January is Crime Stoppers Month!
January is the month designated as “Crime Stoppers Month” – the month each program takes to publically highlight their successes and thank their sponsors and supporters. It’s an opportunity to acknowledge the tremendous support of the community, RCMP and media in helping Crime Stoppers achieve the success that we have. This year, Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers hosted a luncheon on January 24th to thank our partners - the media, the government, sponsors and the RCMP. Inspector Dwayne McDonald spoke on the Bacon homocide and the ripple effect of gang conflict in British Columbia.
Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers is excited to be using the social media outlets (Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter) to promote our program. We feel we can get our message out more effectively using these media methods to highlight newsworthy articles such as missing persons, crimes of the week and wanted suspects. Check out our Facebook Page...become our friend! Follow us on Twitter at Kelowna Crimes. Watch some of our YouTube videos and click on our link to submit a tip.
Does Crime Stoppers work? Quite simply...YES! Since the inception of Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers in 1987 we are responsible for taking over $77 million worth of illegal drugs off the streets, recovering $3.5 million in stolen property and seizing countless illegal weapons. Impressive! We have received 19,820 tips from the public resulting in over 2400 arrests. The amazing thing is....many of the tipsters are not interested in collecting their reward; they are calling in because of their concern for the community and their own safety without the fear of facing the suspects on the streets or in court.
Tip submitting methods have come a long way. Not only can you call in a tip by phoning our call centre at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), but you can submit a tip through our website (www.crimestoppers.net) or by texting to crimes (274637), using the keyword ktown in the subject line.
Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers has paid out $ 165,000 in reward money for the positive results of these tips. Because Crime Stoppers is a non-profit society, we rely on donations from the public to run the program and pay out the rewards. One of the biggest challenges we face is relaying that we are indeed a charity, independent of government and the RCMP. The Crime Stoppers Society is run by an independent board of directors who all volunteer a great deal of time and effort to the organization. We hold several fundraisers during the year, including an annual golf tournament; however donations any time of year are gratefully accepted. Donations can be made through our website by clicking on the “Donate” link which will lead to the CanadaHelps website. This organization accepts donations on our behalf and will provide you with a charitable receipt.
Crime Stoppers is definitely here to stay. It has been accepted by the police as a valid and effective investigative tool and the public, through its overwhelming response, appears to have accepted it as a more palatable alternative to turning in criminals.