Crime Stoppers lacks funding from regional district to follow up on tips

Campbell River Crime Stoppers has a warning for the Strathcona Regional District

Campbell River Crime Stoppers has a warning for the Strathcona Regional District.

It’s going to be wanting some money.

Members presented the regional board last Thursday with a yearly round-up of its activities and accomplishments and at the end of the presentation promised they would return with a funding request.

“We’ll be asking the regional district for money in the fall to start a (regional) program,” said Rob Harris, president of Campbell River Crime Stoppers. “Our thought pattern is a $10,000 investment to get the program started.”

Pat Patterson, the co-ordinator and only paid member of Crime Stoppers, hinted a few weeks ago that the organization would be looking for money from the regional district.

Patterson made a similar presentation to city council and said he would love to see the regional district chip in some funding as the program covers not just Campbell River but the entire Strathcona Regional District as well as the Regional District of Mt. Waddington (North Island).

Since the city of Campbell River pays for Patterson’s co-ordinator position, he is based out of the Campbell River RCMP detachment, making it impossible for him to travel to the outlying areas to follow up on tips and subsequent criminal investigations.

As co-ordinator, Patterson handles tips from the public that may potentially lead to an arrest or recovery of stolen property. If the case is in Campbell River, Patterson can access background information from the RCMP and follow up on tips. He doesn’t have that luxury outside of the city nor the time, with working 30 hour work weeks.

“I don’t have the ability to go out there to places like Sayward, to Quadra, to meet face-to-face with investigators,” Patterson said. “If I had the time to meet face-to-face to follow up on background files like I do in Campbell River, I know we can make the good job we’re doing even better.”

Patterson said he knows of several cases where the person lives in Campbell River but is committing crimes outside of the city.

“There are people living in Campbell River who’ve got grow-ops stored in other communities in the regional district right now,” Patterson said.

He added that funding from the regional district would be put towards advertising and promoting the program to educate and encourage people outside of Campbell River to call Crime Stoppers.

The organization rewards tipsters, who remain anonymous, with up to $2,000 for information that leads to an arrest or the recovery of stolen property.

Last year the organization paid $1,175 in reward money on five different tips. Crime Stoppers handled a total of 295 tips which resulted in 28 arrests made by RCMP and 44 cases were cleared from 43 charges laid in 2013.