Featured Stories


DECEMBER 2017
OACS Honors Neil Unwin
While helping report and resolve crime is serious business, Crime Stoppers programs across the province still take the time to celebrate the holiday season.

This year’s Christmas luncheon, held Dec. 4 in Toronto, was well attended and gave coordinators, Board members and OACS representatives a chance to gather before the end of the year. 




It was aslo an opportunity to recognize long-serving member Neil Unwin. Unwin, whose home program is Haldimand-Norfolk Crime Stoppers, has not only served at the local level as a Chairman of the Board, but served up to the highest level of OACS as Executive Member and Chair. 

The award was presented following the luncheon by current OACS president Don Hawkins. 




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 The 38th Annual Conference for Crime Stoppers International was an opportunity to recognize the efforts of Ontario-based programs.

Held in Panama City, Panama, the annual conference was well attended by Ontario delegates. Canada Crime Stoppers Association President David Forster returned with awards for programs who were unable to attend. 

Programs who received recognition include (in no particular order):

PRINT MEDIA

Best Special Report/Feature Print Media (300,001-1 million population) - Windsor & Essex County Crime Stoppers for "Canada For Bad Dudes" campaign

Best Special Report/Feature Print Media (1-3 million) - Crime Stoppers of York Region Inc. for "Student Poster Competition"

TELEVISION

Best Special Report/Feature TV (under 300,000) - Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington for "There is No Victimless Crime"

Best Crime of the Week TV (300,001-1 million) - Crime Stoppers of Hamilton Inc. for Robbery: Rexall Pharma Plus

Best Crime of the Week TV (1-3 million) - Toronto Crime Stoppers for Sexual Assault: Brookbanks Park

RADIO

Best Special Report/Feature Radio (300,001-1 million) - Windsor & Essex County Crime Stoppers for Bail or Jail Campaign

Best Public Service Announcement (1-3 million) - Toronto Crime Stoppers for Awareness Campaign: Broadcast in 30 languages

WEBSITE

Best Crime of the Week - Website - (Under 300,000) Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington for Website Redesign csgw.tips

ONLINE EXCELLENCE

Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (Under 300,000) - Engagement: Social Media Platforms

PRODUCTIVITY

Greatest Increase in Arrests (1-3 million) - Crime Stoppers of York Region Inc. - 35% increase 2015-16

SPECIALIZED PROGRAM AWARDS

Best Youth Engagement Program (1-3 million) - Toronto Crime Stoppers for School Symposium: be the change you want to see

Best Environmental Crime Program - Crime Stoppers of York Region Inc. for Wildlife Symposium

PAUL D BOUDREAU COORDINATOR OF THE YEAR AWARD 2017
Sergeant Trevor Hanko - York Regional Police & Crime Stoppers of York Region

Congratulations to all the programs who submitted entries!


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Long before this year’s group of ‘Trick-or-Treaters’ was born, Smiths Falls & District Crime Stoppers started a Halloween tradition. At the dawn of a new millennium, and with the expectation of changes to come, Crime Stoppers started to look at new and innovative ways to serve and engage this community. It was decided that one way to help would be to assist the police and the community with ‘Halloween Patrols’ – something that continues to this day. 

Each year, for almost two decades, Crime Stoppers has provided notice to the Smiths Falls Police Service of their intention to go out on patrol on Oct. 31. These patrols are designed to put more eyes and ears out on our streets to make sure that everyone has a wonderful time. 

Over the years, Crime Stoppers members have enjoyed the greatest of experiences on this evening – from young costumed revellers giving a big wave, to the parents calling out friendly greetings as the van slowly passes by on crowded streets. Throughout the evening, past members of the Crime Stoppers board are visited and are expected to open their doors to share a few laughs, share fond memories of their time with Crime Stoppers…and to share any extra chocolate they may have on hand. 

In more recent times, the Halloween Patrol idea has developed into regular community outings that take place throughout the year. Crime Stoppers puts together a monthly schedule of van patrols so that all members have the opportunity to socialize with fellow Crime Stoppers, meet and spend time with members of the community and remind the community that we are here to help. We as a community are very fortunate to have such a safe and wonderful area for all to enjoy Halloween. Working together as a community, we can always keep it this way.

