Crime Stop tipsters decline rewards

HEAD of Crime Stop Jamaica, Cherise Bruce-Douglas says most tipsters to its anonymous 311 tip line do not request a reward when they provide information to the agency, but tell what they know as part of their civic duty.

She notes that while millions in rewards have been paid out over the 33 years Crime Stop has been in existence, there is a trend of foregoing the rewards, pointing out that last year 1,148 tips were received and only seven per cent of tipsters asked for a reward.

Bruce-Douglas noted as well that of the 52 tips received since the start of January, there has only been one request for reward thus far.

“So it shows a pattern that the majority of citizens give information due to civic duty; they’re not interested in rewards. You have some that are incentivised by the reward but it’s a pleasure to know that the majority of tipsters are not interested in a reward,” she told the Jamaica Observer on Monday.

Since Crime Stop was established in 1989 more than 31,000 tips have been received, which have led to 2,852 arrests. Rewards paid out have amounted to over $62 million, and just over $1 billion in narcotics and property has been recovered.

The Crime Stop manager encouraged citizens to continue to share what they know, assuring that all tips are anonymous.

“You can call the 311 tip line to give information or you can send a web tip by going to www.crimestop.org and choosing ‘Submit a tip’ and you send a web tip anonymously. That information is then sent to law enforcement…for their actioning,” she said.

Bruce-Douglas notes that when tipsters provide information they are given a code number which they can use if they call back to check on the outcome of the information they gave. The Crime Stop boss said if the tip leads to an arrest, investigation, the seizure of illegal drugs or guns, and/or recovery of stolen or illegal property, the tipster is entitled to receive a reward — if it is requested.

Further, she pointed out that the reward is paid in cash and once a request is made, rewards are paid through a trusted disbursement agency that maintains the source’s anonymity. The amount of the reward is determined by guidelines set out by the board of directors.

“We continue to encourage people to use the tip line and to give information….we have had impeccable integrity in terms of citizens’ security and safety and confidentiality and anonymity,” Bruce-Douglas further assured.

People can call the tip line if they have witnessed a crime or have information that could lead to an arrest in a criminal matter.

Crime Stop is a charitable, non-profit organisation that provides a confidential, trustworthy avenue for citizens to anonymously share information on crime. It is administered by the National Crime Prevention Fund and is run under the direction of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ).

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