Crime Stoppers tips lead to four arrests in 2016

Four arrests were made, six charges were laid and stolen property, to the tune of $30,000, was recovered by RCMP last year thanks to tips from the public through Campbell River Crime Stoppers.

Jim Forsyth, president of Campbell River Crime Stoppers, said the non-profit society received 245 calls in 2016 which resulted in 203 tips.

“As a result of these tips, four arrests were made in the commmunity; there were nine cases cleared from six charges laid,” Forsyth told city council at its Jan. 23 meeting.

“It was an average year,” he continued. “There was nothing special about the numbers because the program was through a bit of a transition.”

Crime Stoppers hired a new coordinator, the organization’s only paid position, in early April when it brought Rob Hickey on board. Prior to that, Crime Stoppers was functioning without a coordinator for a few months as a result of the departure of Pat Patterson who took a job with the City of Campbell River as a bylaw officer.

It was Patterson who told city council in February, 2015, that Campbell River had the best Crime Stoppers program in all of B.C. At that time, statistics showed that Campbell River led the province in arrests made, cases cleared and charges laid as a result of tips received.

Crime Stoppers is a vehicle that allows citizens to anonymously report knowledge of a crime or potential crime without fear of reprisal. Information that leads to an arrest is rewarded.

Forsyth said in Campbell River, three rewards ($70, $215 and $225) were paid out last year, totalling $510.

“So, a relatively small year,” Forsyth said, adding that since Crime Stoppers’ inception in Campbell River nearly 30 years ago, almost $68,000 has been paid out in reward money.

“So quite an investment in the community of Campbell River,” said Forsyth, who noted that rewards haven’t been given out as often in the past few years, because of changes in criminal activities and the work of local RCMP.

But that’s not to say the support has not been there.

Forsyth said Crime Stoppers’ Facebook page and website are popular with Campbell River residents.

The website last year received 122,994 hits.

“It’s been quite an active website over the past few years,” Forsyth said. “We’re getting lots of information coming through.

“We’re also on Facebook and Twitter and we get most of our tip activity through Facebook – they love us,” Forsyth said, adding that submitting a tip to Crime Stoppers is easy as tipsters can either call, text, visit the website or use social media. “We are connected, especially in Campbell River. The program has been recognized in the past a number of times as one of the best programs in British Columbia.”

At last week’s council meeting, Mayor Andy Adams thanked Crime Stoppers for the work its coordinator and volunteer members do.

“Thank you for the work you do in being our eyes on the street, our eyes on the alleys, our eyes on our businesses and our eyes on our homes,” Adams said. “We are indebted to you for the work you do.”

Top tips received by offence (2016)

n Drugs/Trafficking 30

n Graffiti 24

n Drugs 20

n Outstanding warrants 16

n Theft 16

n Homicide 6

n Robbery 6

n Break and Enter 6

To get in touch with Campbell River Crime Stoppers call 1-800-222-8477 or visit, campbellriver.crimestoppersweb.com or the Campbell River Crime Stoppers Facebook page.