Reminders: 
If you need to report an emergency on Halloween – or at any time – call ‘911’ (Crime Stoppers is not an emergency service) 
If you need to report something ‘Safely & Anonymously ‘– call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) 
So, if you should happen to see the van out again this year, feel free to wave or give a shout-out to the members. From all members of the Smiths Falls & District Crime Stoppers, Have a Safe & Happy Halloween! 
 

Did you know? Crime Stoppers does not receive funding from any level of government. Crime Stoppers operates exclusively on funds raised by the board members of each individual program and on donations provided by the public. Crime Stoppers is making a difference in your community! If you would like to make a donation or if you have time to volunteer with Smiths Falls and District Crime Stoppers, please contact Carl Evoy at 613-283-2444.

Submitted by the Smiths Falls Police Service and Crime Stoppers

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Category: Conferences


The Board of Directors of Toronto Crime Stoppers, and Police Coordinator Chris Scherk, are joined by Crime Stoppers representatives from programs throughout the GTA and Southwestern Ontario as they launch a Human Trafficking Awareness initative at Toronto Police Services headquarters on August 1. 
Images, which will be posted in various locations, such as the TTC. The launch also introduced a dedicated website, www.hoteldejeunesse.com, which educates the public on how to identify and report incidences of Human Trafficking. 
 

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WHY CAN’T MY CRIME STOPPERS PROGRAM APPLY FOR PROCEEDS OF CRIME FUNDS?

 

Consider seeking a Charitable Donation

 

 A question we get a lot at the OACS is in regards to proceeds of crime, and specifically if/how a program can apply to have funding from them.

Well, let’s take a look at Proceeds of Crime legislation and procedures in Canada and see how the process works:

First, it’s important to note that although Canada uses a FEDERAL Criminal Statute, i.e. The Criminal Code of Canada,  it’s the provinces responsibility to prosecute crimes under that statute.  In Ontation, it’s the Ministry of the Attorney General ‘s office or MAG that is responsible for prosecuting murders, robberies, shoplifters and the like.  The Federal Government however, is responsible for prosecuting drugs and income tax (although it seems like they change their name every couple of years, they’re currently known as the Public Prosecution Service of Canada).  In real terms, this means at a typical Criminal Court you’ll have two sets of Crown Attorney’s, one set that works for the province and one set that works for the Federal Government.

As mentioned drug offences are prosecuted by the PPSC federally.  This is key to this article, because drugs generate far and away the most seized cash proceeds and are also among many programs top arrests from tips.

So how do we (the hard working Crime Stopper programs of Ontario) get our hands on all of this drug money? 

Let’s take a look at the legislation.   In 1993 Parliament passed the Seized Property Management Act (SPMA).  Along with the legislation a Federal entity known as the Seized Property Management Directorate, or SPMD was created to manage the seizures.  Under the SPMA, the SPMD is tasked with sharing the funds as specified in Section 10.

The section states “Where a law enforcement agency in Canada has participated in the investigation of an offence that leads to…. (Forfeiture, fines, etc.) ….. the Minister shall in accordance with the regulations, share the proceeds of disposition of that forfeited property or any mount paid or recovered on account of the fine, as the case may be.”

So the good news is that the SPMD  is bound by statute to share the profits with participating law enforcement agencies, but….  as you all know, while a key law enforcement partner, Crime Stoppers programs in Canada are NOT law enforcement agencies, but not-for-profit charities.  So…. in short, no proceeds money for us under the SPMA, as we fall outside the statue’s parameters.

This DOESN’T mean there’s no way of getting money from court proceedings though.  Crime Stopper programs are encouraged to educate their local judges and crown attorneys (from both agencies) to the fact that Crime Stoppers IS a not-for-profit charity and that we DON’T receive any funding.  A huge number of first time offenders are diverted (limited or no criminal record) with a donation to a charity as a sentencing option.  I can remember being a young officer in court in the 90s. and M.A.D.D. had an absolute lockdown with the provincial courts in regards to impaired driving fines, and would routinely collect three to five hundred dollars per case.

I can’t think of a better pitch to a judge than a donation to a charity that seeks to protect the public while providing an opportunity to report crime anonymously.  While often going up against other charities that perhaps pull more urgently at the heart strings, in this specific instance we should find ourselves right in their wheelhouse.

Charitable donations at court sentencing no longer seem to be the de rigueur they once were, (and the PPSC even has procedures discouraging it’s Crown’s from using them) it’s the recommendation of the OACS that it is worth the time to reach out to those local judges and crowns, build those relationships, and perhaps ultimately help your program financially.

