4/25/2013 - Burlington restaurants partner to fight crime
Crime Stoppers posters go up at locations across city
Anti-crime initiative.Posters, reminding people to consider anonymously reporting criminal activity are being posted in Burlington bars and restaurants in a joint initiative between Crime Stoppers of Halton and the Burlington Restaurant Association. Taking part in the program`s launch are, front row from left, Const. Lad Butkovic, Karla Madge, Det. Const. Paul Proteau, Barry Glazier, Crime Stoppers of Halton Executive Director Dianne Hartwick and Mike Marcolin; back row from left, Ted Kindos, Sean Baird, Brian Dean, Burlington Restaurant Association President Craig Kowalchuk, Gene Quondamatteo, Mike Coles and Andrea Dodd.Inger MacKenzie - Burlington Post
“I feel that the posters will be successful in soliciting tips for several reasons, first of which is the visibility of the Crime Stoppers brand." — Det.-Const. Paul Proteau, Crime Stoppers of Halton Co-ordinator
Crime Stoppers of Halton and the Burlington Restaurant Association are partnering for an anti-crime initiative.
Posters are being put up in several restaurants across Burlington as high visibility venues to help the Crime Stoppers of Halton program attract tips about criminal activity in its silver anniversary year.
The posters contain the image of a bartender with the caption ‘Your Server is not the only one Looking for a TIP!’
The inference is that Crime Stoppers relies on anonymous information from the public to help solve crimes and that there are several ways to contact Crime Stoppers including by phone, website, texting and a mobile bar code, which when scanned, takes a mobile device user directly to the website.
“I feel that the posters will be successful in soliciting tips for several reasons, first of which is the visibility of the Crime Stoppers brand. Also, the increased ways in which to contact and then report information,” said Crime Stoppers of Halton Co-ordinator Det.-Const. Paul Proteau.
“I chose Burlington as I’m a longtime resident of the city. I was also a uniform officer working the downtown core for many years. (and) I’ve worked closely with many of the owners and managers comprising the association’s membership.”
The Burlington Restaurant Association includes Emma’s Back Porch, Joe Dog’s Gasbar and Grill, Gator Ted’s, Rude Native, SB Prime, Eatalia, Pluckers on Plains Road, Pluckers on Walker’s Line, Honey West, The Martini House, The Queen’s Head, QB’s, Boston Manor and Judge and Jury.
Proteau said the anonymity of tipsters is essential to the program’s success.
“We do not subscribe to call display, calls are not recorded and use encription softwear to protect anonymity by scrambling cellphone and computer IP addresses. Tipsters do not testify in court.”
Although Crime Stoppers operates independently of police, with its own volunteer board of directors comprised of Halton citizens, its goal is to assist police in solving crimes that might otherwise go unsolved.
Individual rewards of up to $2,000 are offered for information leading to an arrest.
Crime Stoppers is a charitable, non-profit organization that receives funding mainly through fundraising and donations.
In 2012, Crime Stoppers of Halton received 936 tips with 19 arrests made, 36 charges laid and 21 cases cleared. The value of drugs seized through tips was $307,900.
Twenty-seven tip rewards worth $3,325 were approved in 2012 with four paid worth a total of $650.
Since the Halton program began in 1988, nearly 13,000 tips have been received with almost 1,000 people arrested and 2,000 cases cleared.
Nearly $2.4 million in property has been recovered, $17M in drugs seized and 59 weapons confiscated.
More than 1,000 rewards have been approved overall worth $140,000 with $53,715 in rewards paid.
Crime Stoppers of Halton and the Burlington Restaurant Association are happy to announce a public service initiative where Crime Stoppers posters are posted in several restaurants across Burlington. The Association includes approximately eleven restaurants in the Burlington area. They inlcude: Emma`s Back Porch, Joe Dog`s Gasbar and Grill, Gator Ted`s, Rude Native, SB Prime, Eatalia, Pluckers on Plains Road, Pluckers on Walkers Line, Honey West, Martini House and The Queen`s Head.
