18 January 2017

Crimestoppers, the crime-fighting charity, is today launching a new volunteer committee for Wiltshire in Salisbury.

Using a Heart FM radio advert, a digital advertising van, social media, posters and leaflets, the charity is looking to raise awareness of the 24/7 anonymous 0800 555 111 telephone number and online form at crimestoppers-uk.org.

This event follows last year’s appointment of regional manager for Gloucestershire and Wiltshire, Emily Van der Lely, which has already led to an increase in campaign activity and crime information received.

Wiltshire passed on over 1,000 pieces of information to the police in the area during the last calendar year, a 19.7% increase, and a figure that the new committee will work to grow even further in their bid to tackle crime across the county.

Since its inception in 1988, Crimestoppers has passed over 1.7 million pieces of information to law enforcement agencies resulting in over £134 million stolen goods recovered and over £332 million drugs seized.

Crimestoppers works at a grassroots level across the UK helping to fight crime in local communities. Our volunteer network is integral to this, working with local law enforcement agencies, businesses and other charities to launch campaigns and events, helping to raise awareness and make communities safer places to live.

Recent research into the importance of our anonymity confirms how valuable Crimestoppers is to the people who contact us.

‘Nadia’ has moved to a new area to recover from a serious drug addiction problem – “if I had stayed there I would have died.” She is a former sex worker and has seen serious crimes involving drugs, violence and sexual assault. She has never reported a crime to the police because she is worried about her background.

Drug activity is so normal around her that she has ceased to see it as a serious crime. However, she did persuade friends who were victims of sexual abuse to contact Rape Crisis.

In her old flat she used to regularly hear her neighbour arguing with her boyfriend. One evening she heard him banging on her neighbour’s door and then breaking into her property. This was followed by screaming. It was the only time she has wanted to call the police.

“I sat with 999 on my phone, completely paralysed,” but was too scared that it would be obvious it was her, “he’s a really scary guy.” Another neighbour called the police, but ‘Nadia’ pretended not to be in when they knocked on her door to ask questions.

This is where Crimestoppers can really make a difference. No-one need ever know that ‘Nadia’ had come forward with information. She would never have to give a statement to police or go to court.

Matthew McGinn, Volunteer Chairperson for the new Wiltshire committee, said: “Crimestoppers makes a real difference to communities. It empowers individuals to give information about criminals safely and anonymously. In the short time I’ve been involved with Crimestoppers I’ve been really impressed with the enthusiasm and professionalism of those I’ve met and I look forward to working with local people and law enforcement organisations on campaigns that really make a difference to Wiltshire.”

Emily Van Der Lely, Regional Manager for Crimestoppers in Wiltshire, added: “Volunteers bring energy, enthusiasm and a concern for the welfare of the local community. They also bring their own ideas and expertise which is what helps to bring about such fantastic results.

“We encourage anyone with a real interest in Crimestoppers to join us by volunteering or by becoming a Charity Ambassador, helping to spread the message that anyone with information on crime can report anonymously.”

**Anyone interested in becoming a Crimestoppers volunteer can complete the brief, online ‘Volunteer Enquiry Form’.

For further information please contact Fiona Murton-Taylor, PR & Media Officer for Crimestoppers, on 0208 835 3752/ email fiona.murton-taylor@crimestoppers-uk.org