 Chris Scherk

Coordinator - Toronto Crime Stoppers

OACS Director

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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 Relive the 2017 OACS Conference hosted by Waterloo Regional Crime Stoppers at the Contestoga College Doon Campus.



















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Launched during Crime Stoppers month this year London Elgin Middlesex Crime Stoppers held their annual video contest for secondary school students within the Thames Valley and Catholic District school boards. The theme this year was “Distracted Driving”. 

Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, injury and death on our roads. With 21 entries it was a hard decision to choose the top three. Judging by the board was completed and the winners announced at a media event. Teachers, parents and grand-parents attended with the students that day. CTV London attended and showed the awards on the 6 and 11 pm news. CBC Ontario Morning interviewed the students as well. First place went to Catholic Central, second place to A. B. Lucas and third place to Saunders. Prizes awarded to each of the four person teams were 1st- iPads, 2nd- Best Buy gift cards, 3rd- Best Buy gift cards. 

The videos were very well done and showed attention and imagination to the topic. The winning video can be seen on our Facebook page with the following link: 

https://www.facebook.com/diego.cardenas.140/videos/1626529814045191/ 

 

This annual event gives LEM Crime Stoppers great community exposure and involvement with the student population. Congratulations to the top teams and to all of the students for taking the time to enter. 

London Elgin Middlesex Crime Stoppers

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Peterborough-Northumberland Crime Stoppers just completed their 2017 Partners in Education program with the local public schools.  Partners in Education are made up of Canadian Mental Health, Peterborough-Northumberland Crime Stoppers and the Peterborough Petes who promote healthy choices and anti bullying.  This is our fourth year and we have visited over 100 schools!


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Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers Congratulates David Forster, new President of the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association

 

 

August 4, 2016

 

 

On June 25, 2016, at the Annual General Meeting in Toronto, David Forster, Past President of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers, was elected President of the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association.

 

David has served as the elected Canadian Representative to Crime Stoppers International on the CCSA Board for 3 years, in addition to honourably leading the province’s 38 programs as President of the OACS.

 

David’s commitment to improving the relationship between Canadian and American Crime Stoppers programs, as well as his wish to develop the CCSA into a leader for programs nationwide, will serve him well during his term.

 

The OACS Board of Directors wishes to thank David for his tireless service to the provincial association and wishes him great success for his future with the Canadian Crime Stoppers Associations.

 

 

For more information:

Meaghan Gray

OACS Communications

647-530-8911

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Category: August 2016


August 4, 2016
President Update

Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers 

President Update 

“For the last 4 years, I have proudly served as President of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers. During that time, I have happily led a group of dedicated volunteers who have shared a common vision: to raise awareness about Crime Stoppers and support Ontario programs. We have accomplished many great things, from our annual training conference to new partnerships aimed at improving community safety; I believe the last few years have been very productive. As always, there is more work to be done. The OACS will continue to be the leader our programs need and I have every confidence in our new President, Neil Unwin, to take the association to the next level. I wish to thank the Board members across Ontario for their commitment to the Crime Stoppers mandate. Please know I am still involved in the Crime Stoppers family. While I continue to serve on my own local board in York Region and as Past President of the OACS, I am also moving on to new challenges. Thank you again for your support.” 

Dave Forster

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For Immediate Release              Contacts:  

June 03, 2016                              Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers: Dave Forster, 888-284-4458

                                                     GLFC: Marc Gaden, 734-417-8012

                                                                                                                       

                                                                                                                       

 

CRIME STOPPERS AND GREAT LAKES FISHERY COMMISSION TAKE STEPS TO STOP ILLEGAL LAKE STURGEON TRADE

 

The Great Lakes Fishery Commission, the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and Crime Stoppers USA will be unveiling their co-venture on Saturday, June 4th, 2016.

 

The official announcement will be made simultaneously at the Blue Water Sturgeon Festival in Port Huron, Michigan and at the Annual Ontario Crime Stoppers Training Conference in Sudbury, Ontario. This initiative is aimed at educating and encouraging individuals to help put an end to this shocking crime. It is a fact that the trafficking of wildlife is comparable at a global scale with the illegal trade in guns, drugs, and people. 

