In 1976 Detective Greg MacAleese investigated the death of a student who had been shot dead in a robbery at an Albuquerque gas station. The investigation was soon stagnant with no witnesses coming forward, and it appeared the senseless and brutal shotgun slaying would remain unsolved.
He initiated the idea of producing a video re-enactment of the murder, and guaranteed anonymity for anyone who was willing to call him with information. He went further and offered a reward out of his own pocket to encourage someone to provide information that could lead to the solving of the senseless murder of the young student.
Within a few hours after the recreation of the murder had been broadcast on television, he received a phone call. The video image triggered the memory of a person who had heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the murder scene, and then saw a car driving off. The caller told MacAleese that the vehicle had belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex.
Within 72 hours, MacAleese and a team of detectives arrested two men and charged them with the murder of Carmen, and numerous armed robberies. Realizing what he had done might be useful in solving other cases, Detective MacAleese convinced the Albuquerque Police Department to allow a group of citizens to establish the first Crime Stoppers programme.
The South African Crime Stop programme started in 1992 after two senior police detectives went oversees to learn about this very successful investigative support tool. On their return, the “Crime Stop Misdaad” programme was launched and the former toll free tip-off line, 0800 11 12 13, became a familiar number in South Africa.
In 1994 South Africa had its first democratic elections. Crime Stop played a significant role in assisting to identify and address the intimidation of voters, including gathering information on violence and threats that aimed to create instability. This was done by means of the anonymous tip-offs received.
After the celebrated elections, the Crime Stop programme turned its focus on criminals at all possible levels. The Crime Stop programme gave a voice to people who wanted to make South Africa safer.
In 2001 the Crime Stop toll-free number was changed to the share-call number 08600 10111. This decision was made due to the unacceptably high percentage of abusive and hoax calls received.
Crime Stoppers is based on a three-pillar partnership:
The media (1) activates the community (2) to anonymously provide information on criminal activities. This is channelled to the police (3), which act on the tip-offs.
If any of the above pillars are missing, the Crime Stopper concept fails.
Become an active citizen, doing what is right for South Africa
To anonymously inform on the dealings of those who are in violation of the law, makes you a hero and nothing less. Criminals are the only ones who hate people who provide tip-offs to the police. They are the ones who will use insulting words when referring to tipsters doing the right thing. They do this because it exposes them and makes them vulnerable and weak.
Power belongs to the people who respect the law and not to the cowardly criminal thugs who rule communities through violence and intimidation. You have a voice, use it by phoning Crime Stop at 08600 10111, or send an anonymous SMS to Crime Line at 32211, and change the lives of many victims.
Tip-offs that changed the lives of good people, forever
A farther was arrested and convicted after a friend of the family suspected he had been abusing his daughters for more than 10 years. The mother was severely beaten and at times, kept chained up to ensure that she stayed loyal to this monster.
Six foreign nationals introduced young girls to drugs, and then fuelled their addiction by committing them to prostitution. More than 20 girls were “freed” from this child sex ring.
A group of heavily-armed men planned to rob an armoured ‘cash-in-transit’ vehicle between Pretoria and Johannesburg. The SAPS’s Special Task Force foiled the robbery. Many assault rifles were found and many lives of innocent people were saved.
One of two rival gangs planned a dominance territory attack during the early hours of the morning. The police received the tip-off and swooped down on the gang as they assembled in an agreed-upon place. Unlicensed firearms, machetes and many knifes were seized, scores of suspects arrested and bloodshed prevented.
A murder that happened more than 20 years ago, was solved after the tipster could no longer “protect” the suspect, who had threatened to kill her. A pointing out was held and the skeleton of the “missing” person was found in a forest. What was a case of a missing person, turned out to be a murder and the murderer is now safely behind bars.
A woman in a very affluent area became suspicious when the number of visitors to her neighbour increased dramatically during all hours of the day. The police cracked a membership-regulated, exclusive, high-end brothel.
The information received includes but is not limited to, all types of drug-related offences, driving under the influence of liquor, theft, drugs, piracy, violations of marine regulations, environmental crimes, fraud, wanted suspects, sexual offences, offences violating children, planned criminal activities etc.
It does not matter who you are or how you know what you know. Crime Stop is not interested in your details, we are interested in the details of those who have no respect for the laws of this beautiful country.
During the past few years, more than 45 000 people were arrested because of your tip-offs and drugs and property of more than R1 billion were seized
Do not delay. Give us your tip-off now. Tell us who did what to whom, when where why and how. If you do not have all the answers, phone us anyway. Maybe what you do know is just the missing piece of a puzzle the SAPS is working on, but lacks crucial information to solve.
“The world suffers a lot.
Not because of the violence of bad people,
But because of the silence of good people!”
~ Napoleon Bonaparte