MPP JOURNAL for the week of August 27, 2021


As Co-Chair of the Ontario Crime Control Commission and Parliamentary Assistant to the Attorney General, I recently joined Premier Mike Harris in promoting Crime Stoppers.

Crime Stoppers is a not-for-profit community based organization that joins together the public, police and media to provide a public safety program in which the public can assist police in solving crimes by providing tips anonymously. Crime Stoppers was the creation of Canadian Greg MacAleese, a detective with the Albuquerque Police Department.

Detective MacAleese was running out of leads in a homicide investigation and appealed to the public for assistance. Anyone who could provide information about the murder was to be eligible for a cash reward. The success of this creation was evident, because within two hours of receiving phone calls, an individual provided a tip which lead to the arrest and conviction of two suspects.

Crime Stoppers encourages the public to call in information to 1-800-222-TIPS, a province-wide toll-free hotline, about crimes that have been committed, are being committed or are about to be committed. Crime Stoppers has become an invaluable investigative tool to Ontario police services.
There are more than 1,100 communities worldwide with Crime Stoppers programs. In November of 1982, Calgary became the first Canadian city to launch the program, followed by Edmonton in 1983. Hamilton was the first city in Ontario to implement a Crime Stoppers program.

There are currently more than 90 programs across Canada, with 39 in Ontario. The toll-free line is available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. Last year, 77,558 calls were received by the 39 call centers. In 2001, to date, 39,441 have already been received province-wide.

More than 800 volunteers sit on the boards of directors for the 39 Crime Stoppers programs throughout the province. They assist by providing insight and direction based on their past experience and professional expertise. The board members also assist in marketing and promoting Crime Stoppers in their local community.

Crime Stoppers has also formed a partnership with the Canadian Coalition Against Insurance Fraud. The public can call Crime Stoppers, which takes the tip anonymously and then refers it to an Insurance Crime Prevention Bureau agent, who investigates the tip with the local police service. Student Crime Stoppers encourages students to call in tips to the toll-free line. Students remain anonymous and are protected from recognition or retaliation from suspects for crimes such as bullying, threatening, assault, theft, graffiti, vandalism, pulling fire alarms, weapons and drugs.

Senior Crime Stoppers encourages seniors to call in tips about crimes and scams to assist police in solving crime and contributing to an improved quality of life by uncovering scams and frauds that target seniors.

Our government has provided the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers with grants totaling $551,850 since 1997 to support a centralized telephone answering system providing one central number to receive tips. In July of this year, Solicitor General David Turnbull announced that our government would be providing the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers with an additional grant of $200,000 to operate its after-hours hotline.

If you know any information about any crime, please call 1-800-222-TIPS.

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