from his own pocket. To prevent the risk of revenge, he set up an anonymous phone line. Within hours, call takers were flooded with calls about various crimes. Six other armed robberies were solved because of the investigation. The first call on the tip line solved an outstanding rape case.
Today, Crime Stoppers is active in 26 countries worldwide.
Ontario: In Ontario, there are 37 Crime Stoppers programs. They all use the national toll-free number 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). Some programs have a web tip feature, which can be accessed on their program’s website.
Durham Region: In April of 1986, Chief of Police, Jon Jenkins, of the Durham Regional Police Service gathered a select group of civilians and created the not-for-profit organization Durham Regional Crime Stoppers. The primary goal was to encourage the public to communicate criminal activity anonymously.
Crime Stoppers is a non-profit community based program supporting a partnership between the community, the media and the police in the fight against crime. Each week the media and the police appeal for information about unsolved crimes.
Crime Stoppers provides members of the public the opportunity to ‘anonymously’ provide information to the police about a crime or a potential crime. Cash rewards are offered to tipsters if their tip information leads to an arrest. The Crime Stoppers program takes information 24 hours a day 7 days a week. To submit a tip the public can call the Crime Stoppers hotline at 1-800-222-8477, or they can submit a tip online by visiting a program’s website. In Durham Region, the website is durhamregionalcrimestoppers.ca.
A volunteer board of Directors actively administers and is responsible for the program. The Crime Stoppers program is a non-profit charitable organization and is responsible for raising funds and the disbursements of rewards. The Board of Directors work in close cooperation with their local Police and all areas of the media.
Crime Stoppers is a Community Project supported by donations of money, goods or services. Contributions from individuals, corporations, clubs, professional associations, retailers, civic and social groups keep the Crime Stoppers program functional. All donations to a Crime Stoppers program are tax deductible.
Trained personnel who receive, process, and pass on tip information to investigating officers staff the Crime Stoppers tip hotline. All tips received by a Crime Stoppers program are forwarded to the appropriate police service or collaborated agency (MNRF, MOF, AGCO) for investigation.
Crime Stoppers does not use any form of caller identification, tracing or tracking. Tipsters never need to identify themselves and tipster will never testify in court.
Tipsters are provided with a unique code number, which will be used in all subsequent hotline calls, and tipsters are not to identify themselves to the call taker. If a tipster chooses to submit a web tip online, they will be provided with a code number and password. It is the sole responsibility of the tipster to keep their tip submission and code numbers and passwords private.
Crime Stoppers does not contact tipsters - therefore, a tipster must periodically check in on their own tip. A tipster must call the hotline or log into their web tip to determine if their tip was successful. Crime Stoppers will provide the tipster with specific instructions on how and where to pick up their reward. The location will be a safe public place. The tipsters will never have to identify themselves. Cash rewards are based on the usefulness of a tip in solving a crime. The payouts are higher for crimes that are more serious. If a tipster’s information leads to an arrest then the tipster is eligible for a cash reward up to $2,000.
Crime Stoppers wants to support residents, community organizations and businesses to be active participants in keeping their neighbourhoods safe - through crime prevention, reporting and resolution. Crime Stoppers offers anonymity and a confidential way to keep a community safe. Someone other than the criminal has information that can solve a crime, and no tip is too small.
If you are a victim of a crime, call the police. Anyone who contacts Crime Stoppers must be anonymous. If you are a victim of a crime, you must work with the police investigators to solve the crime therefore, you cannot be anonymous.
If it is an emergency or you are witnessing a crime in progress - the Crime Stoppers program does not have dispatch capabilities. If you are reporting a motor vehicle collision or personal injury occurrence, or someone needs immediate police assistance – you must call 9-1-1.
Please only contact Crime Stoppers to report suspicious or covert activity, or to provide a tip or information about an unsolved case or suspected criminal activity.
To join, go to our Home Page, scroll down to the overview, regarding Board membership, and follow the instructions. We welcome new members.