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Oct 24, 2013

Crime Stoppers Belize honors the media

Crime Stoppers has become a household name; the organization quickly gained a reputation because it guarantees confidentiality to persons who provide tips on crime. Crime Stoppers public service announcements, in which media personalities take part, are also well-known locally and now internationally. Duane Moody has that story.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

The press conference held by Crime Stoppers Belize this morning was to acknowledge the media and various stakeholders with awards and tokens of appreciation for their assistance in promoting the thrust of the non-governmental organization. Crime Stoppers Belize has been in operation since 2004 and is a program that provides the public with the opportunity to anonymously provide tips of criminal activity to the authorities.

 

Janelle Chanona

Janelle Chanona, Crime Stoppers Belize

“We depend heavily on the support; people volunteering to help us. This year, we’ve noticed an increase in rewards—people calling to say can I get a reward for the tip that I contributed. We consider that a significant factor because it means that people are starting to believe that our program is totally anonymous and feel confident enough to call back and collect their reward and that the system; the process that we have in place to issue those rewards is trustworthy. The integrity of it is being endorsed. We always stress that we are not a replacement for the police department. We want you in every instance possible to call nine-one-one, to call the police, to call investigators on the ground.”

 

In September and for the second time in a row, two crime stoppers advertisement from Belize were regionally recognized at the organization’s International Conference.

 

Chris Garcia

Chris Garcia, Chief Operations Officer, Crime Stoppers Belize

“Last year we won as you know for the gun violence ad. Some people thought it was a bit gory, but that was what was happening and the international community recognized that and they saw the message that one bullet affects a whole nation. This year, we thought let’s do something that will get people together; do something with people that the public recognize and know. And so we reached out to our media people, the anchors, and they willing came together and they did it. The same in San Pedro. The guys from the different newspapers, radio stations came together and they did the ad also. So it was a matter of targeting the media for them to do something to show the public we do not only report crime, but we also take an active part in inviting people to reduce crime, report crime and stop the violence.”

 

So what’s the next move for crime stoppers? Chief Operations Officer, Chris Garcia, says that they will focus on the youths.

 

Chris Garcia

“Lauren Kids… she is a sexual abuse survivor; she is very open about it. She works with children who are going though that. She teaches the technique of how little children can protect themselves or protect the confidence to say something from the get go rather than waiting until after something has happened to them. And I have this bee in my bonnet that what I want to do is see if we can get her to come to Belize but in partnership with other groups who are already working for that type of project with children so that our children can protect themselves—boys and girls. Because what we are finding out is that a lot of cases that are getting tips to us are sexual abuse cases for children. So I see it and crime stoppers see it as the next step is to try and do something for these children to learn how to protect themselves.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.

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