ABOUT CRIME STOPPERS

Crime Stoppers of Niagara is Niagara’s top non-profit dedicated to public safety and since 1985 has remained committed to its mission to solve and prevent serious crime in the Niagara Region in partnership with citizens, media and the criminal justice system.

Crime Stoppers of Niagara Inc. is a non-profit, community based charitable program involving the co-operative efforts of the community, the media and the police in the fight against crime. Crime Stoppers encourages the public to call with information concerning crimes that have been committed, are being committed or are about to be committed. Crime Stoppers has become an invaluable investigative tool to Ontario Police Services.

Since 1985, a group of dedicated concerned civilians have comprised the volunteer Board of Directors for the Crime Stoppers of Niagara Inc. program and are the foundation of the program. Members raise, control and administer funds, organize reward payments to tipsters and promote the program in general.

Crime affects everyone, whether through increased insurance rates, the loss of property or the unsettling feeling of living in an unsafe area. As our local law enforcement organizations’ resources become more taxed, community leaders, the business community and citizens can assist Crime Stoppers in making a financial difference. Donations of financial sponsorships are 100% tax deductible.

Our program works because it combats apathy by offering cash rewards and combats fear of reprisal by offering callers anonymity. We encourage public involvement through the ongoing combined efforts of the public, media and police.

What is Crime Stoppers?

Crime Stoppers of Niagara is a citizen, media and police cooperative program designed to involve the community in the fight against crime. The program provides citizens with a means to supply police with information anonymously. Cash rewards are offered to persons who call the program with information which leads to an arrest. Through this unique partnership of police, media, community and you, we can all help to maintain and improve the quality of life within the Niagara Region. There are currently nearly 1200 Crime Stoppers programs throughout the world.

Purpose of Crime Stoppers

The purpose of Crime Stoppers is to overcome fear of reprisal and encourage the public to anonymously become involved is assisting law enforcement agencies in the apprehension and conviction of criminals. We urge citizens to call the toll-free TIPS line (1-800-222-TIPS (8477), which is manned 24/7 by both local coordinators and a specialized answering service. If the information leads to an arrest, the seizure of narcotics or the recovery of stolen property, the tipster may be eligible for a cash reward up to $2000.00.

WHEN TO CALL CRIME STOPPERS?

Maybe you overheard someone bragging about having committed a crime. Maybe you know someone who is driving a stolen car… or is hiding from the police… or is a robber or drug dealer. Or maybe you just see something that doesn’t look right. A strange car. A person acting sneaky. Someone carrying a gun or knife or keeping a weapon in their locker. If you aren’t sure that what you saw or heard is really a crime, call anyway. We’ll pass the tip on to our law enforcement partners and they can decide if its worth investigating. It may be a piece of a clue to a major crime.

What Tipsters Need to Know

By providing information that Crime Stoppers will share with law enforcement agencies, you are providing an important and valuable public service. We understand that disclosure of your identity might put you at risk. We do everything we can to protect your anonymity. However, that anonymity may be open to challenge in the following situations:

  • A call to Crime Stoppers made with the intention of “furthering criminal activity or interfering with the administration of justice”. A party who is guilty of a crime cannot use Crime Stoppers to try to divert the blame onto someone else. Crime Stoppers cannot be used to try to “frame” an innocent person.
  • There is evidence that disclosure of some or all a tip is necessary to establish someone’s innocence.
  • A tipster having received the benefit of full legal advice may, for his or her own reasons, elect to waive the privilege.

HOW CRIME STOPPERS WORKS

Crime Stoppers of Hamilton Inc. is a community run program involving a partnership of law enforcement, the media and the community, “all working together to help solve crime” It is a charity whose purpose is the detection, apprehension and conviction of criminals, the recovery of stolen property and the seizure of illicit drugs.

Members of the public are encouraged through the offer of a reward and the guarantee of anonymity to provide information that may assist law enforcement agencies to solve crime. Information provided to Crime Stoppers is not traceable back to the person who provided it. Once received, it is passed on to the proper authorities. If the information leads to a positive outcome, the person who provided the information will be eligible for a cash reward, which is paid anonymously. The amount of the award depends upon the significance of the information and severity of the crime. You NEVER have to reveal your identity!