 

Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) are often referred to as living fossils because they belong to a prehistoric family of fish that has survived for more than 60 million years.  They can grow quite large (up to 185 kg/400 lbs) and are also one of the longest living fish in existence.  One lake sturgeon was determined to be 154 years old! 

 

The largest proportion of the global population lies in the Great Lakes and the St. Lawrence River basin areas where numerous management and recovery plans are in place among and between states and provinces sharing boundary waters.  Commercial harvest of lake sturgeon is prohibited in all U.S. waters and strictly managed in Canadian waters with closed seasons, size limits and gear restrictions. Well-regulated sport fisheries occur throughout the northern part of their range in the U.S. and Canada.

 

Several species of sturgeon around the world, including lake sturgeon, have become a species at risk due to the destruction of their natural habitat and to intensive illegal trade, locally and internationally, of their meat, caviar and other products derived from the species.  According to experts the number of sturgeon caught illegally is equal to or exceeds the number caught legally.

 

To protect lake sturgeon from extinction, many countries have joined the Convention on International Trade of Endangered Species (CITES), which has identified lake sturgeon as a species prone to extinction if illegal harvest, transport and trade is not controlled. To help control trade, lake sturgeon are considered a species at risk in Ontario and are listed as threatened or endangered in certain jurisdictions of the United States.  These designations, and the regulations that come with them, are designed to protect lake sturgeon from over-fishing and the illegal commercialization of their highly prized caviar and meat.

 

“The illegal trade of wildlife is the fourth most lucrative criminal activity world-wide, only exceeded by the trade of narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking", says David Forster, President of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and the elected Canadian Representative to Crime Stoppers International. "Crime Stopper programs throughout Ontario, Canada and the world are assisting law enforcement by engaging the community to anonymously report these illegal activities to Crime Stoppers.”

 

“The Great Lakes Fishery Commission knows that sustainable fisheries are impossible without vigorous law enforcement,” said Robert Hecky, chair of the Commission. “Nothing illustrates that connection better than the dire situation we find ourselves in with lake sturgeon. Today, we are at a crossroads and decisions that people make to break the chain of illegal activities will decide the fate of this species. I believe people, given the information, will do the right thing.”

 

The Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers, Crime Stoppers USA and the Great Lakes Fishery Commission, encourage people to get involved and help prevent lake sturgeon poaching and illegal trade. You can help by:

 

1.     Knowing where products are coming from and asking questions, such as being aware of where your caviar and meat came from to ensure it was legally captured and harvested.

 

2.     Reporting illegal activity.  If you suspect poaching or illegal selling of wildlife, call Crime Stoppers toll-free any time anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tip line at 1-877-847-7667 or any local natural resources tip line in your area.

 

3.     Spreading the word. Many people don’t realize that in general taking animals from the wild and selling them is illegal.

 

4.     Watching for suspicious activity in fishing areas, including lake sturgeon capture, killing, caviar harvesting and transporting. 

 

Jill Wingfield, Communications Program Manager, Great Lakes Fishery Commission and David Forster, President of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and the elected Canadian Representative to Crime Stoppers International, will be presenting this co-venture at the respective locations to support the advertising campaign, which focuses on the illegal harvest and trade of lake sturgeon

 

 

 

 

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Here is your chance to own a Crime Stoppers Sweater.  All sizes sweaters and hoodies are available. Click on the banner above to be taken to the Barbarian site.
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Category: October 2014


9 March 2015
Slavery
Through this project CSI is seeking to enhance its capability to acquire intelligence anonymously from the global community which law enforcement can use to dismantle criminal networks, and arrest the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

 
Funds raised from this appeal will be used to:

· Build a new intelligent driven information management software application. This application will possess a user friendly interface with latest generation data capture & data mining functionalities.

· Maintain optimum human resource capacity levels at our international call centre to ensure the effective and efficient monitoring and dissemination of intelligence.

To learn more about this appeal and how you can contribute please visit the link Slavery: a modern day crime: help end it

 

Your contribution, no matter the amount will go a long way in helping to stop slavery. Please share this link with all of your friends and contacts.


