ACPO / ACPOS Crimestoppers Manual
Guidance and Policy for Law Enforcement Use of Crimestoppers
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010
1. Introduction ........................................................................... 5
1.1. Welcome statement from DCC Mike Barton ........................................ 5
1.2. Welcome statement from Lord Ashcroft, KCMG.................................... 6
1.3. How to use this document ............................................................. 6
1.3.1 Where to find it on Crimestoppers Intranet .................................. 7
1.3.2 Formats available ................................................................ 7
1.3.3 How and when it will be updated ............................................. 7
1.4. Who should use the Manual ........................................................... 8
1.5. Glossary of terms ....................................................................... 8
2. About Crimestoppers ................................................................ 9
2.1. History of Crimestoppers .............................................................. 9
2.2. Vision, purpose and values of Crimestoppers....................................... 9
2.2.1 Charity strategy and direction ................................................ 11
2.2.2 Equal opportunities and diversity ............................................ 11
2.3. Organisational structure .............................................................. 11
2.4. Financial ................................................................................ 13
2.5. People ................................................................................... 13
2.5.1 Volunteers........................................................................ 13
2.5.2 Staff Members ................................................................... 14
2.6. Police partners ......................................................................... 15
2.7. Crime Stoppers International ........................................................ 15
3. Management of Crimestoppers Partnership ................................... 16
3.1. Key role of police forces and law enforcement ................................... 16
3.2. Upholding anonymity .................................................................. 16
3.3. ACPO/ ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group ...................................... 17
3.3.1 ACPOS ............................................................................. 17
3.4. Management of Crimestoppers within the force .................................. 17
3.4.1 Operation within FIB............................................................ 17
3.4.2 Different force models ......................................................... 18
3.4.3 Force champions ................................................................ 18
3.5. Crimestoppers Police Coordinator .................................................. 18
3.6. Outcomes of Crimestoppers information ........................................... 19
3.6.1 Crimestoppers statistics ....................................................... 19
3.6.2 Interesting cases ................................................................ 19
3.7. Relationship with the volunteer committees ...................................... 19
3.7.1 Coordinating rewards ........................................................... 19
3.7.2 Advising on campaign issues ................................................... 19
3.7.3 What are not appropriate campaign issues.................................. 20
3.7.4 Volunteer management and motivation ..................................... 20
3.8. Training and meetings ................................................................ 20
3.8.1 Coordinators Working Group .................................................. 20
4. Police Coordinator resources .................................................... 22
4.1. Sharing best practice and learning from each other ............................. 22
4.2. Training and support .................................................................. 22
4.3. Police Coordinator FAQs .............................................................. 22
4.3.1 What does the Crimestoppers Police Coordinator do? ..................... 22
4.3.2 Do Coordinators receive an induction? ....................................... 23
4.3.3 How do I get my opinions heard? ............................................. 23
4.3.4 How does Crimestoppers recognise the contribution of police?.......... 23
4.3.5 How do I keep up with all the latest information? ......................... 23
4.3.6 How should I update my and my force contact details? ................... 24
5. Maximising the use of Crimestoppers in force ................................ 25
5.1. Most Wanted ........................................................................... 25
5.1.1 Most Wanted best practice .................................................... 25
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 2
5.2. Training Officers and police staff ................................................... 25
5.3. Proactive use of reward offers ...................................................... 26
5.4. BCU competition ....................................................................... 26
5.5. Targeting information ................................................................. 26
5.5.1 Neighbourhood Policing ........................................................ 26
5.5.2 Major crime ...................................................................... 26
5.5.3 Witnesses and victims .......................................................... 28
6. Mechanisms for receiving Crimestoppers information ...................... 29
6.1. 24:7 Bureau............................................................................. 29
6.2. Phone calls ............................................................................. 29
6.2.1 Call costs and itemised billing ................................................ 30
6.3. Online ................................................................................... 30
6.4. Text / SMS .............................................................................. 30
7. Operational procedures ........................................................... 31
7.1. Using anonymous information in force ............................................. 31
7.1.1 Actionable information ......................................................... 31
7.1.2 Adding value to information ................................................... 31
7.1.3 Records and databases ......................................................... 31
7.1.4 Dissemination and feedback ................................................... 31
7.1.5 Using Crimestoppers information in investigations ........................ 32
7.1.6 Tracing Crimestoppers’ contacts ............................................. 32
7.2. Disclosure ............................................................................... 32
7.2.1 Law relating to disclosure ..................................................... 32
7.2.2 Unused material ................................................................. 32
7.2.3 Public Interest Immunity ....................................................... 33
7.2.4 Coordinators role disclosing information .................................... 33
7.2.5 Witnesses and rewards ......................................................... 34
7.2.6 At court........................................................................... 35
7.2.7 Statement from Coordinator .................................................. 35
7.3. Call taking .............................................................................. 36
7.3.1 Call management systems ..................................................... 36
7.3.2 Repeat abusive callers ......................................................... 36
7.4. Protecting anonymity ................................................................. 36
7.4.1 Stepping outside anonymity ................................................... 37
7.4.2 Tracing Crimestoppers’ users ................................................. 37
7.5. Information grading ................................................................... 37
7.6. Not victims/witnesses ................................................................ 37
7.6.1 Reporting crime ................................................................. 37
7.7. Tasking .................................................................................. 39
7.8. Reference numbers .................................................................... 39
7.9. Risk to Crimestoppers contacts ...................................................... 39
7.9.1 Vulnerable people .............................................................. 39
7.10. Covert Human Intelligence Sources ................................................. 40
8 Legal Framework ................................................................... 42
8.1. National Intelligence Model .......................................................... 42
8.2. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, RIPA ............................... 42
8.3. Freedom of Information Act (2003) ................................................. 42
8.4. National Crime Reporting Standards ................................................ 42
9. Rewards .............................................................................. 43
9.1. Reward anonymity ..................................................................... 43
9.1.1 Witnesses ......................................................................... 43
9.2. Routine rewards policy ............................................................... 43
9.2.1 Rewards Matrix .................................................................. 44
9.2.2 Payment process ................................................................ 48
9.2.3 Reward coordination with the Bureau ....................................... 48
9.3. Enhanced Rewards..................................................................... 49
9.3.1 Applying for Crimestoppers Enhanced Rewards ............................ 49
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 3
9.3.2 Enhanced Reward renewal..................................................... 50
9.3.3 Paying Enhanced Rewards ..................................................... 50
9.3.4 Publicising the Enhanced Reward............................................. 50
9.4. Other rewards (Third Party) ......................................................... 51
9.5. Reward risk assessment ............................................................... 51
9.5.1 Risk Assessment Form .......................................................... 51
10 Partnerships and joint working .................................................. 52
10.1. National partners ...................................................................... 52
10.2. Local partners .......................................................................... 52
10.2.1 Public authorities ............................................................... 53
10.3. Working with specific audiences .................................................... 53
10.3.1 Celebrities ....................................................................... 53
10.3.2 Young people .................................................................... 53
10.4. Endorsements .......................................................................... 54
10.5. Memorandum of Understanding ..................................................... 54
11. Communicating the message ................................................. 55
11.1. Branding ................................................................................ 55
11.1.1 Corporate identity .............................................................. 55
11.1.2 Crimestoppers logo and licensing ............................................. 56
11.1.3 Key messages .................................................................... 56
11.1.4 Reputation management ....................................................... 56
11.2. Police press office ..................................................................... 58
11.3. Working with the media .............................................................. 59
11.3.1 Targeting different types of media........................................... 59
11.4. Organising campaigns and events ................................................... 60
11.5. Publications ............................................................................ 61
11.6 Website and intranet .................................................................. 61
Appendix 1 Statistics Guide .................................................................... 62
Appendix 2 Circulation of Images of Suspects: Suggested Force Protocol ............... 66
Appendix 3 Crimestoppers Most Wanted User Manual ...................................... 68
Appendix 4 The Crimestoppers Guide to Call Handling .................................... 78
Appendix 5 Crimestoppers Reward Payment Risk Assessment Form ................... 103
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 4
1.1. Welcome statement from DCC Mike Barton
Chair ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group
The manual has been written by practitioners. Its purpose is to ensure that we get the very best out of
our partnership with Crimestoppers and at the same time protect it, as it depends absolutely on the
public’s confidence in its integrity. I commend it to you and ask for your support in protecting what
has become a hugely powerful brand. We jointly profit from the independence and charitable status
of Crimestoppers, in this way reassuring callers of their anonymity.
Every day 20 people are arrested as a result of 260 pieces of actionable intelligence received by
Crimestoppers. Many of these arrests, or other successful outcomes, might not have happened
without that information from Crimestoppers and in most cases, the investigation is speeded up or
benefits in some other way from it.
These arrests are invaluable; criminals are being tackled, crimes solved and most importantly
members of the public who provided us with the intelligence see the police taking positive action.
However I would challenge all police forces that more could and should be done to make better use of
intelligence from Crimestoppers. If all forces performed at least ‘averagely’ then an additional 1460
criminals would be arrested every year. If all performed to match the most impressive forces 52
people would be arrested every day – an additional 11680 arrests per year.
Those forces that have used focused campaigns have also reaped the rewards. Crimestoppers delivers
an effective and value for money solution.
The future is exciting. The use of technology to engage with the public and especially young people is
just one of the many good ideas being progressed.
The international dimension of Crimestoppers and the increasing numbers of Most Wanted criminals
being brought to justice is also welcome.
I am proud to be part of such an effective partnership and am confident this manual will allow us to
improve performance and confidence year on year.
Chair ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 5
1.2. Welcome statement from Lord Ashcroft, KCMG
First of all, as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the charity, welcome to Crimestoppers.
Our work is vital. Crimestoppers is the only organisation in the UK that helps the police to solve crimes
through the use of anonymous information and every day through this extraordinary partnership we
save lives, help the police bring serious criminals to justice and make our communities safer. Being
part of the Crimestoppers community, whether police or a member of the charity is an important role,
making a significant contribution to our society, and extremely rewarding.
By its nature, and in today’s mass information environment, “anonymity” is very sensitive to fracture
and at the same time absolutely fundamental to our success; one failure could damage us seriously.
Thus every one of us is responsible in both our behaviour and actions to protect it; our reputation
underpins the guarantee of anonymity which is why people who may be very close to the criminal and
in fear of their lives contact us, knowing we will not compromise.
This Manual explains how we work together, using our collective experience gained so far to describe
the way both the charity and the police manage this unique set of information in order to protect the
integrity of the operation. It is also aimed at ensuring that the quality of information and its
management makes it credible and usable, seeking to get the best possible rate of detections from
From the charity’s perspective, every one of us is committed to supporting the police in fighting crime
and making our communities safer. We have taken upon us the citizen’s duty to help the police make
our country safer, an important responsibility that we strive to honour.
From the police perspective, this Manual, guiding the procedures and processes for the police side of
the Crimestoppers partnership, is an essential tool in exploiting this unique capability to the full.
Chair of Trustees
1.3. How to use this document
The purpose of this Manual is to set out the code of practice that will ensure that Crimestoppers
achieves the best possible outcomes with the resources available. It is issued by the Chair of the
ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group as the way UK Police Services and Law Enforcement
agencies are to work with the charity and reflects the charity’s four over-arching principles:
• The need to focus exclusively on the charitable objectives of Crimestoppers and continuous
• The need to ensure police demonstrate commitment to the charitable objectives of
Crimestoppers and are supported as best as possible; to be seen to be a great charity to be
• To ensure that we get the best value for money from resources; to be seen by donors as
highly efficient in transferring their funding into high value.
• To ensure we meet legal requirements for the running of a charity and are seen to be
exemplars of best practice; to be proud of doing this properly.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 6
These guidelines seek a way of achieving all four principles with the minimum bureaucracy and the
most effect, while all members of the Crimestoppers community, volunteers, police and staff enjoy
their work and achieve personal satisfaction.
Some sections have a section summary at the start, signposts to related resources, including
hyperlinks to relevant documents, policies and toolkits. Some sections have a ‘top tips’ summary of
best practice related to the topic.
For the purposes of this Manual, ‘regions’ are defined as the government administrative regions; as
are London, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.
Every police officer or member of police staff with responsibility for Crimestoppers within their force
should be familiar with the principles and policies within the Manual.
Where to find it on Crimestoppers Intranet
The following is a guide to finding many of the documents that you might find useful and that are
mentioned in the Manual.
• Most needed
This section of the intranet has a wide range of useful advice, plus links allowing you to download key
policy documents. Under the heading document library you can find useful templates such as a generic
media release which can be used to publicise regional campaigns as well as tips on how to write an
attention-grabbing media release.
