Al Sismey, Penticton Crime Stoppers Coordinator, spoke to the regional district board on Feb. 16 to discuss the past year’s performance of the crime tip service.
Sismey told the board that Crime Stoppers had experienced a 20 per cent increase in tips received in 2011, most of which were related to drug and drug related crime.
“Our biggest issue is convincing citizens that the program is anonymous, and that tipsters will not be asked to attend court or be identified,” he said to the board.
Sismey thanked various media outlets for the help Crime Stoppers received on a regular basis, informing the public of wanted criminals and crime trends in the region.
Sismey told the board that fundraising efforts were difficult last year, due to a slowing economy. Sismey involved himself with several youth from the Penticton Indian Band in a vehicle restoration project last year, which he said helped to improve contact and communication with the First Nations community. He said Crime Stoppers was always seeking public input, looking for better ways to serve the community and spread the message about Crime Stopper services.
Area “D” Director Tom Siddon asked Sismey if he thought decriminalization of marijuana – recently suggested by three former B.C. attorney generals – would alleviate the drug problem amongst the region’s youth.
“What we are doing now is not working,” answered Sismey, who is a retired police officer, “and it is costing a lot of money. I think as a taxpayer I would be looking at any change.”
Crime Stoppers receive several tips a year regarding criminal acts in the Keremeos RCMP detachment area.