Canadian Crime Stoppers Launches Tips via Text Message

Anonymous text messaging joins the fight against crime

TORONTO – April 24, 2008 -The Canadian Crime Stoppers Association, in collaboration with Anderson Software, today added an exciting new tool to its arsenal in combating crime. Beginning today, Canadians in most major urban centres will have the ability to anonymously text message their tips to Canadian Crime Stoppers at CRIMES (274637). This new program will allow cell phone users to make anonymous tips when voice calls may not always be possible or safe. Today’s announcement coincides with a launch of similar programs in the US and the UK.

TipSoft, developed by Texas-based Anderson Software, will allow text messaging informants to remain anonymous. This service assigns an encrypted alias to all identifying information, maintaining the tipster’s complete anonymity. This program also allows Crime Stoppers to respond by text message to the originating cell phone without ever knowing the tipster’s identity.

“In Canada, we are delighted to now have the capability to receive tips via text message,” said Ralph Page, Chair of the Canadian Crime Stoppers Association. “We do know that the younger generation, in particular, is adept at text messaging, and it is our hope that we can further increase the number of tips coming into Crime Stoppers using this new, anonymous and secure technology”.

The major Canadian regions taking part in this new initiative include: Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, PEI, New Brunswick, Ottawa, Halton, Toronto, Lethbridge, Northwest Ontario, Sudbury, Winnipeg, Regina, Saskatoon, Moose Jaw, Edmonton and Calgary.

Each participating region has a specific tip number code, such as “TIP252” for cell users in Ottawa/Gatineau. Tipsters will be required to include this code when they text their tips to CRIMES. These codes determine routing through the system. For example: “TIP252 Drugs being sold at corner of Bank and Third” would route the message to Ottawa/Gatineau Crime Stoppers officials. This service has no premium fee, but standard text messaging rates apply.

Region Tip Codes:
183 – Calgary
250 – Edmonton
201 – Halton Region
232 – Lethbridge
193 – Moose Jaw
212 – New Brunswick
262 – Northwest Ontario (Kenora)
202 – Nova Scotia
190 – Newfoundland and Labrador
252 – Ottawa/Gatineau (National Capital Area)
162 – PEI
168 – Regina
210 – Saskatoon
267 – Sudbury
312 – Toronto
170 – Winnipeg

“We knew it was time to develop and provide a truly secure and anonymous means of easily communicating with tipsters via text messages,” said Kevin Anderson, CEO of Anderson Software and long-time supporter and IT Partner of Crime Stoppers. “Our new TipSoft v5 Online, hosted on our secure servers, provides for the seamless reception and management of information whether coming in via phone, the Web or as a text message tip.”

Crime Stoppers believes this new system will entice more informants to come forward, especially tech-savvy youth. Text messaging is becoming an increasingly popular means of communication. The Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA) reports that the number of person-to-person text messages in Canada totalled 10.1 billion in 2007, an increase of 133% over the 2006 total of 4.3 billion messages. Canadians are now sending almost 40 million text messages per day.

“Wireless technologies have long been a lifeline for Canadians’ safety and security,” said Peter Barnes, President and CEO of CWTA. “We are extremely pleased to see that this innovative partnership between Crime Stoppers and Anderson Software will offer Canadians an additional way to help keep our communities safe.”

Complete instructions about texting tips to Crime Stoppers can be found at: www.smscrimetips.com.

For more information contact:
Ralph Page
Chair, Canadian Crime Stoppers Association
807-466-8978
rpage@kmts.ca

Kevin Anderson
President, Anderson Software LLC
936-569-0447
nka@andersoft.com

Local Crime Stoppers contacts for media inquiries:

Calgary – Doug Fraser, President, Calgary Crime Stoppers. 403-261-0242
Edmonton – Flavia Robles, Executive Director, Crime Stoppers Edmonton & Northern Alberta. 780-421-1122
Halton Region – Det. Gary Gold, Coordinator, Crime Stoppers of Halton. 905-825-4747 ext. 5139
Lethbridge – Blaine Stodolka, Lethbridge Police Department. 403-330-5020
Moose Jaw – Cst. Jessica Forrester, Coordinator, Moose Jaw Crime Stoppers. 306-694-7641
New Brunswick – Noel Cyr, Provincial Police Coordinator, NB Crime Stoppers. 506-452-4105
Northwest Ontario – Gary Potter, Coordinator, Northwestern Ontario and Northern Minnesota Crime Stoppers. 807-467-1931
Nova Scotia – Sgt. Wayne Noonan, Coordinator, Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers. 902-426-4162
Newfoundland and Labrador – Cpl. Boyd Merril, Coordinator, Crime Stoppers of Newfoundland & Labrador. 709-729-8229
Ottawa/Gatineau – Sgt. Claude Parent, Ottawa Police Service. 613-236-1222 ext. 2494
PEI – Paul Stetson, Coordinator, PEI Crime Stoppers. 902-566-7081
Regina – Cst. Linda Yadlowski, Coordinator, Regina Crime Stoppers. 306-777-6363
Saskatoon – Cst. Carolyn Wensley, Coordinator, Saskatoon Crime Stoppers. 306-975-8272
Sudbury – Cst. Bert Lapalme, Coordinator, Sudbury Rainbow Crime Stoppers. 705-675-9171 ext. 2101
Toronto – Lorne Simon, Chair, Toronto Crime Stoppers. 416-560-6441; Det. Larry Straver, Coordinator, Toronto Crime Stoppers. 416-808-7260
Winnipeg – Reg Parkin, Chairperson, Winnipeg Crime Stoppers. 204-941-4087

Canadian Crime Stoppers Association
Crime Stoppers is a civilian, non profit, charitable organization that brings together in a triparte relationship, the police services of a community, the media and the community in the fight against crime. Crime Stoppers provides citizens with a vehicle to anonymously supply the police with information about a crime or potential crime of which they have knowledge. Cash rewards are offered to people who contact the program and their information leads to an arrest. (www.canadiancrimestoppers.org)

Anderson Software
Anderson Software develops unique and industry leading software and secure web applications specifically for the Law Enforcement, Homeland Security and Emergency Management industries. (www.andersoft.com)

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