Crime Stoppers & Castanet

Penticton Crime Stoppers' new partnership with Castanet is paying off.

Community Policing Coordinator, Al Sismey, says having mugshots appear on line has made a difference.

"By putting the mugshots on Castanet, we are noticing a better response,"
says Sismey.

He says people have been referring to the website when they call in with tips.

"We do receive calls where people say they saw a person around town who they remember seeing on Castanet," says Sismey.

He says he has noticed another difference in the tips.

"Interestingly, the quantity of tips we were receiving were down a little bit, but since the mugshots started appearing on Castanet, the quality has improved," says Sismey.

Sismey says taking anonymous tips online has made a difference.

"People like the security of the internet, partly because it feels more anonymous than actually speaking with someone on the phone. Our online tip system is completely anonymous, we can't even see the email address the tip comes from, " says Sismey.

He says Crime Stoppers pays cash rewards for tips that lead to arrests, which range from $50 to $2,000.

"It depends on the nature of the offense the person is wanted for. Major crimes are worth more of course. The largest amount that has been paid out of this office is about $700 " says Sismey.

Since Crime Stoppers started operating in Penticton in 1992, it has taken over 3,800 tips and made more than 500 arrests.

Castanet has been posting mugshots online since July.

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