"We feel that the posters will be successful in illiciting tips," said Crime Stoppers Police Coordinator Detective Constable Paul Proteau. Although Crime Stoppers is not an arm of the police, its goal is to assist in solving crimes that would otherwise go unsolved. The anonymity of tipsters is paramount to the program and what makes Crime Stoppers a unique program. We do not subscribe to call display, calls are not recorded and we use encryption software to protect anonymity by scrambling cell phone and computer IP addresses. Tipsters do not testify in court!
Crime Stoppers is a non-profit organization that receives funding mainly through fundraising and donations. The Crime Stoppers Board is comprised solely by volunteers.
4/17/2013 - Shredding identity theft with Crime Stoppers
NORTH OAKVILLE – One person’s trash could be an identity thief’s treasure.
With that in mind, Halton Crime Stoppers held a Community Shred-it Event Saturday at two locations, Dorval Crossing East Shopping Centre in North Oakville and MM Robinson High School in Burlington.
At each site, residents were invited to safely and securely dispose of household documents in a mobile paper shredder supplied by partners Shred-it, a paper and document shredding company.
According to volunteers, the rain and cold weather didn’t discourage business, as a steady stream of people with boxes and bags of personal documents arrived steadily throughout the day.
A nominal fee was charged for the service with proceeds going to the Halton Crime Stoppers program.
This Shred-it event raised $4,333 at its two locations.
Det. Const. Paul Proteau with Halton Crime Stoppers advised residents to never put anything containing personal information out with their regular trash.
“We have people that go around and check your blue boxes. They’re trying to find anything that identifies you or any information that they can use to sign up for credit cards or some other kind of fraudulent event,” he said.
Proteau said the Halton Crime Stoppers Shred-it events are win-win initiatives for the whole community, giving residents piece of mind while also funding the programs of the local crime prevention agency.
Halton Crime Stoppers’ next fundraising event is its 6th annual Charity Golf Tournament, taking place June 3, at Glen Abbey Golf Club, 1333 Dorval Drive.
4/4/2013 - Shred-it event can help guard against identity theft
Crime Stoppers of Halton is teaming up with its old partner, Shred-it, to host a Community Shred-it event.
It aims to raise funds and promote the safe disposal of personal documents that could potentially be used to steal a person’s identity.
The shredding of consumers’ confidential documents can help protect individuals and businesses against this threat as well as data breaches and other types of fraud.
On Saturday, April 13, Crime Stoppers and Shred-it will bring their expertise to Dorval Crossing East (Dorval Drive and North Service Road) and M.M. Robinson High School (Upper Middle and Guelph Line in Burlington) to help people take action and educate them against identity theft and fraud.
Shred-it mobile shredding trucks will be onsite from 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Consumers are encouraged to bring all the documents they can carry for shredding. Representatives from Crime Stoppers and Shred-it will be on-site and offering tips and advice on how to protect against identity theft.
Crime Stoppers is asking for $5 per bag, $10 per banker’s box and $15 per large box. Larger quantities are negotiable.
Volunteers will also be collecting pennies, so donate your pennies to a good cause before they disappear.
All proceeds go to support the local Crime Stoppers of Halton program.
Shred-it is an information security company providing document destruction services that ensure the security and integrity of clients’ private information.
The company operates 140 service locations in 16 countries worldwide, servicing more than 150,000 global, national and local businesses, including the world’s top intelligence and security agencies, more than 500 police forces, 1,500 hospitals, 8,500 bank branches and 1,200 universities and colleges.
2/1/2013 - Mayor Burton urges all residents to support the activities of Crime Stoppers of Halton
Rob Burton, Mayor of the Town of Oakville (right) met with D/Cst. Paul Proteau on Friday. Mayor Burton proclaimed January 2013 as Crime Stoppers Month and urged all residents to support the activities of Crime Stoppers of Halton: "Crime Stoppers of Halton has been extremely effective not only in assisting police to fight crime, but has also undertaken a number of initiatives to improve the quality of life and make things safer for residents of the communities within Halton Region."
1/31/2013 - Crime Stoppers a good tool in police arsenal
In 2012 Crime Stoppers of Halton received 983 anonymous tips about criminal activity taking place in the region.
