The local Crime Stoppers have had a very quiet year according to Marg Sarich, the president of the local branch.
With the tip-lines quiet, the organization has focused its energy on educating the community on how to keep it safe.
“For what we’re not doing in say, tips, we are trying to do is work within the community to educate the community to help keep it safe for all of us,” said Sarich.
In April, the Crime Stoppers co-hosted a bicycle rodeo with several other local organizations, giving information to parents on how to keep their children safe on the road, as well as in general. They also brought in an expert to Peter Skene Ogden Secondary School (PSO) to educate the public on internet safety. They have also handed out brochures at former events on how to protect one’s identity.
The main education topic though is on how to collect rewards after calling in tips while remaining anonymous. Sarich has been asked by clubs and organizations in the area to present how it’s done, her main concern being potential tippers being put off by the terms of anonymity.
“They think “Well, I don’t want anyone to know my name,” well nobody does know their name and they don’t have to give their name at any time,” said Sarich, who also added Crime Stoppers operates at arms-length with the police.
If someone does choose to go forward with calling in a tip, the reward is arranged through Kamloops.
Sarich, for example, would take the tip reward (cash in an envelope) to the bank and give to the only employee in the bank allowed to handle that money and understands the situation’s importance of anonymity. The person who called in the tip will then be given instructions to go to the bank and ask for the bank employee by name, who will then give them the envelope.
Sarich and the Crime Stoppers don’t expect much to happen this year in terms of fundraising or events, especially with two members leaving the group.
“Right now, it’s just a case of obviously someone presenting something and saying “we’d like you to be involved” and we’d be there,” said Sarich. “It’s kind of a regrouping time.”
The club will not do their 50/50 draw this year, due to the circumstances of the summer. The draw is their main fundraiser but they figured everyone was dealing with what happened during the summer, including their members.