Crimestoppers has just released figures that show a significant escalation in the number of pieces of information passed to police over the past two years, with a near 40% increase. The organisation, which is now in its 30th year, passed on 152,000 reports to law enforcement agencies in the year 2017-2018. That’s 6% up on the previous year and 33% up on 2015-2016.
Almost half of those individuals who contact the charity, both by phone and online, are under the age of 35, which highlights the fact that younger people trust the anonymous service.
In addition, one-in-five people who contact Crimestoppers are from black or minority groups. This is key for engaging some of those communities that perhaps don’t feel comfortable speaking to the police.
Crimestoppers has seen a rise in information relating to specific crime types, with a significant increase in reports on modern slavery (75%) and the possession of weapons (35%), while drugs remain the biggest crime group (representing 60% of the overall total).
The organisation has run campaigns on all four crimes in the past year, targeting specific foreign languages such that the wider public better understands the messages imparted and why it’s important to give information. The drugs figures include County Lines, where gangs and organised crime networks exploit children and vulnerable people to sell drugs, with anecdotal evidence showing that more people are mentioning this particular form of criminality by name when they call Crimestoppers.
Mark Hallas, CEO at Crimestoppers, said: “We as a charity are obviously encouraged by the rise in information that we’re receiving, which is a direct reflection of the trust that the public has in us. The rise in figures shows that the need for the Crimestoppers charity continues to grow. If we weren’t here, then where would the callers go? It would be wrong to say automatically that they would go to the police, as at least 20% will not speak directly to the police for a host of reasons, which is why Crimestoppers is uniquely placed to help keep our communities safe.”
Hallas added: “Sometimes, people will contact us because they are struggling to get through on 101, but we feel that it’s our guarantee of 100% anonymity, which has never been broken, that encourages those that come to us. Better education of the public has helped boost the amount of information coming through. That’s reflected in the information we’re receiving at our charity’s Contact Centre and the rise in numbers about particular crime types.”