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73 Police J. 143 (2000)
The Value of Crimestoppers

handle is hein.journals/policejl73 and id is 147 raw text is: ALAN MARLOW AND RALPH MILLER
Vauxhall Centre for the Study of Crime, University of Luton
THE VALUE OF CRIMESTOPPERS
Introduction
The principle of Crimestoppers is that it uses guaranteed anonymity as
a means of increasing usable information on crime and offenders to
assist or increase apprehensions, convictions, the recovery of property
or the seizure of illegal items or substances. It is a tactic available for
use in strategies of crime control. The concept originated in the USA in
1976 and was introduced to the UK in 1988. Since then, the volume of
calls to Crimestoppers has increased yearly and the number of persons
arrested and charged annually has increased by almost a factor of 10.
The shift towards intelligence led detection in policing, signalled by
the Audit Commission in Helping With Enquiries: Tackling Crime
Effectively has given impetus to Crimestoppers.
The Crimestoppers Trust is a registered charity that manages the
non-police aspects of the scheme-publicity, promotion, financial
rewards and fundraising. There are 29 regions, in each of which is a
Crimestoppers Office funded and staffed by the constituent police
forces. Each region is supported by a Board of Volunteers drawn
from the local business community, media, local authorities and the
police. The local boards work under the umbrella of the Crimestoppers
Trust.
The Research
The research reported here was commissioned by the Crimestoppers
Trust. The remit was to seek to establish the value of Crimestoppers to
the police and society in general. In a paper presented at the Police
Staff College in November 1995, G.D. Berry of Staffordshire Uni-
versity used the concept of opportunity cost to assess the effect of
Crimestoppers (Berry, 1995). Despite the fact that available data
precluded an accurate resource saving analysis, the model derived
suggested that the use of Crimestoppers could produce gross savings of
at least £4.6 million per annum, representing 70 additional police
officers available for duty.
Some preliminary enquiries were conducted at Crimestopper
regions, as a result of which it was concluded that any approach based
upon a simple cost-benefit analysis may not be achievable as there are
too many intervening variables to try to demonstrate a simple cause and
effect sequence. In any case, such a study was beyond the resources
of this research. The aim of the research was therefore to seek to
demonstrate the concept of 'added value' or, to reverse the premise,
what would be lost if Crimestoppers was not available.

The Police Journal, Volume 73 (2000)

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