Crime Stoppers fights crime locally

January is Crime Stoppers Month,

Al Blannin

Al Blannin

January is Crime Stoppers Month,

and 100 Mile House RCMP Sgt. Don McLean says community members offering tips really do assist police in deterring crime.

Mclean is also the detachment liaison officer for Crime Stoppers, and he says the program continues to be successful in terms of investigations.

“I think we’ve slowed down a bit for the tips coming in, but overall it takes nothing away from the success of the program.”

He explains that RCMP are still pursuing some of last year’s tips, most of which relate to drug production or trafficking.

Sometimes a fear of retribution or a perceived danger prevents people from contacting police directly, he notes.

“We encourage people who wish to report crimes but are hesitant about coming forward directly to the detachment or speaking in person to a member to use the program.”

The names of

those who provide tips remain private at the Crime Stoppers level and they will never be called to court, McLean explains.

“We have no contact with [callers] at the police level whatsoever.”

The more information the better

when it comes to observing and reporting suspicious activity, he says, adding it’s very helpful if tipsters who come across more information call in again.

Al Blannin has been chair of Crime Stoppers of the South Cariboo (CSSC) since its inception as a society in 1996.

There were 44 tips in 2010 leading to three arrests and

five charges laid, she says, adding two rewards were approved for drug-related crimes.

The total seizure for drugs last year was worth $818,000 in street value, Blannin notes.

She agrees with McLean that the more details provided the better, but notes every tip is useful, even if only limited information is available.

Blannin adds

people with information who do not

want to “become involved” only need to call the toll-free number and are guaranteed anonymity.

The CSSC finances the rewards and maintenance of the program entirely from local fundraising, she explains.

They rely on their annual golf tournament as their biggest fundraiser, but Blannin says some other simultaneous events and poor weather affected the turnout last fall.

“It’s not a large budget by any means, but last year, we just barely made our annual expenses.”

A raffle is held each summer with the draw made at the tournament, which also helps bring in the dollars to keep the program going, so Blannin encourages folks to participate in both activities if they can.

Says McLean: “The [SCCS] group that is involved [includes) very dedicated people in the community. They volunteer a considerable amount of time and effort into maintaining the program and [also into] fundraising for their payouts.”

Tips may result in callers receiving a cash reward of up to $2,000 upon an arrest and charge laid for the crime.

By phone, call Crime Stoppers TIP line at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), or leave a secure tip online at www.bccrime

stoppers.com/links.php.

They don’t use call display and they don’t want your name, phone number or e-mail address. They only need your tip.