While some tips didn’t pan out others led to 21 arrests, 46 charges being laid, $29,865 worth of stolen property being recovered and $307,900 worth of illegal drugs being seized.
Crime Stoppers isn’t the only investigative tool in the Halton police arsenal, but it is a good one, said Detective Constable Paul Proteau.
The new Crime Stoppers of Halton coordinator joined Administrative Coordinator Lauren Phillips recently to talk to the Oakville Beaver about the crime fighting organization and why it is successful.
“The anonymity part is huge,” said Proteau.
“Some people won’t come forward unless their identity is protected. The information these people provide is important and it needs to come to light or else some crimes might never be solved.”
When someone calls Crime Stoppers of Halton they usually talk to Phillips.
She said during the call she works hard to assure the tipster that their identity will not be revealed and they are doing the right thing by coming forward.
An examination of the phones in the Crime Stopper’s office, located within Halton police headquarters on Bronte Road, confirmed Phillips’ assertion that Crime Stoppers does not have Caller ID.
She also pointed out that for online tips the tipster’s IP address is purposely scrambled so those receiving the information cannot read it.
Similar precautions are in place for tips received via texting.
Proteau said the anonymity of Crime Stoppers is taken so seriously that if the person receiving the call actually recognizes the individual providing the tip, the call must be transferred to an outside Crime Stoppers operator.
Phillips said when compiling a report about a tip, she doesn’t even list whether the caller was male or female.
The anonymity of Crime Stoppers tipsters has been challenged from time to time with defence lawyers sometimes attempting to subpoena Crime Stoppers records or specific tips.
In every instance, however, these efforts have been unsuccessful.
“They can try to ask for it, but it is not going to happen,” said Proteau.
“The Canadian courts support Crime Stoppers and the anonymity of it.”
Once the tip is received, it is recorded on special paper, which cannot be photocopied or faxed.
The information is then relayed by Proteau to whatever division of the police service that will be able to deal with it.
The information is not evidence, but can send a police investigation in the right direction — a direction it might not have taken.
Phillips said the bulk of the tips are related to illegal drug activity, however, others can be related to just about anything from fraud to homicide.
Occasionally, Proteau said, Crime Stoppers of Halton fields calls for things that are not even police matters such as someone reporting that a child is not being cared for properly.
In those instances, Proteau said he forwards the tip to the appropriate agency.
If the information ultimately leads to an arrest, the Crime Stoppers board of directors will determine if the individual is entitled to a cash reward.
As Crime Stoppers has no idea if the person will receive a reward when they provide information and has no way of calling the individual back, the tipster is given an identification number. They are then asked to call back after a few weeks to see if they have a reward coming to them.
An outside agency is given the money and the tipster is left to make arrangements with them for collecting the reward.
While every caller is different, Phillips said for the most part they are quite pleasant.
“Most people are really cool and friendly,” she said.
“I find a lot of people aren’t even interested in the money, they just want to get something off their chest.”
Lack of interest in rewards
This lack of interest in the reward money could be seen throughout 2012 when the board of directors approved 27 rewards totalling $3,325. Just four tipsters actually collected their rewards totalling $650.
A similar trend can be seen since Crime Stoppers of Halton’s inception in 1988 with more than $140,000 in rewards being approved, but only $53,715 claimed.
While some tips may not work out, others, no matter how small, can make all the difference in the world to a family devastated by crime.
Halton Crime Stoppers Chair Gary McLean knows this better than most.
In 2004, McLean’s 21-year-old nephew Terry was brutally murdered during a home invasion in Vancouver.
McLean said the three men responsible were only caught because someone called Victoria Crime Stoppers and reported they had seen a specific car in the area the night of the murder.
Crime Stoppers is a community-based charity and as such requires donations to continue to operate. Donations can be made through Halton Region by calling 905-825-6000, ext. 5139, or online at www.haltoncrimestoppers.com.
Tips can be made to Crime Stoppers of Halton by calling 905-825-8477 (TIPS) or visiting www.haltoncrimestoppers.comor by texting ‘TIP201’ with your message to CRIMES (274637).
