Established 27 years ago, on September 12 in 1995, Crime Stoppers Bermuda became the go to non-Police organization for members of the public to pass on information to police anonymously, “about crimes that they may have witnessed or know about”.
“For general information on a crime that leads to a conviction, callers can receive up to $3,000 cash.
“Where information is received regarding firearms and firearms incidents, they could receive up to $5,000 cash.”
Bermuda Real wanted to know just how much that amounted to in terms of cash, and the results to date, when it comes down to “taking a bite out of crime” in Bermuda.
As it turns out, Crime Stoppers Bermuda has paid out $80,755 in cash rewards to anonymous tipsters, since its inception.
Some of that information also led to convictions and the recovery of firearms used for murder.
But generally, a spokesperson for Crime Stoppers Bermuda said rewards are paid for information obtained on all sorts of crimes.
Those crimes include: bike theft, robbery, corruption, drugs, murder, customs breach, etc, and for specific information on crimes (eg for firearms recovery, firearms incidents).
“This information gives credible and productive investigative leads that result in a criminal arrest (and subsequent conviction in court), the seizure of items liable to confiscation, the location of stolen articles, or other concrete result where an investigation relies upon said information to progress a matter and make significant headway,” the spokesperson added.
Overall, the executive believes the organization has made a positive impact on the fight against crime on our shores and abroad.
“On occasion, information received via Crime Stoppers has been the missing piece to law enforcement investigations or has been the catalyst to the start of an investigation for our law enforcement partners, both locally and internationally (Customs, Police, Immigration, etc).
“We not only provide information to the Police but also to Border Control agencies, Department of Corrections, or any agency responsible for law enforcement investigations and action. The type of information received from a caller determines which agency will receive the information.”
That may be part of the reason we have seen a number of drug busts in recent months that led to the seizure of substantial amounts of cash and illegal drugs.
But information from anonymous tipsters has not always been forthcoming over the years.
“In recent years, Crime Stoppers Bermuda has been less visible in the community, which we believe has been a factor in usage by the public,” the spokesperson said.
“Many people in the community didn’t think of us as an alternative to providing information to law enforcement agencies in relation to crimes, or simply didn’t know we existed.
“Realizing this, we embarked upon some recent efforts to be both seen and heard more and more.
“We have upgraded our website www.crimestoppers.bm, and made our anonymous reporting form there more user friendly.
“Last year we began running public service announcements and this year we look to do more to remind the public that we are here for them to bridge the gap through our anonymous tip service.”
And the emphasis will always be the anonymous factor.
“First and foremost, Crime Stoppers Bermuda wants to emphasise that using our reporting service (phone or website) ensures complete anonymity.
“Not one person who has provided information to Crime Stoppers Bermuda has ever been identified.”
How It Works:
Online Tip Step 1. Visit our website and follow the link to fill out the online anonymous form
Step 2. Provide what you know, we don’t want your name
Step 3. Once the information is submitted, you will receive a unique number that is for you only – remember this number to refer to if needed later.
Telephone Tip Step 1: Dial the Anonymous Tip Line 800-8477
Step 2. Provide your information to the call taker (note: the call centers are outside Bermuda)
Step 3. You will not be asked for your name or any personal information
Step 4. Once the information is submitted, you will receive a unique number that is for you only – remember this number to refer to if needed later Listen out to see if your information has led to an arrest/conviction/seizure etc. Call back or log in using the unique reference number and request a reward.
“Crime Stoppers will work with our tipsters so their reward can be arranged and provided anonymously. Remember, you will not be able to access any reward if you do not have your unique reference number.
“Crime Stoppers Bermuda is a registered Bermuda charity under the governance of a board of Directors who are civilian volunteers looking to make a difference in the community.”