History of Crime Stoppers

Crime Stoppers began in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in September of 1976. In partnership with the media and local law enforcement agencies, members of the local community began an effort to provide crime-solving assistance to law enforcement.

A cash reward was offered to anonymous persons who telephone the Crime Stoppers hotline with information that led to the arrest and indictment of the person(s) responsible for felony offenses.


Today, there are over 1,000 Crime Stoppers programs in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa, Bahamas, British West Indies, Micronesia, and other nations.

Three Essential Elements Make Up a Crime Stoppers Program

THE COMMUNITY Citizens are responsible for forming a Crime Stoppers non-profit corporation, whose directors establish policy, determine the amount and method of reward payments, work closely with the law enforcement agenices and the media and generally oversee the program. The directors are also responsible for fundraising and are all volunteers. Tax money is not sought.

THE MEDIA Crime Stoppers methods, objectives, successes, and phone numbers are publicized on a regular basis by the media. An unsolved “Crime of the Week” is given special treatment with details published in newspapers, on radio, and in certain cases a re-enactment on television.

LAW ENFORCEMENT A special Crime Stoppers phone with a well-publicized number is provided to the community. Callers are assigned a special Code number and NEVER give their names. If, after the investigation, the information leads to an arrest, the caller may be entitled to a reward.

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