January has been designated Crime Stoppers Month in Canada and the local chapter in Merritt will be doing its part to get the community engaged with what the group does in the local area.
Crime Stoppers is a non-profit, charitable organization that comes together with a threefold relationship between the local police services, the media and the community in the fight against crime.
In an interview with Q101 News, Marlene Jones, the City of Merritt’s Community Policing Office Co-ordinator, said the local society’s objective during the month is to increase public knowledge of the benefits of having Crime Stoppers in the city.
“We (Crime Stoppers) are very excited about this being Crime Stoppers month,” said Jones. “All month long our society will be out educating the community about what it is we do and how they can get involved.”
Most commonly associated with policing services, Jones noted that many other agencies use the information gathered to help with on-going investigations in their departments.
“When you call Crime Stoppers, your call goes to a call-centre and from there the information is passed along to the appropriate departments,” Jones added. “Many agencies benefit from tips given to Crime Stoppers service such as Canada Revenue Agency, Social Services and the Department of Fisheries and Oceans.”
Established in 1976, Crime Stoppers is an international program with agencies in 23 countries worldwide and to date is responsible for more than 425,000 crimes being solved and over $8 billion worth of stolen property and narcotics being seized through tips sent in to the organizations hot-line.
Jones added that the reason this program has had as much success over the years is that fact that all calls are completely confidential.
“I think the confidentiality factor is huge for many people because many people are fearful of retaliation,” she noted. “A caller’s privacy is very important to everyone at Crime Stoppers.”
Many calls over the years have garnered cash rewards for those providing the tips that have led to an arrest and conviction. Jones said the more information you can provide in your tip is better.
“It is very important that you provide as much information as possible to help with the investigation,” Jones said. “If you see a suspicious vehicle for example, get the make, model, color and if possible the licence plate of the vehicle in question.”
For more information on how you can get involved with the local chapter of Crime Stoppers visit the Community Policing Office on Granite Ave.
If you have information on unsolved crimes in the area call the toll-free number 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).