What is Crime Stoppers?
Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization made up of community volunteers and funded solely through donations and fund raisers. The program works as a partnership of the community, the media, and law enforcement to combat criminal activity. Cash rewards are paid for information, called "tips," that lead to the arrest of people charged with serious offenses. To date, Crime Stoppers statistics show a conviction rate of some 95 percent.
Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico September 1976 in an effort to solve the homicide of a young gas station attendant. Today there are some 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs in 20 countries around the world that take tips to assist investigators with solving crimes including homicides, sexual assaults, drug trafficking operations and robberies. School shootings and terrorist acts have also been prevented by information supplied to Crime Stoppers programs. On an accumulative basis since 1976, tips to Crime Stoppers have been responsible for the arrests of around 600,000 individuals and led to the seizure of close to $7 billion in stolen property and illicit drugs.
How does Crime Stoppers work?
Crime Stoppers works on the belief that there is always someone who has information that can help solve crime. Anyone with information on criminal activity can call Crime Stoppers anonymously and provide a tip that will help investigators identify those responsible. Routinely, law enforcement agencies encounter individuals who will not directly provide information.
The three key reasons are:
- Fear of reprisal
- An attitude of apathy
- Reluctance to get involved
Since calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous, tips are assigned a unique code number. This gives people the opportunity to provide information without directly speaking to police or having to testify in court. Obviously investigators need witnesses to help prove their case in court, but most importantly they need information that allows them to zero in on a suspect. Tips that lead investigators to making an arrest may be eligible for a cash reward up to $1,000. Rewards are paid out to the unique code number thus maintaining the tipster's anonymity.
Crime Stoppers of Wellington/Sumner County, Inc. started November of 2007 covering all of Sumner County. Currently tip information comes into the program by mail or phone line. The information is routed to the coordinator, currently with the Wellington Police Department, who then forwards that information on to the appropriate investigating agency. The coordinator tracks all of the information, makes presentations, and reports on the status of tips and arrests to the Board of Directors.
Anyone with information on a crime is asked to contact Crime Stoppers at 326-3135 or 1-800-222-TIPS. If your information leads to an arrest, you could be eligible for a cash reward and no one will ask for your name.