Frequently Asked Questions
- What Is Crime Stoppers?
- What Type of Calls does Crime Stoppers Take?
- What If the Caller Is the Victim?
- How Does Crime Stoppers Work?
- Who Answers When I Call to Report a Crime?
- What Does Crime Stoppers Want to Know?
- What Type of Questions Will I Be Asked?
- What Happens to My Information After I Provide It?
- Nothing Happened After I Called Crime Stoppers; Why?
- What Happens After I’ve Said All I Know?
- Does Crime Stoppers Have Call Display or Call Trace on their Telephones?
- Is Crime Stoppers Run By Police?
- How Can You Guarantee Anonymity?
- How Do I Collect My Reward?
- Crime Stoppers uses different website addresses for links; are they safe to access?
Crime Stoppers is a registered charitable organization that takes calls from individuals who want to report information about a crime and wish to remain totally anonymous. Crime Stoppers is one way that citizens can assist law enforcement by providing information and never having to identify themselves or testify in court.
Crime Stoppers takes tips about crimes that have already been committed or are about to occur. Crime Stoppers also takes information regarding the whereabouts of wanted persons, stolen property, narcotics, or any other criminal activity. If you’re not sure that what you saw or heard is really a crime, call anyway. Let law enforcement decide if it’s worth investigating. It may be the missing piece of the puzzle or clue to a big crime.
Information we cannot process:
Crime Stoppers is not an emergency service, so it is important to contact the police immediately using 9-1-1 if there is an emergency occurring.
As a registered charity, there are some instances where we are not the organization to contact. In some circumstances we are unable to process information being given.
I don’t want to get involved, so can I contact Crime Stoppers in an emergency?
No. We are an independent registered charity and not part of the police or government agency. If you wish to contact the police in an emergency please dial 9-1-1.
What if I’m receiving scam emails or phone calls?
If you are receiving emails or phone calls, which you believe to be a scam, report this to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.
What if I have information about driving offenses?
Information about driving offenses includes: speeding, driving while on the phone, not wearing a seatbelt and careless/dangerous driving. The police need sworn witness testimony to pursue these offenses so reports must be made directly to them.
Can I call Crime Stoppers because of a noise complaint?
Only your local law enforcement can deal with noise complaints.
Can I pass on information about prostitution and solicitation to Crime Stoppers?
Yes. We absolutely take all information on this.
Can I report something that may pose a threat to National security, such as terrorism or espionage?
To report an immediate threat to national security, please call 9-1-1 or your local police department. You can also contact The RCMP’s National Security Information Line at 1-800-420-5805 or via email at RCMP.NSIN-RISN.GRC@rcmp-grc.gc.ca
Can I report information about an Insurance Crime?
Insurance crime affects everyone. When someone steals a car, burglarizes a home, vandalizes property or makes a false or exaggerated claim, everyone has to pay more than they should for insurance. We do take anonymous tips regarding insurance crime. However, you can alternatively submit a confidential tip to the Insurance Bureau of Canada by visiting their website, or calling 1-877-422-8477.
Can I contact Crime Stoppers regarding suspected tax evasion, or cases of international tax non-compliance?
You can report suspected tax evasion over the Internet or by contacting Canada Revenue Agency’s National Leads Centre at 1-866-809-6841. Your identity will not be disclosed and you may provide information anonymously.
Can I report suspected situations of sexual exploitation of children?
If you know about a child who is in immediate danger or risk, call 9-1-1 or your local police.
The Canadian Centre for Child Protection (Cybertip.ca or 1-866-658-9022) receives and addresses online and telephone reports from the public regarding: Child pornography (child abuse images and material), Online luring, Child exploitation through prostitution, Travelling to sexually exploit children, Child trafficking, Making sexually explicit material available to a child, Agreement or arrangement with another person to commit a sexual offence against a child.
If the caller is a victim, they must report the crime to the police or a “Victim Services” program. A victim cannot report a crime to Crime Stoppers because they would be identified by the information and therefore lose their anonymity.
Crime Stoppers can take your anonymous information three ways:
TALK to our trained information takers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477)
TYPE your information into our secure on-line tip submission form.
TEXT us your information by sending the keyword TIP212 to 274637 (click here for information on how to submit your information via SMS text messaging)
Your anonymous information is then passed along to the investigators at the appropriate law enforcement agency (RCMP, Municipal or Regional Police Force, Department of Natural Resources, or Fisheries and Oceans Canada). The “TIPSTER” (that’s you) is never identified but is assigned a code number. The tip is investigated. The police will inform Crime Stoppers on how the case is progressing so it is important for the TIPSTER to call back for an update on the case during regular business hours (a number will be provided for you to call back).
Your call to Crime Stoppers will be answered by a person not a machine. Crime Stoppers tipsline operators are specially trained in talking to our callers. They do not use a script or complete a standard form with your information. Each call is unique so our call handlers are responsive to your needs and the information you have.