• News & updates
This section of the intranet has information about what is making news and how much media coverage
Crimestoppers has received across the UK. This section includes ‘From the Centre’, where you can
download the latest Crimestoppers 21 hot facts, the latest edition of CS News and other top pieces of
information. Lastly, there is ‘Key Statistics’, which includes all the latest crime information such as how
many people have been arrested and charged for the year.
This section of the intranet has information related to Crimestoppers Campaigns such as campaign
launches (new and forthcoming), campaign archives and a section sharing successful campaign lessons
• About us
This section of the intranet has information about the charity and its vision, achievements, finances
and future plans and strategy.
• Our people
This section of the intranet details information about all staff, Police Coordinators and volunteers
within the Crimestoppers community, their roles and contact details. Basic profiles are set up for new
volunteers but each person is responsible for updating their details on ‘Who’s Who’.
Electronic versions of this Manual are encouraged as the main format to be used, not only because it is
‘greener’, but because it is also less costly and much easier to keep updated. The Manual will be ‘live’
on the charity’s Intranet in the ‘Most Needed’ section and each time there is a significant update
Police Coordinators will be notified by email.
Additionally, each force and law enforcement agency should have a hard copy reference of the Manual
to share and the charity’s Operations Department will have several to share. Eventually, the charity
will produce a summary guide of the Manual in hard copy which will be given to all existing
Crimestoppers Coordinators and Operational staff as well as new staff and coordinators upon joining.
How and when it will be updated
The most up to date version of the Manual will be on the charity’s intranet, with a date to indicate
when it was last reviewed. It will be reviewed annually by the Coordinators Working Group but
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 7
feedback is welcome from anyone at anytime during the year via email to the Operations Assistant,
Hunter Thorburn at hunter.thorburn@Crimestoppers-uk.org
1.4. Who should use the Manual
This code of practice lays out guidelines and regulations applicable to the use of Crimestoppers
information within the United Kingdom. Some aspects of the Manual are necessary to fulfil the legal
obligations of the charity and much of the Manual is designed as a reference tool to facilitate best
practice and high quality.
It should be readily available at all operational premises, in particular force intelligence bureaux, the
Serious Organised Crime Agency, UK Borders Agency, HM Revenue & Customs and other investigatory
agencies, for consultation and reference by police officers, customs officers and police staff.
The Manual should also be used by Crimestoppers’ staff, particularly those in the Operations
Department liaising with law enforcement partners on the operation of the Crimestoppers scheme.
1.5. Glossary of terms
The following terms are used throughout the manual are explained here.
Actionable Information - Crimestoppers information, from any communication, received within a
police force or law enforcement agency from which positive action may be taken to prevent, reduce
or detect crime and disorder or to provide intelligence regarding offenders.
charity – Crimestoppers Trust, the charity which owns and runs the Crimestoppers service in the UK.
Contact - an individual who has made contact with Crimestoppers by either telephone, online
reporting form or by texting, with the sole purpose of remaining anonymous and who is giving
information about crime or about persons associated with criminal activity or public disorder.
Crimestoppers – the whole community involved in operating the Crimestoppers service, including the
charity, its volunteers and police and law enforcement partners.
Crimestoppers service – the facilities provided in order that the public can give information about
Forces – police forces and law enforcement agencies.
Police – users of the Manual.
Record – written record of the actionable information received by the Crimestoppers service,
sanitised and disseminated to police.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 8
2. About Crimestoppers
• Lord Ashcroft, KCMG founded the Crimestoppers service in the UK in January
1988. He set up the charity with business colleagues who were concerned about
the rise in violent crime and formed a partnership with the media to help solve
• The vision of Crimestoppers is for everybody to know and trust the service and to
make sure we have the capability to receive information from people, and pass it
to the appropriate law enforcement agency, guaranteeing the security of the
caller, through anonymity.
• The Crimestoppers service is a proven and established crime investigation/
intelligence gathering tool.
• The people who run, lead, operate and represent Crimestoppers include
volunteers, staff and police partners.
• Crimestoppers Trust is both a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered
charity. The charity is governed by the Board of Trustees. The organisation
consists of a staffed central office and regional volunteer committees. It is
completely independent from government or law enforcement agencies.
2.1. History of Crimestoppers
In 1985, PC Keith Blakelock was murdered during riots at the Broadwater Farm estate in north London.
The police appealed for information, certain that people knew who had been responsible but were
frightened to come forward. Michael Ashcroft (now Lord Ashcroft and Chairman of the Trustees of
Crimestoppers Trust) offered to provide the police with money for a reward to encourage the public to
come forward with information. This led to discussions with the Commissioner of the Metropolitan
Police, resulting in Michael Ashcroft founding the Crimestoppers service in the UK in January 1988. He
set up the charity together with business colleagues who were also concerned about the rise in violent
crime, and they funded the UK operation.
Originally launched as the 'Community Action Trust', the charity was renamed Crimestoppers in 1995,
by then covering the whole of the UK, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. The concept of
businesses establishing a partnership with the media and the police to help solve crimes in this way,
chimed with a study undertaken by the Metropolitan Police who had come across Crime Stoppers in
America, originating some 10 years earlier there.
2.2. Vision, purpose and values of Crimestoppers
Crimestoppers believes that people and their communities have the right to live without crime and
without the fear of crime. When crime does take place, we believe that anyone who knows who is
responsible should go to the police. The Crimestoppers service offers the public a secure means to
get information to the police, making all our families and communities safer.
The Crimestoppers service is a proven and established crime investigation/intelligence gathering tool.
It enables the police to detect and arrest criminals who have committed or are about to commit a
crime. Crimestoppers is not designed to deal with information about people ‘acting suspiciously’,
except when this is considered terrorism related, and it is not a facility for the general public to make
or report allegations of crime that should be made to their local police stations.
The Crimestoppers service is aimed towards those people within the community who have knowledge
of, and information about, persons committing crime but, for whatever reason, do not want to be
seen making direct approaches to police. Crimestoppers allows police access to information they
would otherwise not get.
Crimestoppers’ vision is for everybody in the UK, and everybody who knows anything about crimes
that affect the UK, to know and trust Crimestoppers and for us to make sure we have the capability to
receive the information from them, and pass it to the appropriate law enforcement agency,
guaranteeing the security of the caller, through anonymity.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 9
People who contact the Crimestoppers service may have a variety of reasons for wishing to remain
• criminals who have information on the activities of other criminals but do not wish to be
• family members of criminals, including friends and associates, who have information but do not
wish to compromise family ties
• members of the general public who are not themselves criminals or involved in crime yet have
information but do not wish to get involved.
Regardless of their motivation, the use of information and criminal intelligence is a necessary and
useful weapon in the fight against crime. This and the emphasis on intelligence-led policing, makes it
increasingly important to cultivate every facility that can be made available to anyone who wants to
give information to police.
Crimestoppers is defined by the following values. These core characteristics explain who we are and
how we hope to be seen by others.
Above all else, everybody must trust Crimestoppers and have full confidence that the service will
protect their anonymity, manage the information they send properly, and be available to receive
information at all times.
• Effective and business-like
Working with the police and other partners, Crimestoppers are known for getting results that make a
real difference in the fight against crime, particularly serious crimes that harm people. The charity
conducts its business, fully compliant with every regulation, in a modern business-like manner, striving
to be a model of best practice, efficient and effective.
Crimestoppers are realistic, but not sensationalists. We ‘tell it like it is' and our honesty is well-
respected. We're not afraid to deal with the real life issues facing the hundreds of people who
contact the service every day.
Crimestoppers are apolitical, not commenting on government policy, or the police, nor judging those
who contact the service, or anybody in the criminal justice sector. Crimestoppers only does what we
are good at: receiving information anonymously from members of the public to pass on to the police
to solve crimes.
Crimestoppers’ mission is to provide a means to detect, reduce and prevent crime through the
provision of information about crimes and criminals to the law enforcement agencies from anonymous
sources. In order to achieve our goals, the activities of Crimestoppers staff, volunteers and police
generally fall into the following categories.
• Promote the anonymous phone number – 0800 555 111 – to ensure that everybody is aware of
the anonymous service we provide.
• Encourage people to give information about crime to us, through the phone number or online
• Pass that information to the right law enforcement agencies, in a timely manner, to a high
standard, that meets their objectives.
• Help to reduce crime by running projects and campaigns in communities most affected by
• Reassure the general public, by assisting the police to increase the number of criminals
detected due to information we receive, and by engaging them in our campaigns and activities.
• Fund, run and administer the charity to the highest standards.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 10
2.2.1 Charity strategy and direction
The charity regularly engages in planning efforts to map its strategy and future direction. The
strategic plan covers three to five year cycles, the next beginning in 2010. The annual management
plan interprets actions for each coming year, taking into account Trustees’, Police and Home Office
priorities. Departmental heads also produce their own activity plans to support the management plan
and additionally there are thematic strategies, such as the Youth Strategy. Police are encouraged to
make themselves familiar with the plans to inform their local planning and to contribute ideas to the
future direction of Crimestoppers.
2.2.2 Equal opportunities and diversity
The charity strives to be an equal opportunities organisation. It recognises its statutory duty to
comply with equal opportunities legislation in terms of service provision and employment and is
committed to meeting them. The charity is also committed to ensuring equal opportunities for all, by
extending this policy to areas not currently covered by legislation. To this end, the charity works to
make sure that no one representing Crimestoppers or being served by Crimestoppers is discriminated
against on the basis of the following:
• employment status
• ethnic or national origin, race or colour
• marital status
• religious beliefs
• responsibilities for children or dependants
• gender or gender reassignments
• sexual orientation
• trade union activities
• social and economic status.
The charity expects all police, staff and volunteers to comply with this policy throughout the many
areas of their work, at the same time recognising Crimestoppers is not a means to promote or further
2.3. Organisational structure
Crimestoppers Trust is both a Company Limited by Guarantee and a registered charity; registered in
England No.5382856, registered charity No.1108687 (England) and No.SC037960 (Scotland). The
charity is governed by the Board of Trustees which meets twice a year. The organisation consists of a
staffed central office and regional volunteer committees (with the exception of the Isle of Man which
is separately constituted under its own Deed of Trust to legal requirements imposed by the Manx
The Trustees delegate various responsibilities to two sub-committees; these are:
• The Audit Committee
The role of the Audit Committee is to oversee the Crimestoppers Annual Report and Accounts.
• The Advisory Board (AB)
The role of the AB is to enhance the proper governance, administration and operation of CS
through communication and consultation. The AB membership is made up of Trustees
appointed by the Chair, the CEO, Directors and volunteer Regional Representatives.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 11
The following diagram illustrates the overall organisational structure of Crimestoppers (a staff
diagram is also available on the Intranet).
The diagram below shows how Crimestoppers operates within its structure.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 12
There are three additional groups that plan, monitor and coordinate activity. They are described
• The Crimestoppers Senior Management Team (SMT). The SMT is made up of the Chief
Executive and Directors and meets monthly to deal with all issues facing Crimestoppers and to
maintain momentum on the implementation of plans and general running of the business.
Committee Chairs and Regional Representatives may table matters for discussion.
• ACPO Crimestoppers Working Group. This is chaired by an officer appointed by ACPO and
attended by the CEO, the Director of Operations and representatives from the ACPO Areas, and
ACPOS. Its role is to coordinate the strategies and policies of ACPO and Crimestoppers to the
best effect, and working practices for the police are set out in the ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers
Manual. (See section 3.3 for more)
• The Coordinators Working Group. Chaired by the Director of Operations, and made up of
Police Coordinators, the role of the group is to provide support to the charity and police in
identifying and resolving operational issues that arise from time to time, and develop best
practice. The group is also a consultative body for the ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working
Group, making recommendations on operational matters. (See section 3.8.1 for more)
As a registered charity, the income of Crimestoppers depends entirely on the generosity of donors,
trusts and other funders such as the public sector. A set of current accounts is always available on the
Charity Commission website, our intranet, as well as on the main Crimestoppers website. The annual
budget for year end 2009 was just over £4.5 million.
Volunteering is defined as any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims
to benefit the environment, individuals or groups other than (or in addition to) close relatives.
Volunteers can be anyone who helps Crimestoppers to forward its aims in any way; including being a
trustee, committee member, helping to run events or projects, fundraising or office admin assistance.
Volunteers may not think of themselves as ‘volunteers’, instead they may feel that they are just
helping Crimestoppers as needed.
The role of the Trustees is to control the management and administration of the charity. As set out in
the Charity’s Memorandum and Articles of Association, the Trustees are responsible for the direction,
governance, promotion and financial management of the charity, including that of the volunteer
The majority of Crimestoppers public facing activity is delivered by the volunteer network under the
local committee structure, supported by the permanent staff. The volunteer committees, in
conjunction with local partners, identify local priorities and develop campaigns to meet Crimestoppers
objectives; raise the necessary funding, produce and implement the campaign, monitor its effect and
carry out a variety of projects, education and programmes that support Crimestoppers objectives and
fit local needs.
