Regina Crime Stoppers saw a spike in arrests, charges, drug seizures and property recoveries in 2018.
Arrests doubled to 22, compared to 11 the previous year. That resulted in 55 charges laid, up 61 per cent from 2017.
What stands out is the $500,000 worth of drugs seized and the $87,700 worth of property recovered, thanks to anonymous tips. The $587,700 value is more than the last four years combined.
“Anytime that we can have numbers in that range, I think that’s really a positive thing,” said Police Chief Evan Bray.
Bray called Crime Stoppers extremely valuable to the police service in terms of solving crimes and taking drugs off the streets, but he doesn’t like to get too hung up on the numbers. He explained they can fluctuate year to year depending on the quality of tips they receive.
Over the course of 2018, Bray often spoke about a growing meth problem in Regina, and is not surprised by the large value of drugs seized with the help of Crime Stoppers.
“That extra awareness might be enough to motivate people to call in and generate a tip on it and I do hope that it will continue for sure into 2019,” said Bray.
One of the biggest draws to reporting a tip through Crime Stoppers is the anonymity, which police have recently tried to capitalize on. Signs on how to report a crime through Crime Stoppers have been plastered outside the police station’s jail cells for about a year now.
“I think I can say with one hundred per cent confidence that people that are involved in crimes are also users of Crime Stoppers,” said Bray.
Crime Stoppers received fewer tips in 2018 with 914, a 23 per cent decrease from 2017. President Craig Perrault explained that may be partly due to a change in the tip handling software for all local Crime Stoppers’ organizations.
Last year also saw the introduction of the P3 Tips app where the public can submit tips through their smartphones.
“I think that’s really helped in that immediate transfer of knowledge and getting the tips to the right people at the right time,” said Perrault.
Crime Stoppers also plans to introduce new programming in 2019 to educate high school students and new Canadian citizens on how to submit a tip.
To report an anonymous tip you can call 1-800-222-TIPS, visit www.reginacrimestoppers.ca or use the free P3 app for the smartphone.