Phone tag: Soon-to-be Crime Stoppers program will target campus
By Sara Marett
The University Police Department is ringing in the new year with a resolution to make campus a safer place and is hoping a new Crime Stoppers program will do the trick.
Although London, Middlesex and Elgin counties have had the program in place since 1987, the service has never existed on Western's campus. Const. Wendy McGowan of the UPD said the university will truly benefit from the program as campuses are sometimes considered to be more vulnerable and an easy target for crime.
The UPD will launch the program arriving on campus this month, coinciding with National Crime Stoppers Awareness month. McGowan said the program may act as a deterrent to commit crime since the service does not require those who call with tips to leave their name. "The caller is given a code number this is the only way they can be identified by Crime Stoppers," she said. McGowan added the program does not operate with call display or *69 on their phones to trace a call.
Const. Lucy Grzechowski explained she will be distributing posters around campus with the telephone numbers for the service. One is a local number that goes directly to the London Police Department and the other is a 1-800 number that links to British Columbia and is then directed to the area the crime occurred.
"The service gives people another option if they do not feel comfortable calling the police directly or are concerned about revealing their identity," McGowan said, adding there is also the opportunity for monetary reward.
Lee Butler, coordinator of the London district Crime Stoppers program, said using the service is a no-lose situation. "There is complete anonymity and you never have to go to court," she said. If an arrest is made relating to the crime reported, a reward ranging from $50 to $1,000 is given to the tipster.
She said since the program was implemented in London, there have been approximately 2,000 related arrests, over $3 million in recovered property and almost $2 million in seized drugs as a result of the service.