ANONYMITY GUARANTEED

CONTACTING CRIME STOPPERS – 24/7

HOW THE TIPSTER PAYOUT SYSTEM WORKS

Our tipster payout system meets the criteria established by the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and Crime Stoppers International. A civilian coordinator takes the tipster’s anonymous call or web tip and documents the details of the call, giving the caller only a confidential code number. Callers are instructed to call the Crime Stoppers tip line back with their code number the day after the monthly board meeting when the reward amount is determined. As well, the caller is then instructed as to how, when and where to pick up their cash reward; always at a confidential drop point.

History

The Crime Stoppers Story

When a young college student, Michael Carmen, was shot to death during a robbery at an Albuquerque, New Mexico gas station in July 1976, Detective Greg MacAleese had no idea who was responsible for the killing. No witness came forward and it appeared the senseless and brutal shotgun slaying would remain a mystery.

MacAleese, who worked for a newspaper before joining the Albuquerque Police Department, knew something innovative would be necessary to encourage the public to get involved and help solve the murder.

He conceived the idea of producing a video re-enactment of the homicide, guaranteed anonymity for anyone who was willing to call him with information and put up a reward from his own pocket to encourage someone to provide a lead that would help identify those responsible for the murder of Carmen.

It seemed almost unnecessary to take such extraordinary steps to solve the killing of Carmen.  It was a case that should have outraged the community and brought forth many witnesses.  Carmen was only two weeks away from getting married and had taken an extra shift at the gas station to give a co-worker the night off.  When police responded to an emergency call, they found Carmen gravely wounded. He’s been shot in the abdomen at point blank range with a 12-guage shotgun.

The medical staff kept him alive for four hours and during that time he tried to tell detectives who was responsible, but he just didn’t have the strength to form the words.

At that time Albuquerque had one of the highest per capita crime rates in the country and people were afraid to help the police.

MacAleese plan to identify those responsible for killing Carmen worked. Within a few hours after the recreation of the murder was broadcast on television station KOAT, he received a phone call.  The video image had triggered the memory of a person who heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the gas bar and then saw a car driving off.  The caller told MacAleese the vehicle belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex.

Through investigation, MacAleese and a team of detectives arrested two men within 72 hours and charged them with the murder of Carmen and a string of armed robberies.

MacAleese received other calls following the re-enactment, including one that allowed police to solve the rape of a young women.  Realizing that this type of program might be useful in fighting crime, MacAleese convinced the Albuquerque Police Department to allow a group of citizens to establish the first Crime Stoppers program.

For his efforts Detective MacAleese was named one of the people in the 1970’s who changed the face of the United States and was also named the country’s Police officer of the Year. It’s also interesting to note that since adopting Crime Stoppers Albuquerque’s crime rate has dropped significantly and no longer is ranked in the list of 20 cities with the highest per capita crime rate.

The Crime Stoppers Name

Not many people know this, but the word “Crime” and “Stopper” were combined many years ago by the late Chester Gould, creator of the Dick Tracy comic strips. In 1947, Mr. Gould introduced “Crimestoppers”, using Junior, Dick Tracy’s adopted son, to form a detective club to help kids stay out of trouble. Two years later the “Crimestoppers Textbook”, with tips for children about safety, finding clues and crime prevention, became a weekly feature at the top of each Sunday edition of the comic strip.

In 1976, a police officer Greg MacAleese in Albuquerque, New Mexico approached Gould with permission to use the term Crimestoppers (used as one word) for a new program he wanted to organize. The result was the beginning of one of the most effective citizen-law enforcements, anti-crime programs in existence. By 1982, more than 300 communities in the United States had similar programs, and that same year, Crimestoppers went International. The word Crime Stopper or Crime Stoppers means something special to those who are associated with this rewarding program. (link http://www.dicktracymuseum.com/dick-tracy/crimestoppers/)

Crime Stoppers is not a new concept in reporting crime police work. It simply promotes more dramatically an investigative tool used by successful investigators for centuries.

MISSION STATEMENT

Crime Stoppers of Niagara Inc. is a partnership of the public, police and media which provides the community with a proactive, non-profit, charitable program to anonymously assist in solving crime and contributing to an improved quality of life.

THE FUTURE

Through innovation and expansion, Crime Stoppers of Niagara strives to engage the community in the important conversations about crime, public safety, and the protection of our most vulnerable citizens.  An investment in the expansion of community engagement will see Crime Stoppers into the next era of its bright future. We are more than just a tip line. Through the generous support of Niagara’s community of foundations, corporations and individuals, we are Niagara’s leading public safety registered non-profit organization.