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Improved Crime Stoppers tips net more guns, stolen property, arrests

Erin McCracken

Ottawa East News I Jan 22, 2016

Taking part in a ceremony at Ottawa police headquarters on Jan. 22 to mark January as Crime Stoppers Month were OC Transpo Supt. Jim McIntyre, left, OPP east region insp. Stephanie Patterson, Crime Stoppers coordinator Ottawa police Sgt. Arthur Wong, Richard McMullen, president o! National Capital Area Crime Stoppers, Ottawa Centre MPP YasIr Naqvi, Coon, Eli El-Chantiry, Ottawa police Chief Charter Bordeleau and Dave Forster, president of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers.
While tips to Ottawa’s Crime Stoppers program were down four per cent last year compared to 2014, the quality of tips improved, allowing police to net more guns, drugs, stolen property and suspects.

"The quality of the tips has dramatically improved and that helps investigators when they go to close a case or investigation," said Richard McMullen, president of National Capital Area Crime Stoppers, one of 38 chapters in Ontario. "Clearly, the number of results, in terms of arrests and criminal cases being cleared, has dramatically increased."

Last year, 3,900 calls came in, and tipsters are providing more details, such as a suspect’s last known address and full name.

That has helped police recover more stolen property. Last year, investigators seized $81,123 worth, compared to just $2,625 in 2014, likely up because of the higher value of property recovered, McMullen said.


Tips also led police to 15 guns in 2015, up from five in 2014.

"Gun violence is something that we take seriously, as do the police partners that we engage with, and 15 fewer firearms is significant," McMullen said.

"For the police, the Crime Stoppers program contributes to shorter investigations and better evidence," Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau said during a ceremony at Ottawa police headquarters on Jan. 22 to recognize the organization’s success last year and mark January as Crime Stoppers Month.

Tips to Ottawa’s Crime Stoppers also led to 74 arrests in 2015, an increase from 36 the year before.

The quality of the tips resulted in the approval of $13,750 in reward money to tipsters last year, up from $6,740 in 2014; made possible by sponsors, fundraisers and private donations.

Criminal charges laid in Ottawa also rose a result. There were 291 charges laid in 2015, an increase from 150 in 2014. Police also seized $179,389 in narcotics last year, up from $104,617 the year before, thanks to anonymous tips.

"That has a direct impact on making our community safe," said Bordeleau, who was joined at the ceremony by McMullen, Ottawa police Chief Charles Bordeleau, West Carleton-March Coun. Eli El-Chantiry, chair of the Ottawa police services board, Dave Forster, president of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers, and Ottawa Centre MPP Yasir Naqvi, minister of community safety and correctional services.

The ministry provides the Ontario association with $225,000 annually to help fund the Ontario Crime Stoppers 24-hour call centre.

"I can’t help but think an increase in all of these reported metrics has something to do with our increased engagement with the community," said McMullen.

The 31-year-old organization, which was on the brink of bankruptcy in 2012-13, has doubled its efforts since then to boost its presence at community events, including in vulnerable Ottawa neighbourhoods.

"Sometimes it might be a Saturday group barbecue in Russell Heights or any number of communities," McMullen said. "We’ve done a fair bit of work at the Jasmine Crescent community and participated in grassroots community events (where) we’re able to get exposure and be out in the community."

Media partners and social media have helped get the word out, linking the public with videos, images and descriptions of crimes and suspects.

Continued exposure is key to dispelling misconceptions that tipsters who report information to Crime Stoppers are expected to testify in court or their information is passed on to police, McMullen said.

"We are not the police. We are independent," he said. "We don’t take the (caller’s) information to begin with."

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Captain Canuck rappels into the Headquarters lobby

Captain Canuck Fighting Crime

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 3:44 p.m. January 7, 2016

 The proof is in the numbers, when it comes to judging the Toronto Crime Stoppers program success.

 Of the 8,790 anonymous tips received last year, 107 arrests were made and 439 charges laid. In addition, over $7.3 million worth of drugs were seized and $578,615 in property recovered.

Mayor John Tory, also a member of the Toronto Police Services Board, said the program is an essential to the work of the police and community to maintain a safe city.

“One of the most precious attributes of a city is that it’s safe,” said Tory, at this year’s Crime Stoppers Month launch at police headquarters on January 7. “That’s a lot because of the people and how they learn to live with each other. It’s a lot about the excellence of our police service. But it is also because those two groups of people – the police and the public – have engaged with each other, not just day-to-day on the streets and in the parks and neighbourhoods and so on, but in terms of helping each other to do their job.”

