Crime Stoppers Barbados (CSB) is desperately in need of a financial lifeline in order to continue serving this country.
The local branch, which facilitates anonymous crime tips, sustain an anger management programme in schools and leads a whistleblowing initiative for the business sector warned on Wednesday that it may no longer be able to maintain this service which it had been rendering for the past 12 years, if it does not get an injection of funding urgently.
While not specifying a figure for the funding required, a senior official of CSB, who preferred not to be named, told Barbados TODAY that the organisation already pays for the regular 1-800-8477 tips telephone line and was forced to charge businesses for its revamped Integrity Line which allows concerned persons to report crime or other destructive behaviour occurring within a business.
The official explained that while most businesses that have been offered the service embrace it, only one has so far jumped onboard over the past two years, with the others blaming the current economic downturn in the economy for not being able to pay for the line.
The Crime Stoppers Barbados spokesperson said that unlike the case of the 1-800 line service where the information provided anonymously by the public is passed unto the local police for investigation and action, the tips through the Integrity Line are channelled directly back to the employer who would normally seek to resolve the matter internally.
The local entity said it also approached the Government to offer the Integrity Line service but the story was the same as with the majority of businesses, which declined to pay for the line.
The Integrity Line, Crime Stoppers told Barbados TODAY is a dynamic and useful communication tool for employees who feel uncomfortable using formal communication channels to report what they know and remain anonymous in the process. Crime Stoppers promotes it as a simple, low-cost deterrent against inappropriate workplace behaviour, which provides protection from negative publicity by allowing management to deal with issues internally while demonstrating to stakeholders that there is a commitment to instil and preserve a culture of honesty and integrity whilst complying with relevant codes of good corporate governance.
Over the past 10 years, CSB received 25,483 tips, 306 of the cases reported to the police were cleared, 242 charges were laid and 133 arrests made.
The organisation is also reporting that it paid out just under $2,300 to persons who provided tips that proved useful, recovered well over $259,000 worth in property. Tips resulted in $2.2 million in illegal drugs being seized.
The Crime Stoppers official also pointed out that the most common crimes reported to the tips lines are gun violence and illicit drugs.
With Barbados now experiencing a resurgence in gun crime and violent deaths and more recently, public outrage over a music video that has gone viral promoting and glorifying gun crimes, Crime Stoppers sees the need for its service now more than ever.
“If we don’t get sponsorship, we will not be able to continue our service. We need sponsorship. I would like this to get over to the public,” the official stated. ([email protected])