The Crimestoppers Volunteer Committee has three roles.
• To promote the Crimestoppers service within the committee’s area of responsibility - this is
the primary purpose.
• To set the level of each reward requested, within the guidelines established by Central Office,
and manage the reward scheme.
• To raise enough funds to enable the committee to conduct the first two roles and to meet all
support costs, remaining financially sustainable.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 13
The regional volunteer representative
Represents a regional group of Chairs at the Advisory Board and participates in the governance of
Crimestoppers through exercising the Advisory Board’s remit.
The role of the Regional Representatives is to work with the Regional Manager and the regional
statutory framework (e.g. Regional Government Offices, or the governments of Northern Ireland,
Scotland and Wales and if relevant, the Regional ACPO Area).
The current Regional Structure is based on the twelve Government Regions; nine in England and
Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland. Volunteer Committees are mostly aligned to each Police Force
Office/Administrative support volunteers
Volunteers play a key part in supporting administration in central office and occasionally elsewhere
across the UK. In such cases volunteers are focussed on particular tasks and are assigned to a member
of staff with a regular ‘work-review’ role. There is a process for appointment, guidance and training,
The charity acknowledges the role of all its volunteers and the contribution they bring.
2.5.2 Staff Members
Permanent staff enable volunteers and police to support the local operation. The staff also run direct
national campaigns and activities, manage the telephony and technology operation, coordinate policy
and guidelines with national bodies and ensure that the charity as a whole runs as efficiently as
possible and meets regulatory requirements.
The SMT carry the responsibility for the day to day management of Crimestoppers and its overall
direction. They include the following staff:
Chief Executive (CE)
The CE has a unique role in Crimestoppers and is responsible to the Trustees for everything that
happens in the charity. He/she is responsible for the selection and appointment of all permanent
staff, though most are delegated to the Directors, and is required to approve the selection of all
Regional Representatives, Committee Chairs and Treasurer, the latter being delegated to the Director
of Finance. The CE holds primary responsibility for contact with the Home Office, Government
Ministers and Trustees.
Director of Operations
The Director of Operations advises the CE on Police matters and acts as Deputy to the CE during
absence. He/she also ensures that there is an effective Crimestoppers regional structure throughout
the country and has line management of the UK wide Operations functions, regionally and nationally,
including all communications activity. He/she serves as the primary contact for the Police Service,
Government Departments, Law Enforcement agencies and Justice bodies.
Director of Finance
The Director of Finance provides day to day supervision and management of financial and legal affairs,
including development and management of the charity’s overall funding strategy. He/she also line
manages administrative and finance staff including responsibility for IT provision, HR, Health and
Safety, procurement and facilities, and overall legal compliance. This includes procedures and
mechanisms to support Regional Committee Finance processes.
Deputy Director of Operations
This role includes responsibility for the regions, volunteering and management of regional staff and
supporting the Director of Operations in times of absence.
The 24:7 Bureau
The 24:7 Bureau receives and manages information to the service whether by phone, on line or text.
Staff are involved in taking, logging and disseminating information to relevant forces and other
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 14
agencies. The Bureau operates on a team-based structure to be flexible to meet call demand and
there is an in-house trainer to maintain situational awareness on crime issues. A separate team
manage the on-line reports and text messages. The Bureau operates strict confidentiality policies.
Regional Managers represent Crimestoppers across a government region; this may include several
counties, committees or a country: NI/Scotland/Wales. The role carries the charity’s responsibility in
the region in conjunction with the Operations Management to enable committees to develop and fulfil
activity and provide guidance and expertise. Regional Managers also maintain strategic and
stakeholder relationships as necessary and attract and manage strategic funded projects to achieve
the Charity objectives.
Project Organisers and Administrators represent the charity in a police force area in conjunction with
the Chairs and members. They work with their local committee to run local projects and campaigns,
act as a conduit for information, articulating the charity’s objectives to guide and support the
committee. Project Organisers assist Chairs as required with committee development, provide help
and advice to volunteers and assist in raising income with and for the board. Some roles are part-
time. In some areas, roles cover additional administrative support and management of committee
2.6. Police partners
The charity’s strategic partnership with the police service and other law enforcement agencies is a
vital one running to the core of its charitable objectives. The partnership ensures the anonymous
information the Crimestoppers service generates is dealt with effectively and the outcomes are
measured. This partnership is guided by the ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group, and is
probably most evident at a local level with each force’s relationship with the charity’s volunteers.
Serving police officers are excluded from being volunteers for the charity to avoid any potential
conflict of interest. However police staff can in some instances make valuable volunteers if it is
understood that this is in their own right and they are not representing the force in any capacity.
2.7. Crime Stoppers International
Crimestoppers in the UK is a member of Crime Stoppers International, an umbrella body which
promotes the best use of law enforcement and the media working together to solve crime
anonymously. It ensures that affiliated programmes comply with the agreed ethos and operation
It is the mission of Crime Stoppers International to develop the organisation worldwide. Crime
Stoppers International has a vision to create a safe, secure world for our children and our children's
children. For more information see the Crime Stoppers International website: www.c-s-i.org
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 15
3. Management of Crimestoppers Partnership
• The partnership between forces and the charity is integral in delivering
• The guarantee of anonymity is central to Crimestoppers’ ethos and
operation. The principle of anonymity is absolute.
• Forces need a person dedicated to Crimestoppers to manage the information
and feedback on results.
• Police have a day to day relationship with the charity’s volunteers and
regional staff, and should advice them on policing priorities.
• Forces are encouraged to ensure all officers and staff are knowledgeable
about Crimestoppers. The charity can help with training.
3.1. Key role of police forces and law enforcement
Each force delivers the following elements of the partnership.
• Upholds the principal of anonymity.
• Provides a point of contact for Crimestoppers in force, who is the key liaison between the
force and the charity, facilitating access to force departments and support on behalf of the
• Manages the receipt and internal dissemination of Crimestoppers information, recording this on
force intelligence databases as necessary.
• Follows up on the results of Crimestoppers information and records this.
• Completes monthly statistical returns to the charity, using the format provided. Reports these
statistics to the local volunteers.
• Liaises with the volunteers on the payment of rewards, and liaises with the charity on
• Advises on force priorities which may be appropriate for local campaigns.
• Ensures the force is up to date on current Crimestoppers’ practice and guidance through
training opportunities and the ACPO/ACPOS Manual of Guidance.
• Manages appeals on the Crimestoppers online ‘most wanted’ system.
• Promotes the use of Crimestoppers internally, including facilitating training at different levels
In addition to this some forces also provide resources to:
• receive the phone calls made locally to 0800 555 111, to the standards laid out in the
ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Manual
• devise and deliver promotions for the Crimestoppers service, including promotion in the media,
through liaison with the charity
• link to the charity’s websites.
3.2. Upholding anonymity
In the UK, the Crimestoppers service is the only formally recognised system that gives members of the
public the facility to pass information to the police without having to disclose their identity.
The guarantee of anonymity is central to Crimestoppers’ ethos and operation. It is the service’s
unique selling point, enabling those at greatest risk to be confident in contacting Crimestoppers.
Every time a member of the public contacts the Crimestoppers service they enter into a contract with
the charity and police partnership to guarantee their anonymity.
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Anonymity enables the police to gain access to a unique intelligence set, information that might
otherwise have remained hidden. This great strength is also its limitation, and police must use their
systems to develop the information further prior to action.
Any event that undermines that guarantee of anonymity, particularly becoming public, could have a
very serious effect. Indeed the damage could be terminal not just in the UK but worldwide where the
guarantee of anonymity is at the heart of all Crimestoppers programmes.
The partnership between the charity and police is dependant on the joint vision ensuring the highest
standards are applied to the receipt and management of information through the Crimestoppers
service in order to always guarantee anonymity.
The principle of anonymity is absolute.
3.3. ACPO/ ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group
The ACPO/ ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group is the leading forum for the standards and
development of Crimestoppers on behalf UK police forces. Chief Officers should nominate the
Director of Intelligence in each Force to lead on Crimestoppers.
Terms of Reference (July 2009)
1. The Working Group will be chaired by a nominated member of ACPO Crime Committee. The
chair will provide the secretary for the group.
2. The Working Group will consist of appropriate key strategic decision makers, eg ‘Director of
Intelligence’ from each RIU area, ACPOS and Northern Ireland, plus at least two
representatives from Crimestoppers Trust. In the event a member is unable to attend they will
identify a counterpart from another force in the region to deputise.
3. The Working Group will report to ACPO Intelligence Committee via the chair.
4. The Working Group will meet three times a year or as deemed appropriate by the chair and/or
5. The Working Group will address strategic issues and if appropriate, refer them through to ACPO
Crime Committee via ACPO Intelligence Committee.
6. The Working Group will identify, develop and implement the future strategic operational
development of the Crimestoppers service in line with ‘Best Value’ performance and the
Government’s Crime Reduction Strategy.
7. The Working Group will ensure that the operational activities of Crimestoppers are
complementary to ACPO and ACPOS Crime Business Area priorities.
8. The Working Group will provide a forum for those of both operational and strategic level to
contribute to the development of Crimestoppers as a partnership intelligence-led investigative
The governance of the Police Service in Scotland as it relates to Crimestoppers replicates, but sits
inside, the ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working group, driven from an executive level with strategic
and tactical forums with appropriate representation.
The strategic group makes decisions on national policy in consultation with the charity and
representatives have a lead on Crimestoppers activity within the force or agency they represent.
The tactical group is made up of representatives with an oversight or involvement in the management
of Crimestoppers information for their Force or Agency. The tactical representative makes decision on
the force approach to Crimestoppers information and where necessary make appropriate use of the
Crimestoppers brand to assist with campaigns and enquiries.
3.4. Management of Crimestoppers within the force
3.4.1 Operation within FIB
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The management of the Crimestoppers service within a force should sit within the intelligence unit.
The Director of Intelligence in each force area will ensure that appropriate security measures are in
place to restrict access to Crimestoppers anonymous information and associated support systems. The
Director will also ensure the database/records are monitored and supervised accordingly.
Dedicated officers and/or staff should be trained to manage the Crimestoppers information. It is
here that the ‘actionable’ information is cultivated, assessed and allocated for further action by the
nominated local intelligence unit, specialist unit or other statutory investigative bodies.
3.4.2 Different force models
In managing Crimestoppers information forces, may adopt one of the following models:
Call Handling: Force has dedicated Crimestoppers Unit, within FIB, that receives calls from the public,
and logs from the 24:7 Bureau, which are disseminated to the relevant area of their force to action.
The unit, led by the Crimestoppers coordinator, also follows up on results, and compiles statistical
Call Handling Consortium: A group of forces combine resources, whereby one force manages call
handling for all. Consortium can refer to two forces, the larger often assisting a smaller neighbour, or
a larger group perhaps reflecting an ACPO region. Other forces in the consortium may adopt an
information only model.
Information Only: These forces are involved in the receipt and dissemination of Crimestoppers
information, where the call is handled elsewhere. They will follow up on results and report this to the
charity and internally.
In addition to the above models, forces may engage a dedicated member of personnel who promotes
the Crimestoppers service internally and to the public, with reference to the volunteer committee.
This role is usually held by the Crimestoppers coordinator and executed along with dissemination,
follow up and reporting activities.
These models allow for some local flexibility, but management of Crimestoppers outside of these
accepted models is not recognised. Forces wishing to use alternative models must expect question
3.4.3 Force champions
The number of people from the police service who are supportive of and are actively involved in the
joint aims of the Crimestoppers partnership is considerable.
The strength of any partnership depends on the individuals involved. Those officers whose
investigations have directly benefited from the anonymous information, who have seen detection
rates increase, or seen a community gripped by fear of crime take control, are often those who
exploit the Crimestoppers service wherever possible.
It is these people that champion Crimestoppers within a force, whatever their job title; Coordinator,
Director of intelligence, press officer, Borough Commander,
Chief Officer, PCSO, etc. All have an impact.
Forces are encouraged to develop Crimestoppers champions at every level. The proactive use of
Crimestoppers from investigations to neighbourhood policing ensure both police and community get
the best possible value from this unique service.
As Crimestoppers is just one part of the UK Police Service’s intelligence toolkits, the onus is on the
charity to open communication between the two parties, and keep engagement strong. The charity
will communicate across the police hierarchy, and encourage engagement at local level through
committees, at regional level through ACPO /ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group, and at senior level
with meetings with Chief Officers and periodic reports to ACPO Council.
3.5. Crimestoppers Police Coordinator
In order to ensure smooth running of the Crimestoppers operation in force and the relationship with
the charity, each force must have a nominated officer or member of police staff who, either full or
part-time, has the day to day responsibility for Crimestoppers for that force.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 18
Occasionally this may be shared by more than one person, and other people may be nominated to
support for specific functions, eg Most Wanted and press appeals. The Crimestoppers coordinator is
the daily point of contact for the charity including volunteers, Central Office and the 24:7 Bureau.