As part of this year’s launch, attended by Market Lane Junior & Senior Public School Grade Four students, a special edition Captain Canuck Crime Stoppers comic book was unveiled and is available free at Mac’s Convenience stores across the province. The comic book special issue features the “Crime Stopper” character and information about the Crime Stoppers program.

Chief Mark Saunders said the program is one of the most successful when it comes to enhancing community safety. 

Chief Mark Saunders and Mayor John Tory with kids from Market Lane Junior & Senior Public School


“The key to this success is the fact that we have citizens who care and that’s what separates Toronto from so many other cities,” he said. “The program works when people call. If they don’t call, there is no success.”

Saunders also praised the media, saying they are the driving force in getting the message out.

In their quest for an investigative lead, police turn to the media and the public for help. Individuals are encouraged to leave anonymous tips at (416) 222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-222-TTIPS (8477), visit  222tips.com or by texting “TOR” and their messages to CRIMES (274637).

The Toronto Crime Stoppers program was launched in 1984, after then-Chief Jack Marks asked now-retired Staff Superintendent Gary Grant – a Sergeant at the time – to start the initiative.

In the last 32 years, Toronto Police has received 124,947 tips which have led to 10,839 arrests and 36,896 charges. A total of $63,779,707 worth of property has been recovered and $312,511,888 in drugs seized in that period.

There are close to 1,300 Crime Stoppers programs in nearly 20 countries.

Cash rewards of up to $2,000 are offered to individuals whose tips lead to an arrest.

Through tips, investigators arrested the parents of “Baby Angelica,” who was abandoned in a parking garage freezing stairwell in 2008, and three teenagers who beat a homeless woman on Yonge St. three years ago. The program also helped police make an $18 million drug seizure in 2011 and arrests in the deadly Eaton Centre and Danzig St. shootings.

 

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The public is invited to make donations and all monies donated will be used to support Crime Stoppers programs in the province where the money is collected. 7- Eleven Canada and Crime Stoppers in Canada have a maintained a long-standing partnership in fostering safer communities . 

In 2014, thanks to the support of 7 Eleven store customers through the donation canister program, over $28,000.00 was collected and donated to local provincial Crime Stoppers programs. These funds are used to ensure that the Crime Stoppers 24/7 anonymous tip line is available for use by all citizens. 

Crime Stoppers is a volunteer-run program to support safe communities in Canada.  A Crime Stoppers Board of Directors is drawn from citizens in the community and this Board monitors local Crime Stoppers administrative activities, solicits and controls funding and determines reward payouts for successful Crime Stopper tips.  Municipal Police and the RCMP work cooperatively to manage Crime Stoppers policing issues.

Crime Stoppers allows citizens to ANONYMOUSLY supply investigators with information about a crime or potential crime for which they have knowledge without fear of reprisal. When a citizen becomes aware of criminal activity, he/she can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222- TIPS (8477) from anywhere in Canada and report what they know.  Tipsters can also provide information online through an encrypted tip taking system. Tipsters who contact Crime Stoppers are never identified. They never have to give a name or phone number.  They never have to testify in court. And tipsters could receive a cash reward of up to $2000 upon an arrest and charge.  Crime Stoppers is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


If you have information about a crime, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477

You will never have to give your name.

There is no call display or record of a Crime Stoppers phone call of any kind.

 
For more information contact:

Tim Kelley


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TORONTO ZOO AND CRIME STOPPERS TAKE STEPS

TO STOP ILLEGAL TURTLE TRADE

 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015 Toronto, Ontario — The Toronto Zoo and the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers unveiled their latest co-venture, today at the Zoo. John Tracogna, CEO Toronto Zoo, Dr. Andrew Lentini, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles Toronto Zoo, and David Forster, President of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and the elected Canadian Representative to Crime Stoppers International, were in attendance to support the newest advertising campaign, which focuses on the illegal harvest and trade of turtles. This initiative is aimed at educating and encouraging individuals to help put an end to this shocking crime. It is a fact that the trafficking of wildlife is on par with the illegal trade in guns, drugs and people. 

 

Like elephant ivory and rhino horns, turtles taken from the wild are part of a global illegal wildlife trade estimated to be worth as much as $30 billion a year.  Whether it’s a professional poacher involved in the illegal pet trade, or an individual capturing and trying to sell a rare species, the trade in turtles is a real and serious issue in our own backyards.  Rare turtles in Ontario such as wood turtles, spotted turtles and Blanding’s turtles are prized by collectors addicted to adding these species to their collections.  Species such as snapping turtles are wanted for both food and for collectors.

