Crime Stoppers help seize more than $10 million in illegal drugs

·2 min read

Local Crime Stoppers are thankful for the help of the community.

Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers enjoyed a very successful and productive 2020

Through the combined efforts of tipsters, the media, police agencies and the hard work of board members, many incidents were successfully investigated and solved.

Through anonymous tips received by the program, the Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers program reported more than 10 Million dollars in drugs seized and stolen property recovered.

Other statistics from the 2020 annual report show there were 702 calls received, which ultimately helped lead to 53 arrests and 122 charges laid. The report also noted the seizure of $10,083,606 worth of drugs and $158,400 worth of recovered property — this includes a 7.3 million dollar drug operation that was dismantled last September. Additionally, 120 cases were cleared.

According to police coordinator David Bakker, 2020 was a successful year for the local Crime Stoppers program, adding how important the anonymous tips are.

“The tips are really important because it allows for the average citizen who wants to remain anonymous but wants to provide information to the police,” said Bakker. “Each and every tip we receive is investigated by someone. People who use the service want to do the right thing in their community, and they want to ensure that we have a safe place to live.”

He added that the marijuana which was seized was not licensed, and it wasn’t licensed by the Government of Canada to grow. He also stated that it was based in a criminal enterprise, which leads to other criminal enterprises such as human trafficking or the transportation and production of other illegal drugs, such as fentanyl.

“So, for us, Crimestoppers in Chatham-Kent Police or the police in general, have no interest in a person who’s legally growing marijuana,” said Bakker. “All we’re doing is targeting the ones that are illegal.”

Bakker also reminds citizens Crime Stoppers is anonymous, and a tip can go a long way.

“We are an anonymous source, and it can be used to pass that information along with where you don’t have to be a witness, you will not have to testify. And if your information is good, you might earn a reward.”

Statistics provided by Chatham-Kent Crime Stoppers show 28,393 calls from its inception in 1987, with 6,571 arrests and 16,214 charges laid. The total amount of drugs seized and property recovered from inception is just over $114 million.

Bird Bouchard, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Ridgetown Independent News