Crime Stoppers Cuts Crime in Pandemic

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 12:58 p.m. January 11, 2022

Despite the pandemic, Toronto Crime Stoppers processed a record 7,102 tips in 2021 that contributed to solving eight homicides, 105 arrests, 780 charges and the seizure of 18 firearms.

Person standing at Yonge Dundas Square
Toronto Crime Stoppers encourages citizens to report crime anonymously before and after it occurs

With January being Crime Stoppers Month, Chief James Ramer said the program continues to be a valuable partner for the Toronto Police Service.

“Every year, this program is responsible for processing thousands of tips that help our investigators make arrests, lay charges, and seize firearms, stolen property and illicit drugs,” he said. “By building trust with the public and encouraging donations that are re-invested back into our neighbourhoods, our communities are safer because of Toronto Crime Stoppers.”

In January 2020, Crime Stoppers rebranded into a Community Rewards program, investing in neighbourhood improvements strategies instead of delivering individual rewards.

It also launched the second edition of Captain Canuck comic and a Coordinator and Chair were recognized with provincial awards.

Mayor John Tory said Toronto continues to have one of the largest and most successful Crime Stoppers programs in the world.

“Community safety really is a shared responsibility and the citizens of this great city help Crime Stoppers every single year to do their part,” he said. “Programs and initiatives based on trusted partnerships between the police and the community are the future of this city and we are fortunate to have the Toronto Crime Stoppers program leading the way.”

Since the Toronto Crime Stoppers program was launched in 1984, Toronto Police has received more than 177,000 tips, resulting in more than 11,400 arrests, over 39,300 charges laid and the seizure of $65.5 million in property and nearly $317 million in illegal drugs.

“Toronto Crime Stoppers remains resilient in our efforts to combat crime issues across the city and through the Community Reward Program model we reinforce the mindset that Community Safety Is A Shared Responsibility”, said Sean Sportun, Chair of Toronto Crime Stoppers. “The success of our program, seeing record setting statistics from 2021, is a testament to the community we serve that empowers a movement of a crime free Toronto”.

The program is supported by funds accrued from the annual Crime Stoppers Chief of Police Gala and the Toronto Police Crime Stoppers charity golf tournament.

Crime Stoppers is the brainchild of Canadian-born Greg MacAleese, who was an officer with the Albuquerque Police Department in New Mexico. After running out of leads in a homicide investigation, the frustrated cop turned to the public for assistance in 1976.

He produced the first crime re-enactment that was aired on local television and made available to other media outlets and promised that anyone providing information leading to an arrest would be eligible for a cash reward.

Within hours of the broadcast, police received a tip that led to the arrest of two suspects who were charged with murder. They were sentenced to life terms with no chance of parole.

Toronto, which implemented the initiative 38 years ago, has one of the largest programs in the world. There are close to 1,300 Crime Stoppers programs in nearly 20 countries.

Anyone with information about a crime that has occurred, or about to happen, can make an anonymous tip to Crime Stoppers at 416-222-TIPS (8477) or visit 222.tips.com.

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