HTTP/1.0 200 OK Content-Type: text/html Drug Laws Blamed For Low Crime Stoppers Numbers
Pubdate: Tue, 03 Feb 2004
Source: Lindsay This Week (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Lindsay This Week
Author: Marcus Tully


Anonymous Crime-Fighting Unit Released Stats For 2003

Crime Stoppers officials believe inconsistencies with Canada's drug laws 
likely played a part in reducing the number of anonymous drug-related tips 
in 2003.

Kawartha Lakes Police Const. Robin Schilz, also the Crime Stoppers 
co-ordinator, believes changes in the country's laws for simple possession 
of marijuana last year reflect in the most recent statistics released by 
Kawartha-Haliburton Crime Stoppers.

In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada made it not a criminal offence to 
possess small amounts of pot.

The decision was later reversed, which Const. Schilz believes created 
confusion for many in the community.

"I just think with the uncertainty with respect to the country's marijuana 
laws. . . people just felt it (having pot) wasn't illegal and thought, so 
why should I bother to call."

The officer notes Crime Stoppers continued to receive calls concerning more 
serious offences, dealing with drugs such as crack cocaine.

In all, Crime Stoppers reports a total of $342,280 worth of drugs were 
seized in 2003, as a direct result of Crime Stoppers, compared to almost $9 
million the year before.

But even then, Const. Schilz notes more than one-third of the total drugs 
seized in 2002 came as a result of a $3.5-million bust in Haliburton County.

Tips from Crime Stoppers last year netted about one-fourth of the $84,500 
in stolen property recovered in 2002, but statistics show a total of 210 
people called the organization, comparable to 236 the year before.

Twenty-four suspects were arrested last year because of investigations 
generated through Crime Stoppers.

Thirty-two were arrested the year before.

Yet, even though the organization didn't see a substantial drop in the 
number of people arrested through tips, Crime Stoppers paid out a mere $450 
in 2003 - less than one-fifth of what tipsters earned the year before.
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