2014 is the 25th anniversary of the Crimestoppers charity, and the Isle of Man branch is now passed its 15th year of helping police to fight crime. Crimestoppers in the Isle of Man operates as an independent local charity, but is fully affiliated to the UK charity which was set up in 1989.
Crimestoppers provides a way for all members of the community to pass on information about crime anonymously by ringing the charity’s hotline on 0800 555111. All calls made from the Island are handled by the UK Crimestoppers’ Call Centre, so Isle of Man callers can therefore be assured of their complete anonymity. Information about any type of crime can also be given anonymously online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
While crime rates here on the Island are generally in decline, Phil O’Shea, Acting Chair, of Isle of Man Crimestoppers, says that the charity still plays a vital role helping to keep the Island a safe place to live. “Crimestoppers is a service which provides practical ways that allow us all to work together to fight crime. In essence, we are saying to everyone in the community ‘help us to help you’ – and over the last 10 years nearly 1,400 people from across the Island have done just that by providing worthwhile information to Isle of Man Crimestoppers. Despite the reduction in recorded crimes on the Island over the last year, the number of calls we received increased to over 120, and this provided information which helped police progress investigations into at least 13 cases. However, there were still more than 1,000 crimes on the Island last year which remain unsolved – so we need continued support to make our community an even safer place to live and work.”
In addition to running the anonymous hotline and website channels for members of the public to pass on information anonymously, the charity also promotes regular campaigns aimed at preventing certain types of crime, or promoting support for the fight against crime in particular sections of the community. For example, Crimestoppers supports the www.fearless.org website which is part of a campaign aimed at encouraging more young people to help in the fight against crime. Last year there was also a campaign advising the public how they can help to tackle drugs crime by looking out for evidence of cannabis cultivation. The campaign emphasised that while some people regard the drug as ‘harmless’ it’s cultivation and sale is often controlled by violent criminals.