There is no set role description for the Crimestoppers coordinator but forces are encouraged to liaise
with the charity for best practice and advice.
3.6. Outcomes of Crimestoppers information
Each force must record the outcomes of Crimestoppers information and report these to the charity on
a monthly basis, and internally as required. A form to record outcomes will be provided each financial
year by the charity’s Operations Department.
The charity keeps records from all forces and uses this to demonstrate the contribution the
Crimestoppers service makes to law enforcement in the UK.
3.6.1 Crimestoppers statistics
Statistics give a quantifiable record of Crimestoppers impact. The force must report on a monthly
basis the outcomes of actionable information received. These outcomes should include all sanction
detections - arrest and charge, value of goods and drugs recovered, and the numbers of weapons
recovered – to which Crimestoppers actionable information has contributed, in whole or in part.
Outcomes are recorded under a number of crime categories. The crimes recorded within these
categories are indicated using the Home Office Notifiable Offences list and other notes. A summary of
crime categories can be collated which is familiar to both public and stakeholders using the nine
offence categories that the Home Office uses, and a group for Road Traffic Offences.
See Crimestoppers Statistics Guide (Appendix 1) for more information.
3.6.2 Interesting cases
The story of an interesting case can provide a picture of the quality of Crimestoppers information, and
how it transformed investigations and ultimately the life of victims. The force should report on a
monthly basis a summary of interesting cases which have been solved using the Crimestoppers service.
These cases are likely to be out of the ordinary, attention grabbing, and ultimately motivating for all
3.7. Relationship with the volunteer committees
Crimestoppers charitable status brings different opportunities to policing, including engaging with
members of the community who actively want to participate in crime reduction that offers tangible
Crimestoppers volunteer committees represent their local community, campaign on crime issues of
concern locally and raise funds to pay routine rewards. The volunteers’ 'relationship with their local
force is key in maximising the benefits of Crimestoppers for both community and police. More
information on the work of Crimestoppers volunteers can be found in the charity’s Handbook.
Representatives of the force should attend the committee’s meeting. This is usually taken on by, but
not limited to, the Crimestoppers coordinator, and Directors of Intelligence, force press officers etc
are encouraged to attend.
Police officers, or police staff representing the force, are not able to vote on committee decisions.
3.7.1 Coordinating rewards
The Crimestoppers coordinator will bring reward requests to the volunteer committee. The process
and policy for calculating and payment of routine rewards is detailed in the section on Rewards. See
Section 9 for more information.
3.7.2 Advising on campaign issues
The police can help guide the promotional work of Crimestoppers volunteers and local/regional staff
by advising on crime issues of particular concern to both the police and the community. Linking
campaigns to police priorities helps to ensure the force takes positive action on the anonymous
information received, and will feed back on results.
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3.7.3 What are not appropriate campaign issues
The Crimestoppers service can be used to elicit information on any crime or criminal activity.
However there are a number of activities e.g. anti-social behaviour, or vehicle offences, that are not
appropriate as campaign topics because the activity is not a crime, or because police would not action
the information received.
Police should help advise volunteers on appropriate campaign issues, and steer them away from issues
that although may concern the community are not criminal. Advice should be sought from the
charity’s Operations Department before commencing campaigns.
More information on this can be found in the section on Organising campaigns and events. See section
11.4 or the Crimestoppers website.
3.7.4 Volunteer management and motivation
Nearly 85% of the charity’s capacity comes from volunteer supporters with developing and motivating
this workforce intrinsic to Crimestoppers success. The police relationship can have a big impact on
volunteers’ experience of supporting the charity and the force and on them observing their force in
action in the community.
Things that support and enhance successful partnership:
• Encourage the volunteers to understand the force’s priorities and where Crimestoppers can
have most impact.
• Listen to the volunteers, they represent the community and their crime concerns.
• Encourage the volunteers to take ownership of local Crimestoppers activity. It may seem
easier sometimes for the force to make something happen, but don’t let this be at the expense
• The charity’s volunteers are often professional individuals. Let them use their skills and
contacts to promote Crimestoppers.
• Provide feedback on the results of Crimestoppers information; along with statistics, good
(sanitised) case studies are excellent motivation.
3.8. Training and meetings
Consistent standards for the management of Crimestoppers in force are important and help ensure
forces receive the best benefits form the partnership. To help facilitate this officers and staff dealing
with Crimestoppers in force should liaise with and support peers in other forces, share experiences
and take on board best practice, and attend appropriate training run by the charity.
The charity can provide training /inputs for a wide variety of audiences in force, and can provide tools
to support a coordinator to deliver these also. For more information on training for your force,
contact the Training and Development Manager via Central Office.
3.8.1 Coordinators Working Group
The Coordinators Working Group (CWG) provides practitioner input to the ACPO /ACPOS
Crimestoppers Working Group. The CWG meets, where possible, 3 times a year, and is chaired by
Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations. Membership is by invitation only to provide a wide range of
skills and experience and knowledge of Crimestoppers. Members are encouraged to consult with and
disseminate information to counterparts in designated forces.
Terms of Reference
• Members represent Crimestoppers’ Coordinators in matters relating to the operation of
• Each member is a point of contact for an agreed group of co-ordinators for support and
consultation and feedback purposes.
• To act as a consultative body for the ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Working Group and to make
recommendations on operational matters.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 20
• To provide support to the charity and co-ordinators in identifying and resolving operational
issues that arise from time to time, and developing best practice.
• To act as a reviewing body for the ACPO/ACPOS Crimestoppers Manual and the Crimestoppers
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 21
4. Police Coordinator resources
4.1. Sharing best practice and learning from each other
There are a number of ways that local efforts can be shared across the country so as to facilitate
learning and good practice throughout our work. These include using the intranet as a first port of call
for communications, networking with others and attending the charity’s Crimestoppers Conference.
The charity’s Intranet is an ideal way to share success stories from your area, ask questions of other
areas and to get support and advice from police who are doing similar roles.
The Annual Conference is held in the autumn, each year in a different location. It provides an
opportunity for volunteers, staff and police partners to share best practice and to reflect on
developments within Crimestoppers and the criminal justice sector. The conference is coordinated by
Central Office’s communications team and features key-note speakers and workshops.
4.2. Training and support
The Charity can provide a number of training and support inputs for coordinators, either at the 24:7
Bureau or at the force. This will be tailored to each force and cover topics including:
• the role of the charity, including the benefits of its independence
• taking Crimestoppers calls
• dissemination and feedback
• filling intelligence gaps
• benefits to NPT or SNT, and SIOs
• use of Most Wanted.
The charity’s National Training and Development Manager, Operations Assistant, and Bureau Manager
all have day to day contact with coordinators, and welcome questions and comments.
4.3. Police Coordinator FAQs
4.3.1 What does the Crimestoppers Police Coordinator do?
The primary function of the Crimestoppers Coordinator is to provide a specific point of contact (SPOC)
for their force on all matters relating to Crimestoppers, and for the charity to liaise with the force.
There are likely to be a number of officers and police staff within a force who have responsibilities for
Crimestoppers, and the Coordinator should be the link to them all.
The specific day to day activities of a Crimestoppers Coordinator are agreed between the individual
and the Force. Section 3.1 describes the areas that forces deliver for the partnership. Based on the
work done by most coordinators, duties are most likely to include:
• receipt of Crimestoppers anonymous information and logging this on force intelligence systems
• dissemination of Crimestoppers information to relevant parts of the force, and encouraging
feedback on outcomes
• reporting on the successes of Crimestoppers information, to the charity and internally
• promoting Crimestoppers internally, including ensuring Crimestoppers is utilised effectively on
• managing the force’s Most Wanted appeals
• supporting the charity’s volunteers with their campaigns, including attending quarterly
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 22
4.3.2 Do Coordinators receive an induction?
The charity will provide an induction day at the 24:7 Bureau for Coordinators and others in force.
New Coordinators are encouraged to learn about the charity’s work, and their role in it, in a number
• Visit the 24:7 Bureau and Crimestoppers Central Office – Coordinators are always welcome to
• Receive a visit from the Training and Development Manager.
• Work with an existing Coordinator – the charity will find a ‘buddy’ for you.
4.3.3 How do I get my opinions heard?
The charity supports a two-way dialogue with police about decisions that might substantially affect
the performance of their role as well as on other organisational matters. The Operations Department
are keen to hear from police and would welcome questions and suggestions for improvement. The
Operations Assistant should be the first point of contact for Coordinators to Central Office.
Additionally, regional staff are sometimes able to give police feedback to Central Staff.
Alternatively issues can be raised through the Co-ordinators Sub Group or the ACPO/ACPOS Working
Group, via the force’s regional representative.
4.3.4 How does Crimestoppers recognise the contribution of police?
The work of police within Crimestoppers is vital to the charity, who understand that although this is
often part of a job, many officers and police staff go beyond expectations for the charity, and do
appreciate recognition. The charity has two regular police award schemes in place; the Annual Police
Award and Crimestopper of the Month.
The Annual Police Award recognises an individual, team or force that goes ‘the extra mile’ for
Crimestoppers. Entries are invited early summer from Coordinators and committees who can
nominate any police partner within the judging criteria. The prize winner is announced at the National
Conference in the autumn.
The ‘Crimestopper of the Month’ feature on the charity’s intranet recognises any individuals, groups,
partners or activity of achievement. The award is judged by the charity’s HR team.
On occasion, certificates and letters to individuals are sometimes provided from the charity in special
circumstances and these are usually at the discretion of the senior management team.
4.3.5 How do I keep up with all the latest information?
The charity provides Coordinators with policies and news detailing the information necessary to carry
out their roles, primarily through electronic means. Both the charity and police are able to make the
most out of the experience if Coordinators are able to ‘stay in the loop’ when it comes to information
about the issues. Most Coordinators stay informed via some combination of the following:
• the charity’s Intranet
• ‘Connect’ magazine
• annual Crimestoppers Conference
• CS News - Monthly
• Crimestoppers website
• direct contact with central office and bureau staff
• from fellow Coordinators
• regional staff (where they occur)
• regularly held local committee meetings.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 23
4.3.6 How should I update my and my force contact details?
The Central Office Team holds a database of all police who have responsibility for Crimestoppers
within each force, so that we can communicate with everyone efficiently. This includes the chief
officer (ACC), Director of Intelligence, Coordinator and press officer, who have responsibility for
Crimestoppers. It is very important that each coordinator keep their force details up to date. This
can be done by contacting the Operations Assistant at Central Office.
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5. Maximising the use of Crimestoppers in force
• Most Wanted is the only place to view UK wide crime appeals, and helps
arrest 20% of all appeals posted
• Ensure the whole force knows how to get the most from Crimestoppers by
embedding it in force training at all levels
• Use rewards proactively
• Encourage BCUs to ‘be the best’ in using Crimestoppers information
• Use Crimestoppers in a targeted way to elicit information to solve specific
crimes, and fill intelligence gaps.
5.1. Most Wanted
The charity currently offers forces free access to the Crimestoppers ‘Most Wanted’ section of their
website www.crimestoppers-uk.org. This is available to all forces which have signed the
Crimestoppers service level agreement for this service. It allows each force to post their own appeals
to trace known suspects and wanted persons or to identify suspects. Over 20% of all those displayed on
the site have been either traced and arrested or identified and arrested.
The content is controlled by each individual force which has responsibility for both inputting their own
images and supporting text and removing them should the suspect/wanted person be identified or
arrested. Each force should ensure they have policy and procedures in place regarding the display of
images into the public arena as this area is subject of much legislation. An example can be found in
There are three different levels of access available to ensure each force may exercise central control
of their site content and control the number of users:
• Force Controller rights – provides facility as per approver rights with the added facility to
create new users. Usually one controller per force.
• Approver rights – provides facility to input and edit appeals and launch them.
• Inputter rights – provides facility to input and edit appeals, but not to launch them.
Training may be provided free of charge to any user by contacting the Operations Department at
Central Office. Alternatively the user manual can be found in Appendix 3.
Currently there is an imbalance of use with almost 80% of all images displayed on the site being
posted by only 25% of forces signed up to the service (figures accurate at 30th April 2009).
5.1.1 Most Wanted best practice
The most successful forces, achieving the greatest benefits from Most Wanted, have the following in
• an identified SPOC either for the force or at each Basic/Borough Command Unit (BCU) who
has the user rights to both input and remove content from the website
• a clear protocol for displaying images
• a clear internal marketing strategy encouraging individual officers to consider Most Wanted
as a last resort for identifying unknown images of offenders when all other means of
detecting a crime has been pursued.
