Susan Stickley, Surrey RCMP
We don’t want your name.
We just want your information.
You remain anonymous.
These are well known messages from the BC Crime Stoppers Society.
Block Watch encourages working in partnership with your local police and reporting is a key component in the collaborative crime prevention relationship. However, there are compelling reasons that someone would wish to remain anonymous when reporting a crime and times when contacting your local Crime Stoppers is the appropriate step.
How does it work?
- Reports can be made over the phone or online to your local Crime Stoppers and an App is available for those living in the Metro Vancouver area.
- As the tipster, personal or identifying information will not be recorded, including your IP address if you choose to report online.
- The information will be documented and forwarded to the police or enforcement agency of jurisdiction to investigate.
- If the information could identify you in any way it will not be sent to investigators, likewise, the police may not be able to open an investigation if it will jeopardize your anonymity.
When not to use Crime Stoppers
There are situations when Crime Stoppers should not be used for reporting. If you are reporting about a crime in progress or immediate danger to life or property you should call 9-1-1 for your local police. Not all Crime Stoppers offices are open 24/7. In addition, Crime Stoppers cannot accept a tip if you are the victim of a crime as they are not able to vet your information. In most cases, the police need to speak directly to the victim.
Block Watch encourages contacting your local police as the first option in reporting crime or nuisance activities in your neighbourhood. The police work in partnership with Block Watch and have a vested interest in community safety.
Here are some ways to protect your privacy when reporting to 9-1-1 or the non-emergency line (though anonymity cannot be guaranteed):
- When talking to the call taker, let them know your concerns about your safety and possible retaliation. You can ask them to document it on the file so the investigating officer is aware.
- Request that the assigned officer calls you if they need more information or wants to update you, instead of attending your home or business.
- For follow up you can also ask to meet the investigator at the police office or other location.
Some situations can be sensitive because you know the suspect and want to remain anonymous. You are encouraged to call your local police to report a crime, but if you fear reprisal as a result of reporting, Crime Stoppers can be a valuable tool.