Is your identity protected if you call Crime Stoppers?

Crime Stoppers is able to provide anonymity to callers sharing crime tips. (Image courtesy Crime Stoppers)
Crime Stoppers is able to provide anonymity to callers sharing crime tips. (Image courtesy Crime Stoppers)

If there’s something strange in your neighbourhood, chances are you’re probably not going to call Ghostbusters! Rather, you’d call Crime Stoppers to report it.

The Canadian Crime Stoppers Association is a non-profit organization, with chapters across the country, having the goal of helping to solve crimes. If someone wants to call in to report a crime, they’d dial 1-800-222-TIPS (8477). However, by doing so, some people worry that they’ll become involved in a criminal investigation or have to testify in court.

The good news is that if you call Crime Stoppers, you are protected by anonymity.

When an anonymous tip is called in, the person who answers the phone is trained on how to properly receive, process and pass on information to police regarding an investigation. The caller’s name is never revealed.

But, how are callers identified if they remain anonymous? The answer is fairly simple: they are given a code number that’s used in all future calls.

The reason Crime Stoppers is able to provide anonymity to callers sharing crime tips is because of something called "informer privilege". The Canadian government created this policy in order to encourage people to provide information about or related to crime but also to protect those whistleblowers from potential retribution from those involved in the crime they’re reporting.

If the information a person provides leads to the arrest, that individual will receive a monetary reward – up to $2,000. To claim it, the whistleblower can use their code number to continue to remain anonymous.

So if you want to report a tip to crime stoppers, you can do so safely. Plus, chances are not only will you be rewarded with money but you’ll also be receive the joy of knowing your help might just be making the community safer.
Find a Lawyer