Crime Stoppers originated in Albuquerque, New Mexico USA in 1976, after a fatal shooting occured.
Two weeks after the incident, police had no information and out of sheer desperation, Detective Greg MacAleese approached the local TV station requesting a reconstruction of the crime.
The re-enactment was produced and a reward of US$ 1,000.00 was offered for information leading to the arrest of the perpetrators.
Within 72 hours a person telephoned in identifying the car leaving the scene and supplied the vehicle registration. The person calling did not want to be identified.
Detective MacAleese then realized that fear of reprisal and apathy were the primary reasons why the public tended not to engage with Police on these matters. He subsequently designed a system where the public could anonymously provide details of crime events. This system focused on stimulating community involvement and participation, taking advantage of every possible media opportunity, especially electronic media, to publicise unsolved crimes; and offering cash rewards for information leading to an arrest and/or conviction.
Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers programmes worldwide have been responsible for over a million arrests and the seizure of more than US$10 billion in illegal drugs.
Crime Stoppers now helps to solve a crime every 14 minutes somewhere in the world.
What We Do
Crime Stoppers is a mechanism which is separate from the emergency police telephone number or other standard methods of contacting police, which allows a member of the community to provide information about criminal activity anonymously.
This allows a person to provide assistance to the authorities without being directly involved in the investigation process. Law enforcement authorities, especially the police, cannot solve many crimes on their own. Forensic science and investigative skills are necessary, but information from the public is critical.
Crime Stoppers recognises that someone other than criminals may have information about crime, and was developed to combat the public’s fear of reprisals, public apathy, and a reluctance to get involved.