What is Crime Stoppers?
Comox Valley Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that takes calls from people who want to report a crime and wish to remain totally anonymous. Coomox Valley Crime Stoppers is one way that citizens can assist law enforcement by providing information and never having to identify themselves or testify in court.
What type of calls does Crime Stoppers take?
Comox Valley Crime Stoppers takes tips about crimes that have already been committed or are about to occur for example: stolen property, narcotics, or any other criminal activity.
If you aren't sure that what you saw or heard is really a crime, call anyway. Let law enforcement decide if it's worth investigating. It may be a piece of a puzzle to help solve a big crime.
What if the caller is the victim?
If the caller is a victim, they must report the crime to the police or a “Victim Services” program. A victim cannot report a crime to Comox Valley Crime Stoppers because they would be identified by the information and therefore lose their anonymity.
How does Crime Stoppers work?
Crime Stoppers can take your anonymous information three ways:
• Call to our trained information takers at 1-800-222-8477
• Type your information into our secure on-line tip submit form at : www.comoxvalleycrimestoppers.bc.ca
• Text us your information by sending the keyword cvstips to 274637
Your anonymous information is then passed along to the investigators at the appropriate law enforcement agency. The “TIPSTER" (that's you) is never identified but is assigned a code number. The tip is investigated. The police will inform Crime Stoppers on how the case is progressing so it is important for the TIPSTER to call back for an update on the case during regular business hours (a number will be provided for you to call back).
What happens to my information after I provide it?
After you give us your information, we create a report that brings together all the information you provided. Our trained information takers will check to make sure that the report contains no information that might identify you.
The report is sent to the relevant law enforcement agency who will investigate the information. They have the legal responsibility to investigate the information prior to acting on it to ensure the information is correct and not given to us maliciously in order to set someone up.
Nothing happened after I called Comox Valley Crime Stoppers; why?
It may take some time before the police act on the information you have given. There could be many reasons for that; the information may be part of a larger investigation and visible action might be delayed for some time or the information may remain on file to be used at a later time. Even if your information appears not to have been used or if you don’t see a quick resolution, don’t think your information was not useful.
Feel free to call back at any time to add or update information or to just check on the status of your tip. Make sure you give your personal code when you call; otherwise Comox Valley Crime Stoppers will not give you any information about your tip.
Does Comox Valley Crime Stoppers have call display or call trace on their telephones or have access to my IP address?
Comox Valley Crime Stoppers does not have call display or call trace on any of its telephones nor do we record any calls and your IP address is not available to us. That would be in direct contradiction to one of the cornerstones of the Crime Stoppers program - anonymity. Crime Stoppers guarantees that you will remain anonymous no matter how you provide us your information. If we subscribed to call display or call trace that guarantee of anonymity would be gone and the program would suffer serious consequences.
Is Comox Valley Crime Stoppers run by the RCMP?
Comox Valley Crime Stoppers is not run by the police. We are separate and apart from any Law Enforcement Agency. Comox Valley Crime Stoppers is a non-profit, charitable program run by volunteers from the community. The individuals who have given their time to sit on local committees or the Board of Directors cannot be employed by any law enforcement agency. All the money raised for Crime Stoppers comes through donations or fund raising. Police agencies provide no financial support to Crime Stoppers, although they do designate a member of their service to act as a coordinator.
How can you guarantee anonymity?
Comox Valley Crime Stoppers can offer anonymity to its callers because of a legal rule of evidence, which says police do not have to reveal information which might identify a person who supplies them with information concerning criminal activity. In February of 1997 the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided that callers to Crime Stoppers programs were entitled to the protection of this privilege. In a typical case which started from a Crime Stoppers tip, the identity of the informer is unknown to both the Crime Stoppers Coordinator who took the call or on line tip and the case investigator. The Supreme Court went on to confirm that the privilege is so broad in scope it prevents disclosure not only of the name of the informer (even if it were it to be known) but also of any information which might implicitly reveal his or her identity. This is the premise behind the claim that "Crime Stoppers guarantees the tipsters anonymity."
How do I collect my reward?
If the information is good and law enforcement uses the information to help solve a crime, you may be eligible for a reward of up to $2,000.00. A reward must be recommended and approved by the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers. Once the reward is approved, arrangements are made for the caller to pick up their cash reward in a way that is secure.