Crime Stoppers seeks North Island presence

PORT McNEILL—Delegation from Campbell River lobbies RDMW board for financial assistance for anonymous tip program

PORT McNEILL— Campbell River Crime Stoppers is hoping to expand its footprint in the North Island.

A delegation from the organization appeared at the Jan. 20 Regional District of Mount Waddington board meeting to discuss the program, what it is currently doing in the North Island, and what it would like to do in the future.

“I’m here to shake you down” laughed Campbell River Crime Stoppers President Rob Harris.

“We’re looking for seed money to get our program in this area. We need about $10,000 so we can become self-sufficient,” Harris said.

Those funds would be used for things like operating costs, media releases, advertising, tip rewards, etc.

Campbell River Crime Stoppers, explained Coordinator Pat Patterson, is a not-for-profit charity governed by a civilian community board of directors. Until 2008, a volunteer also filled the coordinator position.

In the spring of 2008, however, the City of Campbell River took ownership of the program and provided funding to employ a coordinator to work 30 hours a week. Patterson currently works out of the Campbell River RCMP detachment.

Additional funding comes from donations, personal and corporate memberships, local service clubs and fund-raising events.

Campbell River Crime Stoppers already has a presence in the Municipal District of Mount Waddington, explained Patterson.

Since 2007, the number of yearly tips from this area has gone from 16 to 32.

Patterson explained tips come in via phone calls, text messages, the Internet, Facebook and Twitter.

Since 1990, a total of 4,854 tips have been received by Campbell River Crime Stoppers, 541 arrests have been made, 1,147 RCMP cases have been cleared, $373,527 worth of property has been recovered and over $8.9 million worth of drugs have been seized thanks to anonymous tips.

While the number of tips is going up, the amount of money being paid out in rewards has gone down from $2,054 in 2013 to $1,400 last year.

“The community doesn’t want to do it for the reward money. They want to do it because it’s the right thing to do,” Patterson said.

“We will definitely put it on our agenda,” said Dave Rushton, chairman of the board of Regional District of Mount Waddington.