One of the oldest Crime Stopper programs in Saskatchewan continues to play a big role in keeping our community safe.
Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers is going into its 38th year in the city and its board came together on Tuesday night for their annual general meeting.
Since Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers began, over $838,000 in drugs and property have been recovered through 4,407 tips. Tips paid out since the inception have been $39,460.
When the program began it was simply a phone number that people could call. It has now grown to include a website, social media pages and a mobile phone app.
"All these have grown to make the program the success that it is, and we try to keep pace with the technology of our society," said chair Lyle Johnson.
The tip numbers continued to improve in 2022. Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers received 209 tips, compared to 176 in 2021. Eight charges were laid as a result of the tips. There were $1,500 in rewards approved and $150 of those rewards were collected.
"In order for someone to claim a tip with Crime Stoppers, the onus is on them to reach out to us. Because the program is completely anonymous it makes it tough... It's up to them at the end of the day to check whether they are logged into a mobile app or they have a tip number that they can later log in and see a message from one of us saying that your tips are approved," said police coordinator Const. Branden Hoggins.
A couple of stolen vehicles were recovered outside of the Moose Jaw Police Service jurisdiction, but Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers played a role in their recovery.
The most predominant tips were for drug-related offences with 34 tips and thefts with 27.
Meanwhile, 154 of the tips came through the Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers website. The Crime Stoppers Facebook page grew by about 400 followers to 3,400 and continues to play a large role with Crime Stoppers.
"That is our primary way of communicating with the general public and that's where we post all of our Warrant Wednesdays and our can-you-identify type of posts," Hoggins said.
The board also received a presentation from Const. Josh MacNaughton and the Internet Child Exploitation (ICE) Unit. It was noted that Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers received one tip last year of a youth being abused.
Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers is run completely on donations and sponsorships. The sponsors include $2,000 from ACT/UCT, $800 from the Early Bird Lions Club, $1,000 from Heritage Insurance, $5,000 from SaskPower, $1,250 from SaskTel and a to-be-determined amount from the Kinsmen Club.