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Crimestoppers

Crimestoppers

Crimestoppers operates across the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man to help identify, prevent, solve and reduce crime. This invaluable community service enables anyone with details of criminal activity to pass them on anonymously, without fear of exposure or retribution. The Isle of Man has its own board and charity which supports, funds and raises awareness of Crimestoppers for Isle of Man residents.

All it takes to pass on information is one call to 0800 555 111. Every call is treated with absolute anonymity so that nobody will know the identity of the caller, except you, the caller. Rewards are also available and are paid without compromising a caller’s anonymity. From an Isle of Man perspective calls are all taken off Island to avoid any risk of a caller’s voice being recognised.

Crimestoppers was set up in the United Kingdom 1988 to break the wall of silence that surrounds most crime and that criminals exploit to avoid arrest. The anonymous number provided a lifeline to people who had information that they wanted to share but felt at risk from retribution.

The 0800 555 111 number ensures that no one need ever know who you are when you call. You will not be asked your name, your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to give a statement or go to court.

It is a simple, secure service that allows us to put the police in the picture, without anyone knowing who provided the information that brings criminals to justice. Working in this way we have created a highly effective system built on integrity and trust that works for everyone except criminals.

How it all started

A young man working at a filling station had been shot and killed during a robbery, but the local police made little headway in their investigation. Detectives believed those responsible for the crime were local people, that somebody must have information, and for some reason were unwilling to speak to the police. After 6 weeks, an officer thought of a hotline for callers to pass on information anonymously hoping this may allow people to tell what they knew. He persuaded local businesses to finance the scheme and a television station to publicise it.

The phone line was a great success. Within 72 hours of the broadcast, information led to the arrest of the murderers. Unexpectedly information about many other crimes, some of which had not even been reported to the police, was also received on the hotline. The Crimestoppers concept was born. From this the Crimestoppers concept has spread throughout the USA, Canada and Australia as well as the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man.

When the idea came to the United Kingdom, it initially operated independently in a number of towns and cities. A charity, Community Action Trust, had already been set up by several businessmen led by Lord Ashcroft, KCMG. This charity was aimed at seeking ways for the public to help the police in solving serious crime. Crimestoppers was the scheme adopted by the charity and the businessmen subscribed funds of £500,000 to get the project started. In January 1988, Crimestoppers was introduced by the Metropolitan Police as the first force wide scheme and it has spread to every other police force in the United Kingdom since then and also operates in the Isle of Man and Channel Islands.

Crimestoppers in the United Kingdom

Crimestoppers, a registered charity, in the United Kingdom and is separately registered for Isle of Man purposes in the Island. The mission of Crimestoppers is to create an alliance to fight crime. The charitable objectives are:

  • the promotion and encouragement of good citizenship and greater public participation in the prevention and solution of crime
  • the advancement, promotion and preservation of public law and order
  • the advancement and promotion of efficient policing
  • the furtherance and administration of justice

The Isle of Man charity is responsible for operating and funding the activities of Crimestoppers in the Isle of Man with the phone number 0800 555 111. In essence this means promoting the scheme to those people most likely to use it, and ensuring we have the resources to do this effectively.

Crimestoppers in the United Kingdom is led by a Board of Trustees, the Chairman of which is Lord Ashcroft KCMG, who was instrumental in the founding of Crimestoppers in the United Kingdom. The Trustees work closely with the Chief Executive Mick Laurie who along with senior management, implements the charity's strategic vision.

Similarly Crimestoppers in the Isle of Man is run by a local Board with support from the United Kingdom.

Key facts about Crimestoppers in the United Kingdom:

  • Crimestoppers is the only charity helping to solve crimes
  • Its unique service provides a way to give information on crime anonymously
  • Crime is of great concern to society and donations to Crimestoppers from members of the public are increasing rapidly in the United Kingdom
  • It relies on a network of over 600 volunteers working for their community
  • It supports the work of every police force across the United Kingdom and make a significant contribution to their work
  • It is a member of an international movement of similar Crimestoppers schemes
  • It helps reduce the fear of crime by working with communities to tackle crime problems relevant to them
  • It encourages citizenship amongst young people through delivering educational projects

Since Crimestoppers began in 1988, it has received over 865,000 calls with useful information, resulting in almost 76,000 arrests and charges. Over £95million worth of property has been recovered and more than £132million worth of drugs. Currently, around 17 people each day are arrested and charged as a result of information given to Crimestoppers. Crimestoppers also plays a vital role in making Britain’s communities safer from violent crime. Every seven days, somebody is charged with murder or attempted murder following calls to Crimestoppers.

Surveys show that Crimestoppers has 91% brand awareness across the United Kingdom and can offer an unparalleled and much-needed means of reducing crime.

Crimestoppers Isle of Man was established in 1998 in order to develop the positive impact that Crimestoppers had achieved in United Kingdom. Following recent changes in Board Members in 2006, it was felt useful to review the Board's current approach, and to present updated proposals on the strategic development of Crimestoppers Isle of Man.

Purpose

Principally, to promote the awareness and use of the Crimestoppers number encouraging individuals to view whistle blowing as a positive good, citizen action. Additionally, to target young adults with awareness of the consequences of becoming involved in criminal activity. Overall the Crimestoppers Board will focus upon key issues that affect the Isle of Man.

The Isle of Man Board comprises 13 members of the community who give their time free to co-ordinate promotions that help raise the profile of the Crimestoppers number. These members are:- Phil O'Shea (Chair), Kevin Kneen, Angela Crebbin, Chris Barr, Colin Home, Darren Horrox, David Stacey, Gail Logan, Julian Lalor-Smith, Mike Horsthuis, Sarah Burton, Voirrey Stockdale, Mike Radcliffe (Police).

Crime has affected everyone at some point in their lives in one way or another. It is easy to feel that there is nothing you can do, or to worry about the consequences if you do pass on information. With Crimestoppers you have the power to tackle crime without leaving yourself open. It is easy, it is anonymous, it is up to you. Crimestoppers works.

Every month it receives an average of 6,000 anonymous calls which lead to over 500 arrests across the United Kingdom. Every call is valuable to Crimestoppers. Often your information will be used to help solve existing investigations. Sometimes however, the information may be entirely new to the police and will enable them to tackle crimes that they may otherwise be unaware of. That is why your call to Crimestoppers could be so crucial.

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