January is international Crime Stoppers month
Crime Stoppers means more to people than just a possible cash reward.
Times-Herald file photo
“For some people, it’s 100 per cent incentive,” said Sean McEachern, president of Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers.
“The reality is, we have a lot of people that call in that never claim their cash.”
Cash payments of up to $2,000 can be awarded in exchange for information leading to an arrest or charge.
Since 1987, the province’s Crime Stoppers has strived to make communities safer.
The chapter works closely with the RCMP to provide anonymous reports of criminal activity in rural municipalities, cities, towns, villages and First Nations communities.
“The provincial Crime Stoppers program is a non-profit organization. We’re governed by a group of volunteers,” McEachern said.
The program receives funding from different partners in the province.
There are four other Crime Stoppers programs operating within the province, working with local police departments. Moose Jaw, Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert have their own programs.
“The program itself, of course, is intended to help create safer communities and allowing people in the province the opportunity to report crimes, or information they might know on crimes, through an anonymous source,” McEachern said.
Last year Saskatchewan Crime Stoppers received almost 900 tips that resulted in 58 arrests, four apprehended fugitives and the recovery of over $53,000 in property and drugs.
McEachern called those numbers typical. He said some years the numbers are higher, other years the numbers are lower.
“It all depends on how well we promote the program, and really, how many people call in,” McEachern said.
He said the success of the program relies on the anonymity that’s promised to potential tipsters.
Filing a complaint with a police department means the tipster will be involved in legal proceedings.
“Crime Stoppers provides individuals the opportunity to call in anonymously, and in return we also give them some compensation,” McEachern said.
January is internationally recognized as Crime Stoppers Month. There are more than 1,200 Crime Stoppers programs in more than 20 countries around the world.