David Lea, Oakville Beaver
1/30/2013 - January is Crime Stoppers Month!
Halton Regional Chair, Gary Carr (right) extends his warm greetings and congratulations to Crime Stoppers of Halton`s Police Coordinator, Cst. Paul Proteau (left) and Crime Stoppers of Halton Director, Joy Nolan, on January being Crime Stoppers Month.
"Halton Region is proud to once again be named the safest regional municipality in Canada for the fourth year in a row," stated the Chair. "We are grateful for the extensive work and the commitment displayed by Crime Stoppers of Halton to help deter crime in our community."
1/29/2013 - Milton Mayor Proclaims January as Crime Stoppers Month
Crime Stoppers of Halton`s Police Coordinator, D/Cst. Paul Proteau (right) met with the Town of Milton`s Mayor, Gordon Krantz (left), who presented Crime Stoppers of Halton with a Proclamation of January being Crime Stoppers Month. Mayor Krantz took the opportunity to wish Crime Stoppers a successful campaign.
1/22/2013 - Crime Stoppers looks to boost presence in schools
David Lea, Oakville Beaver
Crime Stoppers of Halton’s new co-ordinator hopes to boost the organization’s presence in local schools so young people understand how the program works and that anonymity figures prominently in its success.
Halton police Det. Const. Paul Proteau hinted at the future of Crime Stoppers during an interview with The Oakville Beaver at Halton police headquarters Tuesday.
Proteau took over the post of Crime Stoppers co-ordinator from Sgt. Gary Gold, who held the role for six years.
Proteau admitted he jumped at the position because, he said, Crime Stoppers is an essential part of keeping Halton one of the safest communities in Canada.
“If the Crime Stoppers program wasn’t around, there would be tons of information that wouldn’t be passed on to police because a lot of people don’t want to come forward,” he said.
“The anonymity of the program is what makes it special and unique and that’s what makes it work. It’s so interesting that we have this program and it’s not even funded by us. I’d like to see it keep going and I’d like to improve on it, if I can.”
Proteau joined Halton police in 2000 working first in Oakville and then his native Burlington.
His career has taken numerous twists and turns from uniform patrol to a position as a high school liaison officer in Burlington.
“That was interesting. I get along really well with the teens. Some people think we just walk the halls or just go in, arrest kids and come out, but we do everything,” said Proteau.
“We do presentations on bullying, drugs, civics, careers. We do walk the hall to make our presence visible, but we’ve also done plainclothes operations around the schools looking for drug use, selling, that kind of thing.”
Gary McLean, chair of the Crime Stoppers of Halton board, said Proteau’s work in the high schools and his ability to relate to local youths make him an ideal choice for Crime Stoppers co-ordinator as the organization regularly holds school presentations.
The Crime Stoppers co-ordinator is also responsible for taking tips received to the police as well as compiling statistics, assisting the board with projects, holding community presentations, and presenting cases where tips may be warranted to the board.
“I’d like to get more into the high schools with the Crime Stoppers. We’re finding more that we are going away from a face-to-face society. It’s a technology and texts culture. The kids are huge on texting so I think that is really something that is really going to develop over the next few years,” said Proteau.
“Every school now has a big screen TV in the auditorium or lunch room. I’m hoping to get the Crime Stoppers image up there or info on the Crime of the Week or something related to the schools. The more it’s seen on the screen, the more they are going to pay attention to it. I’m hoping that will really increase the number of tips and crimes solved.”
McLean said the idea is valid as every time Crime Stoppers does a presentation in a high school there is a noticeable increase in tips delivered through texting.
Proteau’s tenure as Halton’s Crime Stoppers co-ordinator is expected to last three to five years.
“We’re glad to have Paul onboard,” said McLean.
“I think he’s got the right profile to do a great job. We look forward to working with him as a board.”
Tips can be made to Crime Stoppers of Halton by calling 905-825-8477 (TIPS) or visitingwww.haltoncrimestoppers.comor by texting ‘TIP201’ with your message to CRIMES (274637).
Crime Stoppers is a community-based charity and as such requires donations to continue to operate.