Crime Stoppers Northwest B.C. wing shuts down amidst lack of volunteers

·2 min read

Crime Stoppers, a non-profit organization which enabled citizens to submit anonymous tips about crime in the city of Terrace and in Kitimat pulled the plug on its operations last week.

The crime tip hot-line group started its northwest operations in the early 1990s.

“Due to continued lack of volunteers in our community to assist with Crime Stoppers Terrace - Kitimat, a difficult decision was made to cease our SSL Domain License to use the name,” said the Crime Stoppers Terrace - Kitimat group before announcing that it was permanently shutting down.

Vivian Raposo, a board member of the Terrace-Kitimat Crime Stoppers, said that she is sad to see the northwest chapter shut down, and added that the national hot-line number will still be available for residents.

Raposo served as the treasurer of Crime Stoppers Terrace-Kitimat group for over 15 years. Crime Stoppers, a nationally recognized non-profit organization, enabled citizens from local communities to fight back crime by providing a tip to the local police anonymously. If the tip led to an arrest after investigation, Crime Stoppers paid a cash reward to the individual who reported it.

The Terrace-Kitimat group consisted of six members who volunteered their time to raise funds for the payout rewards.

Over the years the numbers of calls have been declining, said Raposo, and added that there were no volunteers available to take up the mantle. “Those who have been a part of the organization have been around for a while and they are now burnt out,” she said.

The past couple years most of the calls that came in were related to drug-related issues, said Raposo, an added that none of them led to arrests. “Maybe there wasn’t enough evidence,” she said and added, that the organization had not done a payout since 2018 for a crime tip that led to an arrest.

Around $13,000 worth of funds that were raised for payout rewards will be transferred to Northern BC Crime Stoppers based out of Prince George. Raposo said she will continue to serve on the board of Northern BC Crime Stoppers.

While Northern BC Crime Stoppers takes over the operations, Ron Polillo, vice president for the organization in Prince George said the program is not dead in Terrace and Kitimat. “We’re working on a plan to revive and regionalize the program,” said Polillo. Under this plan, Northern BC Crime Stoppers will become the hub for the region and include representatives from local communities on its board.

Northern BC Crime Stoppers can be reached at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or northernbccrimestoppers.ca

Binny Paul, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Terrace Standard

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