What is Crime Stoppers?

They say it takes a village to raise a child; in the same vein, it takes a community to keep its members safe. It is everyone’s job to collaborate to ensure the safety and security of a community. By reporting any criminal activities you observe, you are doing your part to keep the community a safer place for you and your family.

Crime Stoppers is Anonymous

When it comes to reporting crimes, many types of crimes go unreported. According to data collected by the Bureau of Justice Statistics:

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·         The following crimes are the most unreported: household theft (67%) and rape or sexual assault (65%)

·         Victims often don’t report crimes committed by someone they know (62%). Victimizations by strangers are unreported in 51% of cases.

People fail to report crimes because of:

·         Lack of faith that the police will not or cannot help

·         Lack of belief that their crime or violation was significant enough to report

·         Fear of retribution (by the criminal) for reporting the crime

These are important concerns, which is why Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. You can report any criminal activity you observe or believe you observe or experience without fear of retribution. This makes it easier to report family members, co-workers, neighbors, or others engaged in criminal activities who you might otherwise feel guilty or afraid to report.

To facilitate filing a report, the Walton County Sheriff’s office has a free tip line 850-863-TIPS or 1-888-654-TIPS as well as a website for submitting tips online. There is also a mobile application called P3 Mobile Tips that can be used to two-way chat with Crime Stoppers, and to upload photos, screenshots, videos, and audio files.

Crime Stoppers Compensates Tipsters

When you report a crime, not only are you taking strides to make the community a safer place, you are also eligible to be compensated for performing your civic duty. Crime Stoppers uses some of its charitable funds to compensate tipsters for their bravery if the tip leads to an arrest or to a grand jury indictment of a felony offender. Tips leading to the recovery of stolen property might also merit compensation.

Rewards range from $50 to $3,000 depending on the nature of the crime committed and the number of offenders arrested.

The novelty of the case is not a factor. For example, as of 2017, the Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers is still offering a cash award for anyone who can lead authorities to the full-size pick-up truck driver who killed a 15-year-old girl named Michelle “Shelly” Meadors in Destin in August 2002. Shelly of Louisville, Kentucky was walking down the sidewalk when she was struck.  Other cold cases include missing young people in the Emerald Coast community.

How the Crime Stoppers Program Works

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To ensure you are able to be compensated and to maintain your anonymity when you report a crime, you are assigned a special identifier code when you call to report a crime. Remember, Crime Stoppers does not want to know your name; they just want to know your information about the crime.

After a crime is reported, Crime Stoppers notifies the proper law enforcement agency. If your tip follows through, the Crime Stoppers Board of Directors will determine the reward amount for your heroics, and you will be eligible to collect your reward using your special identifier code.

There are over 1,000 Crime Stopper programs around the world. Crime Stopper cases are featured on the news, television, and in radio announcements. Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization run by volunteers whose goal is to “work together to solve and prevent crime.”

If you see a crime, believe you see a crime, hear about a crime, or are victim of a crime, don’t hesitate to call the anonymous Emerald Coast Crime Stoppers. Calls are never recorded or traced. Your identity is safe. Don’t hesitate to be a hero;call or go online to leave a tip and make the community a better place.