What Is Crime Stoppers?
Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in September of 1976. Members of the local community, in partnership with the media and law enforcement, began an effort to provide crime-solving assistance to law enforcement.
A cash reward was offered to anonymous persons who telephone the Crime Stoppers hot line with information which led to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible for felony offenses.
The Crime Stoppers program has enjoyed great success boasting an average conviction rate of 95% on cases solved by Crime Stoppers’ tips. The Crime Stoppers programs worldwide have solved over half a million crimes and recovered over 3 billion dollars’ worth of stolen property and narcotics.
Today, there are over 1,000 Crime Stoppers programs in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Bahamas, British West Indies, Micronesia, and other nations.
Why Do We Need Crime Stoppers?
Crime Stoppers is based on the principle that “Someone other than the criminal has information that can solve a crime” and was created to combat the three major problems faced by law enforcement in generating that information:
• Fear of REPRISAL
• An attitude of APATHY
• Reluctance to get INVOLVED
Crime Stoppers resolves these problems by:
• Offering ANONYMITY to people who provide information about crimes.
• Paying REWARDS when the information supplied leads to arrest.
Three Essential Elements Make Up a Crime Stopper Program
Citizens are responsible for forming a Crime Stoppers non-profit corporation, whose directors establish policy, determine amount and method of reward payments, work closely with the police and the media and generally oversee the program. The directors are also responsible for fundraising, and all volunteer service. Tax money is not sought.
Crime Stoppers methods, objectives, successes and phone numbers are publicized on a regular basis by the media. An unsolved “Crime of the Week” is given special treatment with details published in newspapers, on radio and in certain cases a re-enactment on television.
A special Crime Stoppers phone with a well-publicized number is provided to the community. Callers are assigned a special Code number and NEVER give their names. If, after the investigation, the information leads to an arrest, the caller is entitled to a reward.