Two Hearts Phil Collins
13 May 2010, 06:00
The number of people calling Crimestoppers in Milton Keynes and Buckinghamshire has gone up by more than 90%
The Thames Valley branch of the charity - which lets people report crimes anonymously - launched 2,793 investigations between April 2009 and March 2010. That's compared to 1,466 investigations for the same period the previous year.
John Gamon, the chairman of the regional board, explained why he thinks there's been such an increase:
“These figures show that Crimestoppers has become well-established with the public as a means for them to give information about crime without getting involved and without jeopardising their personal safety. We have invested a great deal of effort over the past year in strengthening our links with partners, notably local authorities and business. We have completed a successful campaign targeting areas of Buckinghamshire where intelligence has shown that people are likely to have information but may be reluctant to contact the police. This was another partnership project that included Buckinghamshire County Council.”
Crimestoppers started in Thames Valley in April 1999. Since then it has received and investigated almost 18,000 pieces of information about crime. The charity says the information is often not known to the police - in almost half of cases it is new and about offenders not previously known to the police. Or sometimes the information may corroborate something already known. Since Crimestoppers started locally it has helped police charge 1,953 individuals, some with serious, violent offences.
Neville Wade, who works for the charity, told Heart about the most common types of calls they get:
"The majority of calls we get are about drugs, so that shows that people are still very concerned about people dealing with drugs. Following that are traffic related offences - drink driving, disqualified drivers, that sort of thing."
And Mr Wade explained why so many people prefer to use Crimestoppers as a way to help catch a criminal:
"Obviously people should report crime to the police but in that case they have to give their name, they have to give a witness statement, they may have to appear in court if there's a trial, to give evidence. Crimestoppers guarantees the anonymity of a caller."
Anybody can call Crimestoppers at any time on 0800 555 111.