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Statistics highlight effectiveness of IoM Crimestoppers 10 October 2008

Crimestoppers logoTHE effectiveness of Crimestoppers in the Isle of Man has been highlighted by the organisation’s annual performance figures.

The Island is ranked in the top 10 jurisdictions in the British Isles based on the number of actionable calls received per head of population. Statistics for 2007-08 show the Isle of Man in eighth place among 39 regional Crimestoppers boards, with 196 actionable calls made to the anonymous phone line 0800 555 111. Actionable calls are those which elicit good quality information that may assist the police in their enquiries.

Members of the local board say the figures underline the important contribution made by Crimestoppers in combating anti-social behaviour and protecting the Island’s quality of life. The Manx charity is independent of the police and government and aims to assist with crime detection and the apprehension of offenders through the promotion of the 0800 555 111 phone number.

Many criminals exploit people’s fear to avoid arrest, but Crimestoppers allows callers to pass on information without living in fear of the consequences. All calls are handled off-Island and anonymity is guaranteed. Details supplied that may help a police investigation are collated and passed on to the Isle of Man Constabulary.

Crimestoppers logoCrimestoppers was established in the Island in 1998 and since then it has generated almost 2,000 calls. Calls are free and the line is manned 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. Local board members are hoping to encourage even greater use of the 0800 555 111 phone line in order to keep the Island a safe place to live – not a safe haven for criminals. They have stressed that all types of crime can be reported to Crimestoppers, not just the more serious incidents or drug-related issues.

Chairman of Isle of Man Crimestoppers Phil O’Shea said:

‘Ideally people should always contact a police officer if they have information about a crime as evidence is stronger with witness testimony. However, we fully understand that there are situations which mean some people may prefer to remain anonymous and that’s where the Crimestoppers line comes into play. Calls are completely anonymous and no attempt is ever made to try to identify who is on the other end of the line. Calls are not traced or recorded. ‘We are interested in what a person can tell us, not who they are. Rewards are also available and are paid without compromising a caller’s anonymity. Crimestoppers has proved its worth in the Isle of Man, but we are always working to encourage more calls and thereby assist with crime detection and offender identification. We focus on crimes specifically affecting the Island such as criminal damage, theft and drug offences and would rather have 20 calls about the same incident than none at all. A name of a suspected offender is useful and we can pass these details to the appropriate authority’

Crimestoppers logoCrimestoppers relies on a network of volunteers to share the workload and support its core objective of making the 0800 555 111 line ring. Board members give up their free time to co-ordinate promotions and events to raise awareness of the confidential service.

Thanks to the efforts of local volunteers more people in the Isle of Man are getting to know the Crimestoppers number. For example, in July 2007 a total of 24 actionable calls were received compared with five in July 2006.

Anybody who feels they can bring new skills and ideas to Isle of Man Crimestoppers is urged to visit http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/in-your-area/isle-of-man and fill in the volunteer enquiry form or contact chairman Phil O’Shea on 07624 496824. For more information about the charity and its activities visit http://www.crimestoppers.co.im

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