If you see a crime being committed, the North Okanagan-Shuswap Crime Stoppers program wants you to think of the five Ws when reporting the tip.
Who, what, where, when, and why — and even how.
You are guaranteed anonymity if you report the tip to the Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or report a tip online.
Improving the quality of tips received is one of the goals of the local board for Crime Stoppers Month in January.
“Despite COVID, we are averaging about 35 to 45 tips a month,” said North Okanagan-Shuswap Crime Stoppers board president Mike Remington. The program’s coverage area includes Falkland, Lumby, Cherryville, Salmon Arm and Sicamous, as well as Revelstoke, though Revelstoke Crime Stoppers has its own board and website.
“We do have reason to suggest we’re not getting the right kind of information on the tips. That’s why we’re asking callers to think in terms of the five Ws. Try to assemble the information you’re providing that lends substance to the tip that we then provide to police.
“Tips are 100 per cent anonymous. That’s guaranteed by the Supreme Court of Canada.”
Since 1989 the North Okanagan Shuswap Crime Stoppers program has received more than 8,200 tips, recovered more than $19 million in drugs and stolen property, and helped make more than 460 arrests.
The program consistently strives to provide a method for the public to provide information to the police while maintaining 100 per cent anonymity. Tips can also be sent anonymously through the internet at nokscrimestoppers.com.
North Okanagan-Shuswap Crime Stoppers will also use Crime Stoppers Month to continue helping its communities stay safe, and will continue to fundraise in 2021 to help with payment for tips that lead to an arrest and/or conviction.
The board hosted a Shred-a-Thon in Salmon Arm in October, raising more than $1,800 as they helped shred used documents.
“We are definitely planning for a Shred-a-Thon in Vernon, likely toward the end of May, and another one in Salmon Arm sometime in the fall,” said Remington, who added the board gets plenty of community support.
He singled out Vernon’s DCT Chambers Trucking, which has put the Crime Stoppers’ logo and 1-800-222-8477 number on the backs of most of its trucking fleet.
The Real Canadian Wholesale Club, Save-On-Foods in Salmon Arm, and Save-On’s Salmon Arm home, The Mall at Picadilly, also drew thanks from Remington for their continued support of the Crime Stoppers’ program.
Remington says his group has enough volunteers for its board but they can always use a few extra bodies for events such as the Shred-a-Thon. What Crime Stoppers’ could really use, he said, is donations.
“The cost of our website, advertising and educational items is not covered by our Shred-a-Thons and we are fortunate in that many of our successful tipsters do not claim their reward – believing it to be their civic duty to report criminal activity,” said Remington. “Crime Stoppers is entirely self-supporting with no money coming from the government or the RCMP. Our board is all volunteer.”