THE COMOX VALLEY RECORD was awarded a plaque earlier this year from the annual B.C. CrimeStoppers conference for public service announcements following a nomination by the Comox Valley Crime Stoppers. Record publisher Zena Williams accepts the plaque from Ken Simmonds

Crime Stoppers helps citizens battle crime

Program relies on anonymous tips and offers generous cash rewards

They don’t care who is calling, or how the information comes about, but for volunteers who work at Comox Valley Crime Stoppers, they hope the end result can aid RCMP to solve criminal activity.

Formed in 1989, the local program was created to provide support to the RCMP detachment to prevent and solve crimes through an anonymous tip line for instances where a person is unable or reluctant to report a criminal act or suspicious situation directly to police.

Anonymity is held at highest regard, and cash rewards up to $2,000 can be paid for information leading to an arrest and conviction.

Crime Stoppers was conceived through a partnership of the community, media and a policing agency, and in the Comox Valley, the organization has received up to 200 tips a year.

The program operates in more than 20 countries worldwide and since its conception in 1976, it has become the No. 1 community-based crime-solving organization in the world.

In the Comox Valley, the tip line —1-800-222-TIPS (8477) — is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and is monitored at all times, although the line is not to be used for crimes in progress.

The local organization is also looking at using technology and social media as other options to provide tips such as texting, tweeting a tip or using Facebook, although they note they have to ensure the crux of the program — anonymity — must be protected at all times.

There is not any particular crime that is required to use the line; tips have been received for crimes involving drugs, stolen properties, mischief and even murder.

Comox Valley Crime Stoppers also operated the Most Wanted list, which is published on their website and in the media. The list helps the organization gather many tips, but it also serves two other functions — to track down those individuals who have failed to appear and to deter others in the community.

Until recently, the organization was supported financially from the gaming branch of the provincial government, donations and sponsorships. The organization no longer receives funding from the gaming branch, and is currently living off reserves while they look for new sources of funding.

Earlier this year, Comox Valley Crime Stoppers received a grant of $5,000 from the Civil Forfeiture Office in partnership with the Victim Services and Crime Prevention division of the provincial Ministry of Justice.

The are looking to use the funds to reach out to younger members of the community and encourage them to report harm experience or witnessed if they are unable or reluctant to report it directly to school officials or the police.

They hope they can break any misconceptions that Crime Stoppers operates as a ‘rat line’ rather an anonymous way for people to create a safer community.

The Comox Valley Crime Stoppers will have an information booth set up at the Comox Air Show on Aug.17 and will feature a break and enter map for the local area and offer Ident-A-Kid, a fingerprint and information sheet for parents to keep and give to police if ever their child goes missing or is abducted.

For more information on Comox Valley Crime Stoppers or to donate to the program, visit www.comoxvalleyCrimeStoppers.bc.ca.

 

Just Posted

Comox resident proposes golf course conversion to park

A Comox resident is hoping he’s not the only one who would… Continue reading

Moms of those killed by illicit opioids take to B.C. Legislature in call for action

Moms Stop the Harm, a nationwide network of families who have lost loved ones to overdoses rally

Taxing Vancouver Island

Big Read: find out which communities are paying the lowest and highest taxes on Vancouver Island

Y2K Spitfire comes home

Stocky Edwards guest of honour at banquet

Crown Isle acquires Longlands Golf Course

The Crown Isle Resort and Golf Community just got a little bit… Continue reading

VIDEO: Canadian toddler caught practising hockey skills in crib

Eli Graveline is getting praise from far and wide as the internet freaks out of cute throwback video

Man shot dead in Surrey ID’d as hockey coach and father of two

Murder of Paul Bennett – a respected Peace Arch Hospital worker and ‘champion of sport’ – ‘not random’

Serial killer Robert Pickton transferred to Quebec: victim’s family

Pickton was convicted in December 2007 of six counts of second degree murder

Canadian Syrian children’s choir not to attend festival over fears about U.S. travel

Many kids are recent immigrants from countries covered by Trump travel ban

Amalgamation fails in North Cowichan and Duncan

North Cowichan says yes, but Duncan says no

B.C. teacher ends Jeopardy! winning streak, taking home US$69,000

Ali Hasan, from New Westminster, has been gaining fans as a “one-man invasion,” says Alex Trebek

Jett Woo highlights 5 Canucks choices on Day 2 of NHL entry draft

WHL star out of Moose Jaw tabbed in Round 2

Lawyer fired in B.C. courtroom during trial for dangerous driving causing death

Dustin Dennis Zinter was charged following November 2015 accident near Nanaimo, B.C.

Most Read