Some forces have worked closely with their Police National Computer (PNC) user group to create the
facility to place entries onto the PNC to ‘remind’ officers to remove the images from Most Wanted
upon arrest, within the Most Wanted entry.
5.2. Training Officers and police staff
Crimestoppers is a highly recognised brand, but many do not fully understand exactly what the service
offers, including many police officers and staff. In order to get the best value out of the service
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 25
officers and staff should receive training on the benefits of Crimestoppers and how to proactively use
this unique service in force.
Crimestoppers Charity employs a National Training and Development Manager who is available to
provide several layers of training to police officers, or provide materials to support coordinators
delivering this training.
• SIO/CID managers’ seminars – to improve awareness of the Crimestoppers scheme and how it
can be used pro-actively to fill intelligence gaps. This also covers the availability and
qualification for Crimestoppers Enhanced Rewards.
• BCU Commanders/NPT Commanders – to promote the proactive use of Crimestoppers as a tool
to gain community intelligence and to reduce crime and detect offences.
• Training Managers – embedding Crimestoppers in relevant training courses.
Any force wishing to enquire about training should contact the Operations Department at Central
5.3. Proactive use of reward offers
Although current take-up of rewards shows that only 1% of callers eligible actually make a claim, there
is a strong suggestion that robustly marketed campaigns with offers of rewards causes offenders to
fear exposure. This in turn may reduce the incidence of crimes.
When police officers carry out prisoner de-briefs or speak with potential information sources they
should first ask that any information is given to them personally (to achieve a best intelligence grade)
but if this is not offered, they may inform them of the availability of rewards available to people who
provide information to Crimestoppers which leads to an arrest and charge or other sanctioned
5.4. BCU competition
The success of the Crimestoppers scheme is frequently the result of a ‘champion’ within a particular
BCU or within the FIB. As BCU performance varies widely, it is usually possible by breaking down
statistics to a BCU level to identify one or more which out-perform others. Identifying best practice in
better performing BCUs can frequently be used to bring other BCUs up to similar standards.
In some forces, there is a ‘friendly’ rivalry between BCU commanders or other staff to transparently
display ‘best’ performance. Again this may have the effect of increasing the positive use of
Crimestoppers information with obvious gains in arrests and public confidence.
5.5. Targeting information
There are many varied means of using the Crimestoppers service to gain targeted information.
Frequently the Crimestoppers coordinator will be able to assist as will the Crimestoppers committee.
5.5.1 Neighbourhood Policing
The charity has worked with the National Policing Improvement Agency (NPIA) to produce a
Crimestoppers Neighbourhood Practitioner Guide. This is now available as a PDF download on the NPIA
This publication provides numerous suggestions (based on experiences across the country) which may
support Neighbourhood Policing Teams to both gain intelligence and also reduce crime and identify
and arrest offenders.
5.5.2 Major crime
Crimestoppers information continues to play a major part in the detection of serious crimes and one
of the great strengths is the ability of the Charity to grant Enhanced Rewards to senior investigating
officers (SIOs) for information leading to the arrest, charge and judicial disposal of suspects. The
process for applying for an Enhanced Reward is given in section 9.3.
Where there is no immediate suspect to a serious crime, a SIO should always consider using promoting
‘The Independent charity Crimestoppers’ as an alternative to making contact with the police.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 26
Historically, a number of contacts have discussed with call agents their refusal to pass information
direct to the police but have come forward as witnesses when a suspect has been arrested.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 27
5.5.3 Witnesses and victims
Crimestoppers should not under any circumstances be used or promoted as the ‘first contact’ point for
victims and witnesses.
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6. Mechanisms for receiving Crimestoppers information
• Information can be given by phone, online, or in specific cases by text
• The charity owns all mechanisms for giving information to Crimestoppers
• Crimestoppers is the only way to give crime information anonymously.
Forces must not promote or encourage anonymous information to be given
in any other route.
All mechanisms for receiving Crimestoppers information are owned and managed by the charity (not
the police). This currently includes the operation of the 0800 555 111 and online forms on the
charity’s websites, the anonymous text message facility (where available) and any international phone
lines (eg Spain).
The Director of Operations is responsible for any changes to these, or any proposed new technological
development, regarding the receipt of Crimestoppers information. The Charity goes to great lengths
to ensure the technology employed protects the people who contact us, thus safeguarding
Crimestoppers’ promise of anonymity.
When considering the implementation of any new communication method the following key points will
need to be satisfied:
1. The caller and their anonymity are protected.
2. The information received will be of value to the police service and can be acted upon.
Crimestoppers is recognised by ACPO and ACPOS as the only way to give crime information
anonymously. Forces therefore must not promote and encourage anonymous information to be given
in any other route.
6.1. 24:7 Bureau
On 20th October 2004, ACPO Council mandated the charity to provide a service covering out-of-hours,
overspill and handling of mobile phone calls. In response, Crimestoppers established its first national
contact centre (the 24:7 Bureau) to handle this request. The charity started taking calls 24:7 on 25th
Operational and call handling arrangements are contracted between the charity and the individual
force and are dealt with by the Charity’s Operations Department. Volunteer committees in the area
are kept informed of significant changes as a courtesy.
Information received at the 24:7 Bureau will be disseminated to the relevant police force based on
geographic information given by the Crimestoppers contact. In some cases records are copied to other
law enforcement partners e.g. UKHTC, SOCA, HMRC etc, who deal with specialist crime types. Where
a report is double disseminated, it will carry a note to that effect, clearly stating where copies have
6.2. Phone calls
The charity has one UK wide number for contacting Crimestoppers, 0800 555 111. No other phone
number may be set up to contact Crimestoppers from the UK.
The majority of phone calls, including all mobile phone calls, are managed via the charity’s 24:7
Bureau, with the remainder managed at police-run offices, either responsible for a single force or set
up as a consortium for several forces.
This number is managed by the charity with BT to ensure calls are routed to the correct location. Any
changes to the routing of calls will be facilitated by the charity’s Operations Department.
The charity may establish international phone lines and numbers to support specific projects on
international criminality affecting the UK.
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6.2.1 Call costs and itemised billing
Landline phone providers must make calls to 0800 numbers free for the user, and do not itemise these
on bills. However this is not the case for mobile phone providers, who instead should inform the user
of the cost before connection.
The charity is working with the main mobile phone providers and the National Mobile Phone Unit to
ensure providers connect users to Crimestoppers for free and do not list these calls on itemised bills.
Assurances to this effect have been received from Vodaphone, O2, and 3.
The charity’s websites include a secure anonymous online reporting form which is sent to the 24:7
Bureau. Most Wanted appeals are also linked to the form to allow users to give information directly
relating to an appeal. The form allows only one way communication, and it has been designed
therefore to prompt the caller to provide as much useful information as possible.
The Bureau will create an information log based on the form received, sanitising where necessary to
ensure the anonymity of the caller.
Forces must not set up systems on their websites to elicit Crimestoppers information online as
anonymity cannot be guaranteed due to disclosure rules. Police forces or other law enforcement
agencies wishing to benefit from online information should link to the Charity’s main website.
6.4. Text / SMS
The charity has a text or SMS facility which is provided to ensure the callers anonymity by routing the
text via a number of secure servers. The text facility is one way, which protects the caller from being
identified by others who may see a reply on their phone. The message is received at the 24:7 Bureau
where agents will create an information log, sanitising if necessary to ensure the anonymity of the
Due to the nature of text a very specific question, including the area concerned, needs to be asked in
the marketing of this service to ensure the information provided is useful to the police. Therefore the
text number must not be marketed for general crime information.
This facility is currently only available to help identify those individuals carrying knives. The
marketing materials are available on application to Crimestoppers Central Office to ensure correct
The charity is working with the main mobile phone providers and the National Mobile Phone Unit to
ensure providers connect users to Crimestoppers for free and these numbers are not listed on itemised
No other text service may be set up in the name of Crimestoppers.
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7. Operational procedures
The purpose of this code of practice is to provide guidance as to the proper conduct in relation to all
use of Crimestoppers contacts and Crimestoppers information reports. Terms relating to the use of
Crimestoppers contacts and information are defined below.
For the purpose of this code, Crimestoppers contact means:
an individual who has made contact with Crimestoppers by either telephone, online reporting form or
by texting, with the sole purpose of remaining anonymous and who is giving information about crime
or about persons associated with criminal activity or public disorder.
7.1. Using anonymous information in force
7.1.1 Actionable information
Actionable information is defined as:
Crimestoppers information, from any communication, received within a police force or law
enforcement agency from which positive action may be taken to prevent, reduce or detect
crime and disorder or to provide intelligence regarding offenders.
It is the receiving police force that decides if a piece of information received via Crimestoppers is
The agent dealing with the Crimestoppers contact will ensure that the contact is handled
professionally so that only quality, credible and effective information is forwarded for action, thereby
encouraging the most efficient and focused use of police resources.
7.1.2 Adding value to information
When Crimestoppers information is received in the force, either from the 24:7 Bureau or through
police-led call handling, the Crimestoppers coordinator, or other trained officers or staff, may add
value and research information according to local protocols. This research may lead to the
information becoming actionable if it is not already apparent.
Crimestoppers 24:7 Bureau call agents do not have access to PNC or any other police databases and
will neither carry out nor add any research to information logs. Where appropriate gazetteers are
available they may check and correct the spelling of addresses i.e. street and town names.
7.1.3 Records and databases
Crimestoppers actionable information reports are recorded within the Force Intelligence Bureaux (FIB)
by a dedicated officer or police staff, usually the Crimestoppers Coordinator. The Crimestoppers
‘actionable information’ record, and any additional records created in support, must be retained by
law enforcement agencies.
All databases and records should be secure, properly maintained, with restricted access to properly
authorised personnel only.
The security of anonymous information is essential in order not to undermine the anonymity concept,
as well as the reward payment systems, and to ensure that Crimestoppers contacts are not placed at
7.1.4 Dissemination and feedback
It is advisable to include the following statement on every record which is disseminated: The
existence of Crimestoppers intelligence must not be made known to the persons questioned /
Coordinators should consider how best to disseminate each piece of actionable information. Thought
should be given to who will get the best benefit from the information and disseminate accordingly.
Consider dissemination even at the lowest level to NPT’s etc, or to specialist departments.
Include Crimestoppers information within tasking and co-ordination to ensure proactive use.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 31
Follow up on dissemination to get feedback on the outcomes of the information. Let officers know
about good results to encourage proactive use of information. If an officer knows they are likely to
get results using Crimestoppers information, this builds confidence in the service.
7.1.5 Using Crimestoppers information in investigations
The existence of Crimestoppers information should never be made known to a suspect. Should this
happen, the suspect may identify the unknown contact who would then become exposed and failed by
the promise of anonymity Crimestoppers offers.
There may be occasion that an investigator can identify the Crimestoppers contact from the content
of the information report. An investigating officer should never reveal the existence of Crimestoppers
information to identify a Crimestoppers contact for the same reason.
Crimestoppers actionable information reports are all graded in line with the national 5 x 5 x 5 grading
of intelligence system as being E41. Uncorroborated Crimestoppers information should not be used as
the sole grounds for arrest. However, when fully corroborated, it may support either the swearing out
of a search warrant or an arrest.
Please see section 7.2 relating to the disclosure of Crimestoppers information.
7.1.6 Tracing Crimestoppers’ contacts
On occasions requests have been made from police officers to trace the source of Crimestoppers
anonymous information. Tracing of callers is not permitted under any circumstances and any
knowledge of this should be sent to the Director of Operations regardless of the incident or perceived
risks. The charity’s Trustees have directed the Chief Executive to take all measures possible to
protect the anonymity of our users. The essential ingredient of the Crimestoppers scheme is the
promise of anonymity. Any actions to identify the user will work against the effectiveness of the
The purpose of this section is to provide a guide as to how disclosure affects the Crimestoppers
operation, and in particular, the disclosure of Crimestoppers intelligence reports as ‘Unused Material’.
For further reference, investigating and/or nominated disclosure officers must refer to the
Crimestoppers Coordinator and Joint Operational Instructions for the Disclosure of Unused Material,
Codes of Practice and current force policy.
7.2.1 Law relating to disclosure
The Criminal Procedure and Investigations Act 1996 introduced a statutory framework for the
disclosure of unused material.
Crimestoppers is an example of an important public interest as defined in the CPIA - the willingness of
citizens, agencies, commercial institutions, communication service providers etc., to give information
to the authorities in circumstances where there may be some legitimate expectation of confidentiality
(eg. Crimestoppers material).
The Disclosure Officer must describe on the MG6D any material the disclosure of which they believe
would give rise to a real risk of serious prejudice to this important public interest - there is an
expectation that the information given to Crimestoppers is anonymous and disclosure to the defence
in full form would undermine this belief and expectation.