If for any reason Crime Stoppers cannot take your call, you will not be asked to leave a message. Please call back another time, or submit your tip online.
Crime Stoppers wants your information not your name. You will be asked questions about the information you are giving us – but you will not be asked your name, address, or anything that will allow us to identify you.
Our call operators are not allowed to let the police know anything about you which may reveal your identity, e.g. if the call is about a neighbour of yours we will not disclose this. We don’t even make a note of your gender.
Crime Stoppers wants to do the best, but we need as much information as possible from you in order to pass useful data onto law enforcement. This means our Tipsline operators will ask you questions about what you know. This helps check that your information can be acted upon by law enforcement – the more details they have, the more likely they will be able to take action. NEVER put yourself at risk, or abuse a position of trust to discover information about crime or criminals.
This will obviously depend on the crime and what you know. Many of our calls are drug-related – for example, these are some of the questions you may be asked.
- Where are the drugs being sold?
- What makes you think they are being sold there?
- Do you know how much they are being sold for?
- When is the location the busiest?
- Is there any system used by which the dealer lets it know that they are ‘open for business’ e.g. a bedroom light on?
- Where do they keep the drugs?
- Does the dealer come out of the house to meet people?
- Do you know any of the hiding places for the drugs, in a shed / car etc?
- Are there regular cars pulling up, and do you know the license plate numbers?
- Do you know when supplies arrive? This may lead to a supplier further up the chain.
After you give us your information, we create a report that brings together all the information you provided. Our trained information takers will check to make sure that the report contains no information that might identify you.
The report is sent to the relevant authority who will deal with the information. They have the legal responsibility to investigate the information prior to acting on it to ensure the information is correct and not given to us maliciously in order to set someone up. The police cannot get a search warrant or make an arrest based solely on a tip; there must be other intelligence to support the Crime Stoppers information.
It may take some time before the police act on the information you have given. There could be many reasons for that; the information may be part of a larger investigation and visible action might be delayed for some time or the information may remain on file to be used at a later time. Even if your information appears not to have been used or if you don’t see a quick resolution, don’t think your information was not useful.
Feel free to call back at any time to add or update information or to just check on the status of your tip. Make sure you give your personal code when you call; otherwise Crime Stoppers will not give you any information about your tip.
This information is then handed over to either the police, Department of Natural Resources, or Fisheries & Oceans Canada (DFO) for further investigation. They are the only sworn officials who can investigate crimes and arrest and charge people, in order to bring them to justice.
Law Enforcement agencies cannot get a search warrant or make an arrest based solely on anonymous information – they have to thoroughly research the information you give us in order to act on it. There needs to be other intelligence that supports Crime Stoppers’ information. The research they do on Crime Stoppers’ information means they can use it with confidence. This ensures that information is correct and not given to us maliciously in order to set someone up.
Q- Does Crime Stoppers have call display or call trace on their telephones or have access to my IP address?
Crime Stoppers does not have call display or call trace on any of its telephones nor do we record any calls and your IP address in not available to us. That would be in direct contradiction to one of the cornerstones of the Crime Stoppers program – anonymity. Crime Stoppers guarantees that you will remain anonymous no matter how you provide us your information. If we subscribed to call display or call trace that guarantee of anonymity would be gone and the program would suffer serious consequences.
Crime Stoppers is not run by the police. We are separate and apart from any Law Enforcement Agency. N.B. Crime Stoppers is a Registered Charity run by volunteers from the community.
Crime Stoppers can offer anonymity to its callers because of a legal rule of evidence, which says police do not have to reveal information which might identify a person who supplies them with information concerning criminal activity. In February of 1997 the Supreme Court of Canada unanimously decided that callers to Crime Stoppers programs were entitled to the protection of this privilege. In a typical case which started from a Crime Stoppers tip, the identity of the informer is unknown to both the Crime Stoppers Coordinator who took the call or internet tip, and the case investigator. The Supreme Court went on to confirm that the privilege is so broad in scope it prevents disclosure not only of the name of the informer (even if it were it to be known) but also of any information which might implicitly reveal his or her identity. This is the premise behind the claim that “Crime Stoppers guarantees the tipster’s anonymity.”
If the information is good and law enforcement uses the information to help solve a crime, you may be eligible for an award of up to $2,000. An award must be recommended and approved by the Board of Directors of a local Crime Stoppers chapter. Once the award is approved, arrangements are made for the caller to pick up their cash award in a way that is secure.