    

Seven of eight turtle species in Ontario are at risk and although several factors contribute to this issue, illegal turtle trade is something that can be reduced through education and the public’s willingness to report suspected illegal activities through avenues like Crime Stoppers.  Given the length of time most turtles take to mature and reproduce, taking even one turtle from the wild can hurt the entire population.  As they continue to lose habitat, are hit by vehicles, and their eggs are eaten by predators such as skunks and raccoons, turtle poaching and trade could tip the scale. By submitting your observations about these illegal activities you contribute to the protection of all turtle species. 

 

“Poaching is a serious issue which can have detrimental impacts on the sustainability of turtle populations,” says Dr. Andrew Lentini, Curator of Amphibians and Reptiles Toronto Zoo. “The Toronto Zoo is proud to be a long-standing partner of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers. The partnership between Toronto Zoo and Crime Stoppers to address the serious issue of illegal turtle, and other wildlife harvest and trade provides the ideal communications network for these issues”.

“The illegal trade of wildlife is the fourth most lucrative criminal activity world-wide, only exceeded by the trade of narcotics, counterfeiting and human trafficking", says David Forster, President of the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers and the elected Canadian Representative to Crime Stoppers International. "Crime Stopper programs throughout Ontario, Canada and the world are assisting law enforcement by engaging the community to anonymously report these illegal activities to Crime Stoppers”.

Crime Stoppers and the Toronto Zoo, encourage people to get involved and help prevent turtle poaching. You can help by:

 

1.     Become a citizen scientist! Contribute sightings of turtles you see in the wild to Ontario Turtle Tally at torontozoo.com. The data you submit is used to map species’ locations across the province, and helps crime fighters and biologists identify areas where at risk populations live, and be vigilant in those areas.

 

2.     If you suspect poaching, call Crime Stoppers toll-free any time anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477) or call the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry tip line at 1-877-847-7667.

 

3.    Spread the word. Many people don’t realize that taking threatened animals from the wild is illegal.

 

4.    Watch for suspicious activity in natural areas, including off-trail activities, overnight parking, or anglers carrying unusual equipment such as snares or a large number of buckets.

 

To learn more about Crime Stoppers please visit ontariocrimestoppers.ca

 

CLICK HERE to download the poster.

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TORONTO ZOO AND CRIME STOPPERS RECEIVE FIRST EVER COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP AWARD 

 

Former President of the OACS, Dave Forster, now President of the Canadian Association of Crime Stoppers, attended the Crime Stoppers International (CSI) Conference in Trinidad October of 2016. At this conference Crime Stoppers Ontario Association was awarded the first ever Community Partnership Environmental Award in CSI history. Recognized were the Toronto Zoo, OACS and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for their ongoing work raising awareness of the illegal wildlife trade in Canada, focusing on the illegal harvest and trade of turtles.


Wildlife trafficking crimes are on par with the illegal trade in guns, drugs and people, and are estimated to be worth as much as $30 billion a year. On Thursday, 2016-01-19 Dave Forster, President of The Canadian Association of Crime Stoppers and Paula Norlock, Provincial Enforcement Specialist, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, Enforcement Branch presented John Tracogna, Chief Executive Officer Toronto Zoo with the award. Joining Mr. Tracogna for the presentation were Dr. Andrew Lentini, Curator Reptiles and Amphibians and Cassandra Thompson, Multimedia Marketing Coordinator at the Toronto Zoo. Since 2015, the Toronto Zoo and OACS have worked side by side through an innovative advertising campaign, which focuses on the illegal harvest and trade of turtles. This initiative is aimed at educating and encouraging individuals to help put an end to this disturbing crime. Endangered animals and plants, like our Blanding’s turtles, are often the target of wildlife crime because of their rarity and increased economic value. The illegal trade in wildlife can have devastating impacts on the sustainability of wildlife populations.




















Left to Right: C. Thompson, Toronto Zoo, Dr. A. Lentini, Toronto Zoo, P. Norlock, Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, J. Tracogna, Toronto Zoo & D. Forster, Canadian Association of Crime Stoppers

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Category: OCTOBER 2016


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Category: Latest News