7.2.2 Unused material
Crimestoppers information reports should be unused sensitive material.
The existence of Crimestoppers information reports should not be made known to the suspect / person
The officer in charge of the Investigation and / or Disclosure Officer has a responsibility to ensure that
all material, obtained in the course of a criminal investigation, and which may be relevant to the
investigation, is recorded in a durable and retrievable form, and retained. This includes Crimestoppers
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Whenever a full file of evidence is submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service, the test of relevance
should be applied to all Crimestoppers information reports. They should always be listed as sensitive
material, ie that disclosure of the material would give rise to “a real risk of serious prejudice to an
important public interest”. Where they are held to be relevant, they should be listed as sensitive
material on Form MG6D.
The reason why Crimestoppers information reports should be sensitive is set out below.
The Crimestoppers scheme exists to enable persons, who wish to remain anonymous, to
contact the police and give information about anyone involved in criminal activity. The
material could alert the defendant and/ or others to the existence of Crimestoppers
information, which may in turn lead to the exposure of the identity or activities of the
Crimestoppers contact or other persons supplying information to the police. This may place the
sources in danger.
Crimestoppers material must be considered at primary disclosure stages by the Disclosure
Officer and by the prosecutor (CPS). This is the “disclosure test”. Material which is deemed to
be sensitive and also to undermine the prosecution / assist the defence case should be
identified to the prosecutor by means of Form MG6E.
7.2.3 Public Interest Immunity
Crimestoppers material may need to be made the subject of a Public Interest Immunity (PII)
application to the court, or to the Lord Advocate in Scotland. Prior to any PII application it may be
that a summary, extract or edited version of the information can be disclosed to the defence, without
causing unfairness to the defendant and at the same time protecting the source. This is commonly
known as “a form of words”. The Crimestoppers Coordinator should be involved in the production of
this “form of words” and they or their supervision should liaise directly with the CPS with regards to
this. If a form of words cannot be produced and PII proceedings are contemplated, the officer in
charge of the investigation and / or the Disclosure Officer should seek early consultation with the
local Crimestoppers Coordinator and with the prosecutor.
The disclosure officer has a continuing duty to review disclosure. If new Crimestoppers information is
generated after the initial submission of the unused material, new or continuance schedules should be
submitted as described as above.
In cases where a defence statement is submitted, the disclosure officer should promptly review the
Crimestoppers information with regards to any issues raised in the defence statement. Should the
information now undermine the prosecution / assist the defence case, this should be highlighted to
the prosecutor by means of Form MG6E as above.
It is imperative that the safety of persons who have given information anonymously is not
Once the existence of the file is listed on the MG6D, the Crimestoppers file should be retained with
the police case papers, with information as to Disclosure Guidelines relating to the Crimestoppers
information report along with a summary of the Crimestoppers operation. This information should be
included with the file in order to assist individual advocates in the preparation of cases where
disclosure is an issue.
In every case where there is a question of disclosure the Coordinator should speak to the Central
Office Operations Team for advice and guidance.
7.2.4 Coordinators role disclosing information
Neither the force nor the Charity will provide information/witness statements as a matter of course. If
the investigating officer and/or disclosure officer considers that an information/witness statement
should be provided then the grounds for such a request should be forwarded to the Crimestoppers
The preparation of an MG11 witness statement may then become necessary. If this is with a view to
outlining the operation of Crimestoppers only, a Crimestoppers Coordinator can prepare it. If it is
intended to exhibit the Crimestoppers information report, the agent who received the information
should prepare it with guidance from the Coordinator.
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7.2.5 Witnesses and rewards
If it becomes obvious to an investigating officer that a witness has received – or is eligible to receive -
a reward from Crimestoppers, this must be disclosed to the CPS.
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7.2.6 At court
Actions after a trial has commenced should be an exceptional category. Investigators, disclosure
officers and prosecutors must strive to sort out issues before trial. Therefore, the MG6D should have
indicated the possibility of disclosure, and the prosecutor should have determined the need for a PII
Should an instance occur during trial where disclosure of Crimestoppers information needs to be
addressed, every effort should be made by the prosecutor to seek a short adjournment.
If the prosecutor is not yet in possession of the full Crimestoppers file then the investigating officer
and/or disclosure officer must make it available from the police case papers at the earliest
opportunity. The information contained within the file may be sufficient to deal with the matter at
hand without further complication or the requirement for the Crimestoppers Coordinator to attend
7.2.7 Statement from Coordinator
The following is provided as an example MG11 Witness Statement:
I am currently in post as the Coordinator Crimestoppers based within the Force Intelligence
Bureau. My role and responsibilities relate to the day to day police operation of
Crimestoppers in the [FORCE].
Crimestoppers is a registered charity and is a proven and established UK wide crime
investigation and intelligence gathering tool. It assists police to detect and arrest offenders
who have either committed or are about to commit crime. This is achieved by members of the
public calling the Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or by submitting information online via the
Crimestoppers website. Either way the caller’s anonymity is guaranteed, and Crimestoppers is
the only recognised system that allows members of the public this facility.
Crimestoppers is aimed at those people within the community who have knowledge of, and/or
information about, persons committing crime, but who, for whatever reason, do not want to
make direct approaches to police. It is not intended to compete with, or be a substitute for
the emergency 999 system. Nor is it intended to remove the opportunity for the community to
come forward and give information to local police stations. It is not a facility for the general
public to make allegations of crime, which should be made to local police stations.
Crimestoppers does not function as a witness appeal facility and is not promoted as the first
contact point for victims or witnesses to crime.
Information is received at the Crimestoppers 24:7 Bureau and dealt with by trained agents
employed by the Charity. Callers will be asked questions relating to the information they wish
to give, but no attempt will be made to seek their identity. No details relating to gender, age
or ethnic origin will be noted and the call is not recorded. The information provided is
documented and e-mailed via a secure server to the [FORCE] Crimestoppers Unit. The
information is researched, evaluated and disseminated on the [FORCE] crime intelligence
system to the relevant intelligence unit in the [FORCE]. The wording of the report reminds
the recipient that the information is from an anonymous source, and that the existence of
Crimestoppers information should not be made known to the suspect/person arrested.
Rewards are available through the Crimestoppers scheme, paid without prejudice to the
caller’s identity, and are paid out through unique code numbers issued to the contact. The
mechanics to facilitate this have been put in place by the registered charity, Crimestoppers.
Police have no involvement with paying rewards direct to the contact. Rewards are only
considered where the information has led to an arrest and charge.
Crimestoppers is a UK wide scheme organised on a regional basis and operates as a partnership
between the Police, the local Crimestoppers volunteer committee and the registered charity
Crimestoppers. The committee raises funds to promote awareness through general publicity
material and to pay Crimestoppers rewards. The charity’s volunteers are made up of people
within their own community. They help raise funds and promote an awareness of
Crimestoppers. The committees also include (non-voting) representatives of the police service.
Any disclosure of the information received would adversely affect the Crimestoppers scheme.
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7.3. Call taking
Calls to the Crimestoppers service are handled either by local or regional police-run offices or the
Crimestoppers 24:7 Bureau. Unless otherwise stated, all measures in this Manual apply equally to
local, regional and national call centres. Anyone (police officer/ police staff/ Charity staff) receiving
Crimestoppers information is referred to as a ‘Crimestoppers agent’ in the following section.
The Crimestoppers service should not be viewed just as a message taking facility. The Crimestoppers
agent will ask searching, in-depth questions of the contact. The agents should be dedicated,
appropriately skilled and trained. Crimestoppers contacts are always anonymous and no attempt will
be made to identify the Crimestoppers contact.
Crimestoppers agents dealing with anonymous contacts should be trained to approved standards and
operate in accordance with the National Crimestoppers Training Manual, see Appendix 4.
The Crimestoppers agent will make an assessment as to the value of the information.
If the information is deemed ‘actionable’ or has an intelligence value, a record will be created
containing sanitised information obtained from the Crimestoppers contact. This record will include
the key points to be substantiated, or form the basis on which further development can be
The Crimestoppers agent should identify any risk to the contact by any subsequent action. If such
risks are apparent, then the agent must bring this to their line management before forwarding the
information. A risk assessment must be conducted if a reward is sought. See section 9.5.
7.3.1 Call management systems
It is appropriate to employ a call management system to manage the call flow and effectively route
the calls to available agents. In police-run offices all Crimestoppers calls must be handled outside of
normal police phone systems, and set up to ensure the caller cannot be traced.See section 7.4.2.
At times, the Crimestoppers service is victim to inappropriate advertising which raises volumes of
enquiries which are not related to Crimestoppers core business. Therefore it is reasonable to use a
filter which provides a message to callers prior to being switched through to a call agent.
A suggestion for a voice message is:
“You are through to Crimestoppers, the Charity, and we want your information about criminal
activity. Crimestoppers are not the police. Numbers for your local police can be found in the phone
book. If you have an emergency you must ring 999. Please hold and you will be put through to a call
7.3.2 Repeat abusive callers
Should Crimestoppers receive calls which are abusive, nuisance, or significantly high in volume from a
single source in a short period, details (dates/times/call type) should be emailed to the Operations
Assistant at Central Office. In extreme circumstances the charity will liaise with BT to arrange for
these calls to be blocked.
7.4. Protecting anonymity
The essential ingredient of the Crimestoppers service is the promise of anonymity. Any actions to
identify the user will work against the effectiveness of the service. The prosecution authorities, CPS,
are prepared to argue that the public interest in protecting the Crimestoppers service means that to
trace the contact will not be a reasonable line of enquiry. Every time a member of the public
contacts Crimestoppers they enter into a contract with the Charity and police partnership to
guarantee their anonymity.
Calls to Crimestoppers must never be recorded, either live or in the event of no one being available to
take the call, eg voicemail. This record may be disclosable and therefore identify a contact. There
should be no facility to trace the contact’s telephone call and there must be no 1471 ‘last caller id’
system. In addition, there must be no facilities either to identify callers e.g. Call Line Identification
(CLI) or trace telephone calls back to point of origin.
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Crimestoppers online anonymous reports are subject to security which ensures each is delivered at the
Crimestoppers 24:7 Bureau without a sender (ip) address. There is no facility to identify the
Crimestoppers contact. Text reports are subject to similar security and when received at the
Crimestoppers 24:7 Bureau, there is no trace of a sender’s mobile phone number and this cannot be
Should technology be developed to allow 2-way communication via anonymous online reports, this will
not include a facility to trace a contact’s ip address or any personal details.
The Crimestoppers agent will not provide any information which may assist to identify the contact, to
any law enforcement agency or other investigatory body. No details relating to the gender, address,
age or ethnic origin of the contact will be recorded on the Crimestoppers information log. Where a
contact inadvertently gives information which may identify them eg “it’s my neighbour”, this must be
sanitised from the actionable information record.
7.4.1 Stepping outside anonymity
In the case where a Crimestoppers contact volunteers their identity for use in follow-up enquiries by
investigators, they must be reminded that their anonymity will not be protected by the Crimestoppers
service. The Crimestoppers agent must endorse the information record accordingly.
7.4.2 Tracing Crimestoppers’ users
On occasions requests have been made from police officers to trace the source of Crimestoppers
anonymous information. Tracing of callers is not permitted under any circumstances and any
knowledge of this should be sent to the Director of Operations. The charity’s Trustees have directed
the Chief Executive to take all measures possible to protect the anonymity of our users.
7.5. Information grading
Crimestoppers is recognised within NIM, the internal police business model for intelligence-led
approach to policing. All Crimestoppers information received is recorded by police through the
National Information/Intelligence Report Form (5x5x5) procedure, and due to anonymity it is always
classed as E41.
All information taken by Crimestoppers is sanitised to prevent the individual from being identified by
virtue of the information they have given. No additional records about the people who contact the
Crimestoppers service are kept.
Even where a repeat caller (identified by a unique reference code) has provided accurate information
in the past, neither the contact nor the providence of their information can be relied upon.
7.6. Not victims/witnesses
Crimestoppers does not take reports from victims of crime and call agents will actively encourage
victims to make reports direct to the police. If a Crimestoppers contact makes it clear they are a
witness to a crime, their information will be recorded and they will then be encouraged to make
contact direct with the police. If the contact declines to report direct to the police, the information
will be disseminated in the normal manner.
7.6.1 Reporting crime
Crimestoppers does not take crime reports and is unable to offer crime reference numbers.
National Crime Reporting Standards has advised on the correct procedure to adopt when a caller to
Crimestoppers makes an allegation of crime:
“…NCRS guidelines section 3.9 states that this should be dealt with as with any third party report and
should become a crime related incident (OIS log) and then police should make enquiries to establish
whether a victim can be located. The matter should remain a crime related incident until such time
as the victim is located or comes forward at which point the matter should be crimed. There are
exceptions to this in the guidelines within paragraph 3.11...