N.B. Crime Stoppers – Digital Media Services owns and maintains several website addresses (known as URLs) to easily direct visitors and users to various sections of our website and social media operations. For example: Many sites like Twitter limit the amount of characters used when sending messages, so lengthy website addresses will automatically be shortened using our URL shortner service (helpsolve.me) powered by bitly™. The URL address for this FAQ page, for instance, will look like this: helpsolve.me/w36GxZ. If you see a link from us on our website, or in an email that you’re unsure about, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Here is a complete list of the website addresses we own and maintain:
- www.crimenb.ca | Primary Website Address
- www.nbcs-ecnb.ca | Administration and Volunteer Access (Corporate Use Only)
- helpsolve.me | URL (website address) shortner service powered by bitly™
- www.crimetip.ca | Direct connection to secure tip submission form by TipSoft™
- www.tipsubmit.ca | Link to download TipSubmit Mobile Apps powered by TipSoft™
- www.crimestoppers.tel | Our virtual contact card powered by .tel
- www.crimestoppers.mobi | Connect with Crime Stoppers on mobile devices and tablets
- www.fightcrime.ca | Student Crime Stoppers program
txt ur tip: TIP212 + your information to CRIMES (274637)
Q – What are the various components of a text message used in the tip submission process to Crime Stoppers?
There are three main parts to a text message.
- The Short Code: – This is the actual number the tip is sent to rather than a phone number. It is: CRIMES (274637). This is a vanity code which the public will hopefully find memorable. The public can just select the letters CRIMES from their keypads and 274637 is entered.
- The Keyword: – Keywords are always used with Common Short Codes to allow for proper routing. These are used to ensure that the tip is directed to the right area. When a keyword is needed, it is always entered as the first word in the body of the message. A tipster only needs to include the keyword on our SMS tips the very first time they submit a tip. After that, the system is intelligent enough to know where to route all subsequent traffic from that device. The keyword for N.B. Crime Stoppers is: TIP212
- The Message Body: This section contains the keyword initially, and then the actual text of the message. For example: TIP212: I know about a marijuana grow operation at 123 Main Street.
Q – So how does the process actually work? What are the steps, etc?
- A tipster sends his or her first message, which is encrypted and includes a keyword. They text “TIP212” plus their message to CRIMES (274637). Crime Stoppers then responds with a confirmation and a unique code number.
- The tipster may then respond back to Crime Stoppers’ message simply by replying. No keyword or area ID or any other identifier is needed for any subsequent replies. Newly initiated messages by the tipster that are not straight replies to Crime Stoppers may simply be sent to CRIMES, with no keyword needed.
Q – What types of things can I report?
We encourage tipsters to report information about any non-urgent illegal activity, such as unsolved cases, vandalism, theft, and especially the sale and distribution of drugs.
Q – Can I attach a picture?
No, the Crime Stoppers text-message program only accepts text, and is not equipped to receive Multimedia Messages (MMS) of any kind (photo or sound clips).
Q – I hear that special jargon is sometimes used in text messages. How will we decipher it?
Yes, text’ers often abbreviate words and phrases with a language of their own. Like LOL for “laugh out loud” or BRB for “be right back”. It is not that difficult to pick up on and we will be publishing a cheat sheet to our Operators with the most popular abbreviations they use.
Q – Is there any cost for this service?
No, there is no premium cost for this service. Standard text messaging rates apply for messages sent and received (if applicable). These rates can be confirmed with your service provider.
Q – How do I know that Crime Stoppers will not know who I am?
Crime Stoppers goes to great lengths to protect the anonymity of its tipsters. Tips received via text message are routed and encrypted through many secure servers. The tipster’s information is always aliased and given a unique ID before being sent to Crime Stoppers in New Brunswick.
Q – What are Crime Stoppers expectations for this program?
Crime Stoppers has become an enormously successful crime fighting tool. Our hope is that Canadians will take advantage of text messaging as an alternative to the already successful phone and Internet tipping methods.
Q – Can I receive a monetary award for my tips? How does this work?
All tips qualify for a monetary award if they lead to an arrest. When a tip is given to Crime Stoppers, the tipster is provided with a unique, confidential code number and/or word to check back with Crime Stoppers about the status of the tip. Tipsters will not be required to give his or her name or identify themselves if an award is due.
Q – Should I let Crime Stoppers know when I’m done sending information about a particular crime?
Yes – Once you have sent Crime Stoppers all the information you know, text the word STOP to CRIMES (274637). This automatically lets our system know that you are done sending us information about a particular crime. If this step is not performed and you send us information about another crime, it will be listed under the previous tip. Example: If the first Tip is about impaired driving and you do not text us the word STOP after sending us your information, then your next Tip about Drug Trafficking will be attached to the tip of impaired driving, causing delays in receiving your information and passing it on to law enforcement.
Q – What if someone sends a tip from my phone?
If someone sends us a tip from your phone, keep in mind that the tip will be completely confidential. Text tips are processed through an encrypted server and N.B. Crime Stoppers will not be able to know where the call originated or whose phone was utilized. To view a demonstration of how to Text-a-Tip, please click here.