...When they receive a report of a crime they advise the caller to report it to the local police
station. However, where the allegation is serious (e.g. rape) they will record as many details as
possible and then inform the police accordingly. Following discussion it was agreed that such reports
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 37
from Crimestoppers to the police should be recorded as Crime Related Incidents until such time as
sufficient information becomes available to record as a crime in accordance with NCRS…”
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 38
Crimestoppers contacts may not be used to incite the commission of offences which would not
otherwise have been committed or to entrap offenders who would not otherwise have been party to
the commission of such offences. Crimestoppers contacts have no licence to commit crime.
Crimestoppers contacts will never be tasked to gain information other than that which is readily
available in the public domain.
7.8. Reference numbers
Every Crimestoppers ‘actionable information’ record should be allocated a Unique Reference Number
(URN) by the Crimestoppers call agent to monitor movements of Crimestoppers information records.
(This URN is not to be confused with the ‘contact code’ issued to a Crimestoppers contact.)
A Crimestoppers contact may also be issued with a Unique Continuity Reference or ‘code number’ at
the discretion of the Crimestoppers agent. This is specific to the contact, and can provide continuity
between the anonymous contact and Crimestoppers. Without this unique continuity reference
Crimestoppers would not be able to confirm that previous information has been provided by the same
contact or otherwise make comment as to its existence. The contact would have to be treated as if he
or she was a new caller to Crimestoppers.
The unique continuity reference will only be known to the Crimestoppers contact and to the
Crimestoppers office. There should be no other circumstances where this sensitive reference is
disclosed to any other person 1.
The Crimestoppers agent may allocate to a Crimestoppers contact a unique continuity reference (code
number) under the following circumstances:
• the contact has provided detailed information, the quality of which is suitable for further
development, and it is apparent that the contact will provide further information;
• the contact has provided detailed information, the quality of which is suitable for further
development, and the contact has expressed an interest in claiming a reward should their
information lead to the arrest and charge of an offender.
It would be at the discretion of the Crimestoppers agent whether or not a contact who has been issued
with a code number retains that reference throughout the individual’s dealings with Crimestoppers or
is subsequently issued with another number.
It has been identified in the past (although never encouraged) that groups of people have gathered
information collectively and all shared a unique reference code to pass information.
7.9. Risk to Crimestoppers contacts
The public has a right to expect the Charity and law enforcement agencies to deal ethically with
ACPO/ACPOS CSWG have agreed that risk to life information should be managed in the following way,
under the agreed principle that anonymity is non negotiable.
• A force can request specific questions be asked should a caller make contact again.
• The police must work with the information to decide if they should give a warning.
• Existing force risk assessments and protocols are to be used regarding ‘Osman’ warnings.
• Decisions should be clearly escalated within force and to the executive in Crimestoppers.
Risk in relation to reward payment is outlined in the Reward section, 9.5.
7.9.1 Vulnerable people
This includes police personnel including the investigating officer but will be disclosed to the Crimestoppers
Committee for the purpose of facilitating a reward payment.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 39
Whilst communicating with an anonymous contact, should there be an indication that the contact may
be vulnerable, such as a young person, appropriate caution must be exercised when considering their
Information received from an anonymous contact will be subject to an initial assessment of its value
based upon the skills and experience of the person having first contact. Further research will be
undertaken by the police before the information is tasked for further action.
Care should be exercised regarding the welfare and safety of an individual especially where it
becomes apparent, or suspected during the course of receiving the information, that the source of the
Crimestoppers information is, or could be a young or vulnerable person.
7.10. Covert Human Intelligence Sources
It is recognised that Covert Human Intelligence Sources (CHIS), properly employed, are essential to
criminal investigation and that, within limits, they must be protected. Nevertheless, there are risks
attached to their employment and use.
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) brings the use of some sources under statutory
control. A CHIS is defined in Section 25(7) of the Act as a person who establishes or maintains a
personal or other relationship with another person for the covert purpose of facilitating anything that:
(a) Covertly uses such a relationship to obtain information or to provide access to any information
to another person; or
(b) Covertly discloses information obtained by the use of such relationship or as a consequence of
the existence of such a relationship.
A relationship is used covertly if, and only if, it is conducted in a manner calculated to ensure that a
person is unaware of its purpose.
The Act introduces a ‘Code of Practice’ as to the Use of Covert Intelligence Sources in order to
formally set standards and procedures.
The provisions of the RIPA Code are not intended to apply in circumstances where members of the
public contact numbers specifically set up to receive anonymous information such as Crimestoppers.
The actions of these ‘contacts’ would not generally come within the definition of a covert source. See
Section 8.2 for more. However, someone might become a covert source as a result of a relationship
with a public authority begun in this way.
Therefore, in appropriate circumstances, Crimestoppers contacts, when willing, may be introduced
into the police CHIS system. The Crimestoppers contact should always remain anonymous to the
Circumstances that could lead to a Crimestoppers contact being introduced to the CHIS system would
include the following.
• The contact is ‘close’ to the subject of the information and being introduced would ensure
appropriate risk assessments are carried out.
• The contact has provided previous accurate information and/or is likely to be providing future
information. This will ensure appropriate management and reduce risk to the contact.
A unique continuity reference (code number) should be allocated to the contact in the manner
described at 7.8. Arrangements should then be made to introduce the contact to a dedicated source
handling unit within the Police Service. The contact will then become known to the source handler
and not to Crimestoppers, thereby allowing the source to be properly managed and developed in
accordance with the provisions of the Codes of Practice for Covert Human Intelligence Sources.
Reference that a contact has been introduced as detailed above should be recorded.
Crimestoppers Coordinators and agents will not pursue referrals to identify whether a contact has
become a registered CHIS.
No Crimestoppers reward can be paid to an informant who has been paid, or will be paid, by the
registered police source handling system for the same information. This is an absolute requirement;
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 40
otherwise Crimestoppers exclusion from the provisions of RIPA or a prosecution could be put in
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 41
8. Legal Framework
8.1. National Intelligence Model
The National Intelligence Model (NIM) is an intelligence led Business Model, utilised by Police Forces in
the UK to gather and manage information in order to make the most effective decisions. The NIM was
devised by the National Criminal Intelligence Service and adopted by ACPO and ACPOS in 2000. The
NIM takes an intelligence led, problem solving approach to crime and disorder. It promotes
partnership working and uses the management of information and intelligence to operate at three
levels of policing.
Crimestoppers is a recognised resource within the NIM. The NPIA Practice Advice on Resources and
the People Assets of the National Intelligence Model (2007) states:
Crimestoppers, the charity, is an anonymous means for the public to give information about crime
and criminal activity to the police. Each force must have a capability to provide a single point of
contact for information that has been volunteered through Crimestoppers. A force must be able to
record, research, develop and analyse this information so that it can be used to identify trends
and patterns, fill intelligence gaps and contribute to intelligence products.
8.2. Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, RIPA
The Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, in particular the Codes of Practice for the Use of
Covert Human Intelligent Sources, deals with those activities where a relationship is established or
maintained specifically to obtain or provide access covertly to information about the private or family
life of another person. They also cover those activities where the relationship itself can be construed
as an infringement of a person’s private or family life.
There are a number of number of codes of practice which relate to the implementation of the Act.
The code of practice on Covert Human Intelligence Sources refers to Crimestoppers in Chapter 1, 1.3.
The provisions of the 2000 Act are not intended to apply in circumstances where members of
the public volunteer information to the police or other authorities, as part of their normal civic
duties, or to contact numbers set up to receive information (such as Crimestoppers, Customs
Confidential, the Anti Terrorist Hotline, or the Security Service Public Telephone Number).
Members of the public acting in this way would not generally be regarded as sources.
8.3. Freedom of Information Act (2003)
The charity Crimestoppers Trust is not a public authority and as such is not required to comply with
the Freedom of Information Act. Any requests should be directed, via the Operations Department, to
the Director of Finance and Administration.
8.4. National Crime Reporting Standards
National Crime Reporting Standards advised on the correct procedure to adopt when a caller to the
Crimestoppers service makes an allegation of crime:
“…NCRS guidelines section 3.9 states that this should be dealt with as with any third party report and
should become a crime related incident (OIS log) and then police should make enquiries to establish
whether a victim can be located. The matter should remain a crime related incident until such time as
the victim is located or comes forward at which point the matter should be crimed. There are
exceptions to this in the guidelines within paragraph 3.11...
...When they receive a report of a crime they advise the caller to report it to the local police station.
However, where the allegation is serious (e.g. rape) they will record as many details as possible and
then inform the police accordingly. Following discussion it was agreed that such reports from
Crimestoppers to the police should be recorded as Crime Related Incidents until such time as
sufficient information becomes available to record as a crime in accordance with NCRS…”
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 42
9.1. Reward anonymity
Reward payments are carried out without prejudice to the caller’s anonymity by means of the unique
reference number issued to the caller by the Crimestoppers call agent. Crimestoppers rewards are
not paid for information given solely online or via text, as currently there is no mechanism for
providing a code number. All reward requests must be subject to a risk assessment, see section 9.5,
to assess any specific needs in agreeing payment.
Where a Crimestoppers caller provides information that meets the reward criteria and is eligible for
payment of a reward and subsequently becomes a witness for the prosecution, this must be disclosed
to the Crown Prosecution Service at the earliest opportunity.
9.2. Routine rewards policy
Crimestoppers ‘routine’ rewards are paid out of Committee funds and are authorised by the Chairman
of the Board for the Crimestoppers area where the offence occurred.
This may be delegated to the Treasurer and/or second authority (vice-Chair), or the Director/Deputy
Director of Operations.
A reward from £100 up to a maximum of £1,000 can be paid to anyone who gives information via
Crimestoppers which leads directly to the arrest and charge of a suspect, or other sanctioned
detection. The conviction of a suspect is not a prerequisite for a reward.
A reward may also be agreed for information which has led to the disruption of crime or to the
recovery of substantial amounts of property, drugs or cash where no-one has been arrested eg:
• the closing down of a ‘crack’ house (or similar establishment)
• the recovery of significant quantities of Class A or B drugs
• substantial and high value property has been recovered.
In these instances the level of the reward should merit the same points as if an arrest had been made
for the offence. Once such a reward has been authorised, the Operations Department at Central
Office should be notified.
No Crimestoppers reward may be paid to a contact who has been paid, or will be paid by a police
source unit for the same information. This is an absolute requirement; otherwise Crimestoppers
exclusion from the provisions of RIPA or a prosecution could be put in jeopardy. No Crimestoppers
volunteer is eligible to receive a reward.
If more than one Crimestoppers contact provides the same information then the appropriate reward
shall be split between them.
Coordinators will discuss reward requests with the Chair of the local committee, and work with them
to agree the level of reward payable which is ascertained using a points system detailed in the
The Crimestoppers coordinator will ensure that any recommendation for payment of a reward is
supported by appropriate documentation to assist in any subsequent audit. This documentation will
include a copy of the relevant anonymous information along with appropriate confirmation of the
offender’s arrest and charge (copy of custody record or other formal log).
The level of reward payment should be fixed expediently. The Chair may, with discretion, act
individually or in conjunction with other members, or await the next Committee meeting if that is
imminent. The reward payments process may be delegated to a sub-committee.
Whatever procedure is used for confirming rewards, the Chair shall ensure that all reward payments
authorised outside Committee meetings are ratified at the next meeting. The Secretary shall ensure
that all reward authorisations are recorded in the minutes of the earliest appropriate meeting. The
minimum detail required is:
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 43
• contact’s unique reference code
• offence eg just ‘Burglary’ or ‘Murder’ is sufficient.
• amount of reward
• payment date.
Neither the volunteer committee nor police coordinator may vary these rules, nor authorise rewards in
anticipation of the criteria being fulfilled. Any queries should be referred to the Operations
Department at Central Office.
9.2.1 Rewards Matrix
The points system may not be altered by the committee or coordinator, and any case requiring
additional consideration should be referred to the Operations Department at Central Office.
Ensure an arrest and charge or other sanctioned detection has resulted from the Crimestoppers
anonymous information. Calculate the number of points:
• Select the most serious offence only
• Add on any weighting factors
Translate the number of points to the reward amount to a maximum £1,000.
Attempted Murder 8
Death by dangerous driving or similar offence 9
Threat or Conspiracy to Murder 8
More Serious 5
Less Serious 2
Possession of Weapons Knife 4
Child Cruelty and neglect 7
Serial or Gang 10
Possession of images of child abuse 7
Exploitation of prostitution 4
Sexual Grooming 6
Sexual Activity with a child or without consent 7
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 44
Personal property 6
Robbery business property up to £5000 5
business property over £5000 5.5
over £5000 2.5
up to £5000 1
Intent to endanger life 9
Arson value over £100,000 6.5
no endangerment to life 3.5
over £250,000 6
up to £250,000 5
Drug manufacture, trafficking
up to £100,000 4
up to £25,000 2
up to £5000 1
from the person 4
Theft up to £5000 2
over £5000 4
over £5000 4
Handling stolen goods
up to £5000 2
organised crime 4
Theft of or unauthorised taking
of a Motor Vehicle
Artifice (Distraction) 5.5
Burglary Residential 5
Non-residential up to £5000 4
Non-residential over £5000 4.5
Business and False accounting 4
over £5000 4
Cheque and Credit Card Fraud
up to £5000 2
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 45
Disqualified and uninsured drivers 1
Drink Driving 1
Immigration Offences 1.5
Human Trafficking 8
HMRC Offences 3
Trading Standards Offences 1
Public Order Offences 3
Persons Charged Points
one – three 0
four – six 0.5
seven – nine 1
ten plus 1.5
Property Recovered Points
(excluding vehicles and drugs)
Less than £1,000 0
£1,000 - £5,000 0.5
£5,000 - £10,000 1
£10,000 plus 1.5
Weapons Used Points
Firearm/imitation firearm 2
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 46
Crimes committed in or 1
(excluding cheque/credit card Points
one - three 0
four - eight 0.5
nine – eleven 1
twelve plus 1.5
Vehicles Recovered Points
One – three 0
Four – six 0.5
Seven plus 1
Credit cards/cheque books Points
One – three 0
Four – ten 0.5
Eleven plus 1
Points Points Points
1 £100 4.5 £450 7.5 £750
1.5 £150 5 £500 8 £800
2 £200 5.5 £550 8.5 £850
2.5 £250 6 £600 9 £900
3 £300 6.5 £650 9.5 £950
3.5 £350 7 £700 10 £1000
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 47
Points to note
1. Criminal attempts eg the offence was not completed, or conspiracy to commit an offence,
should carry the same points as the full offence, with the exception of murder.
Drug related rewards are only for manufacture, importation and supply and are not payable for
possession for personal use. Prior to seeking authorization of a reward, the Operations
Department must be consulted whenever the value of drugs seized or property recovered is
less than the minimum reward payable, currently £100.
2. Cannabis plants should be valued at £400 each. The rationale for this is as follows:
The average yield from a single mature cannabis plant, when harvested, is 40 grams per plant.
The 'Street' value, as sold to the end user of cannabis, is at least £10 per gram. Therefore, the
average value of the product from one plant is £400 when sold 'Retail'.
3. For cases of counterfeiting, because of the wide variation of goods involved, and associated
issues including value, tax avoidance, links to other crimes, additional points may be
appropriate. Cases should be referred to the Operations Department at Central Office for
4. In cases where an individual is arrested as the result of a caller identifying a published image,
the level of reward will be set by the Operations Department at Central Office (based upon the
If in doubt contact the Operations Department at Central Office for advice.
9.2.2 Payment process
Rewards can only be paid in the UK.
When it is known that the caller requires a reward, the Crimestoppers Coordinator shall make a
request to the committee, who will confirm the appropriate level of the reward, in accordance with
the reward policy and matrix. If payment is required before that meeting, the Chair can authorise the
level, and payment, but it must be ratified at the next meeting. Payment is agreed in writing with the
committee Chair and Treasurer.
The Crimestoppers Coordinator will then agree with the caller a date, at least two weeks in advance,
and location for payment.
The following procedures relate to the payment of routine rewards where Committees have their bank
accounts with the Royal Bank of Scotland. The procedures have been agreed with RBS in the light of
both the Bank’s internal controls designed to prevent fraud, money laundering and the regulatory
requirements of the Financial Services Authority.
Once the requirements with regard to the setting and approval of routine rewards have been
completed in accordance with the policy, the Committee Chair or other authorised Committee
member must fax or e-mail instructions as to the payment details to either the Operations or Finance
Department at Central Office. Such instructions should detail the amount of reward, the nominated
branch of RBS, Nat West or Ulster Bank out of which the reward is to be paid, the agreed time and
date of payment and the code word or reference.
Having received the Committee’s instructions, Central Office will immediately forward them by fax to
the RBS Corporate Service Team in London who will add a Bank signal code and send them on to the
nominated branch of one of the above mentioned banks. RBS Corporate Service Team will follow up
the faxed instruction by telephoning the nominated branch to confirm that the fax has been received
and remind the branch personnel of the correct procedure to follow when the reward is claimed.
Rewards should not be paid other than at the agreed location and date and, in any event, never prior
to that agreed date.
9.2.3 Reward coordination with the Bureau
Unless the Bureau handles all calls for a force, callers will be encouraged to contact the local office
by using a landline during ‘office hours’.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 48
The following process applies if the Bureau provides a full 24/7 service for a force or if any caller is
unable to contact the local office during their operating times.
The rewards process is dealt with by the Integrity Line team at the Bureau (tel: 01883 745082, fax:
01883 745082). Any agent at the Bureau receiving a claim for a reward will inform the Integrity Line
team, who will inform the local coordinator quoting the Bureau reward code and relevant CBL
Coordinators will then use the Reward Policy and Matrix to agree the reward with their local
committee, and then fax the amount of the reward, together with the reward code to Central Office
(020 8254 3201) where it will be processed by the Operations Assistant or the Finance team. The
faxes must show the signatures of those who have authorised the reward.
A copy of this should be sent to the Integrity Line team so that they can obtain details of the bank
branch and collection date from the claimant, and finalise payment with Central Office.
9.3. Enhanced Rewards
Crimestoppers will, for a few selected crimes and where strict criteria apply, consider offering an
Enhanced Reward of up to £10,000 for information leading to the arrest, charge and judicial disposal
of an offender.
All requests must be made by the Senior Investigating Officer (SIO), in writing, to the Director of
Operations at Central Office, having previously consulted with the local Crimestoppers Coordinator.
Requests for Enhanced Rewards may be made by SIOs at any time following an incident. The charity
may pro-actively offer an Enhanced Reward to a SIO.
The Director of Operations or Chief Executive must authorise the Enhanced Reward in writing. Offers
are made for a period of three months only. An extension will be considered on receipt of a further
It is apparent that even if a reward is not paid, the ‘publicity opportunity’ is both important and
beneficial for any SIO. It is implicit that the police will publicise Crimestoppers’ role, encourage the
public to call Crimestoppers and encourage the media to report both of these strands. This will be
reflected in the Letter of Agreement.
The committee Chair will be informed about the Enhanced Reward in sufficient time to be prepared
for media enquiries.
Only information given directly to Crimestoppers will be eligible for any payment of an Enhanced
9.3.1 Applying for Crimestoppers Enhanced Rewards
The following criteria will have to be strictly adhered to before any offer of an Enhanced Reward will
• The crime/incident must be of a serious and heinous nature, which involves ordinary members
of the public from any section of society, particularly the young, the elderly or the vulnerable.
• Requests will also be considered where there is a possibility of repeat victimisation, an
increase in the fear of crime or any case of unusual circumstances, or high profile case at the
discretion of Crimestoppers Central Office.
• A reward will not be offered when the suspect is known and all that is required is their location
and/or further evidence.
Before making an application for an Enhanced Reward, the Senior Investigating Officer should seek the
advice of the local Crimestoppers coordinator. All applications must be made in writing to
Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations, with a copy to the local Crimestoppers coordinator.
The request should be supported by a brief report outlining the circumstances of the incident under
investigation with particular attention to the criteria listed above.
Requests are considered by Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations who will decide whether to offer a
reward and, if so, up to what amount. The decision is then sent back to the Senior Investigating
Officer, and if successful a Letter of Agreement is sent.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 49
Approval is not automatic. Crimestoppers must be selective and have the final decision. There is no
Enhanced rewards are subject to the following conditions:
• The amount of the reward to be offered will be ‘up to’ the upper limit set by Crimestoppers.
• Any reward offered will be for an initial period of three months (see below for Enhanced
Reward Renewal, section 9.3.3).
• It is implicit that the police will publicise Crimestoppers’ role, encourage the public to contact
Crimestoppers and encourage the media to report both of these strands (see below for
Publicising the Enhanced Reward, section 9.3.5).
• The reward is available to anyone providing information directly to Crimestoppers which leads
to the ‘arrest, charge and judicial disposal’ of any person or persons for the specified crime, or
other conclusion that meets the approval of the charity.
• Only one such reward will be available for any incident regardless of the number of callers
giving the appropriate information.
• The reward may be offered as part of a larger reward but, if it is, the total maximum must not
exceed the upper limit set by Crimestoppers unless prior permission has been sought from the
Crimestoppers Director of Operations. A ‘third party agreement’ between Crimestoppers and
the other parties involved will be required.
• Any information given to police before the reward is authorised will not qualify.
9.3.2 Enhanced Reward renewal
An Enhanced Reward is offered for an initial period of three months after which it will lapse, unless
Any renewal request will be only considered on receipt of a further written application, detailing why
the Senior Investigating Officer considers that renewal would benefit the investigation.
Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations will decide whether to grant any renewal request and, if so,
whether to vary any of the original terms and conditions. The decision is then sent back to the Senior
An extension is not automatically granted and there is no appeal against the decision made by the
Crimestoppers’ Director of Operations.
The force offered an Enhanced Reward will bear all liability resulting from publicity mentioning the
reward that takes place between the date when an original offer – or previous renewal – lapsed and
the date any renewal is granted.
9.3.3 Paying Enhanced Rewards
The maximum amount of the reward to be offered is determined by Crimestoppers Trust but will not
exceed £10,000. In the event of a claim, the amount to be paid will be agreed between the
commander CP, the SIO, Crimestoppers Co-ordinator and Crimestoppers Trust, who will make the final
If claimed, the reward can be paid via the anonymous Crimestoppers reward system or, if the caller
becomes known to the police, then by an agreed procedure between that person and Crimestoppers.
The exact method of payment will be discussed between the Senior Investigating Officer, the
Crimestoppers Coordinator and Crimestoppers. Again the charity will make the final decision.
9.3.4 Publicising the Enhanced Reward
All publicity surrounding the offer of an Enhanced Reward must mention
• the Crimestoppers number of 0800 555 111 and the secure online form available on the
Crimestoppers website www.crimestoppers-uk.org
• that callers to Crimestoppers can give their information anonymously – the phrase ‘in
confidence’ must not be used
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 50
• that the reward is being offered by the independent charity Crimestoppers
• that only information given to Crimestoppers will be eligible for the reward.
All publicity should be coordinated between Crimestoppers’ Press Office, the relevant Senior
Investigating Officer and the force’s press office
Should the case be featured on a programme such as ‘Crimewatch UK’, the reward, the Crimestoppers
number and the opportunity to give information anonymously must all be mentioned.
The appeal must be featured on the Crimestoppers ‘Most Wanted’ website.
9.4. Other rewards (Third Party)
On occasions a company/organisation may wish to pay a reward, sometimes anonymously, using the
Crimestoppers system. Enquirers should be told to contact Crimestoppers Central Office. In these
circumstances, a letter of agreement will be required; all publicity material must be approved by
Central Office, and must indicate that the reward is not moneys from Crimestoppers. With particular
campaigns associated with other organisations, an agreed format for payment of rewards may be
authorised by Crimestoppers Central Office.
Parties wishing to sponsor a reward should be referred to Crimestoppers Central Office who will liaise
directly with the Senior Investigating Officer.
9.5. Reward risk assessment
In every case where a caller requests a reward the coordinator will ensure a Rewards Risk Assessment
is completed, either in the force or at the Bureau. A vulnerable or young person is entitled to a
Crimestoppers reward, but the risk assessment can be used to assess any specific needs in arranging
Consideration should be given to either making staged payments or none at all if the risk of the caller
being identified through the receipt of the cash reward appears to be too great. The use of an
appropriate adult may also be considered, if practicable, but must be balanced with the right to
9.5.1 Risk Assessment Form
This form, (see Appendix 5), must be completed in all cases where a Crimestoppers caller has
qualified for a reward and wishes to claim it.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 51
10. Partnerships and joint working
• National partners are coordinated through Central Office while local
partnerships are coordinated via committees.
• The endorsement by Crimestoppers of any product or service should be
• Memorandum of Understanding or other ‘contracts’ must not be entered into
by the Police Service on behalf of Crimestoppers.
10.1. National partners
The charity works with many partners at a national level directly through Central Office, for example
all contact with the Home Office is with the Chief Executive. Law enforcement agencies liaise
through the Operations Team and the Youth Team link to youth offending services and other national
youth charities. Likewise the Fundraising Team may be involved with private companies and
Community Affairs Coordinators with minority representative bodies.
In most cases the charity works directly with the Head Office of the respective partners and it is best
to present a planned approach. National partners included the following organisations and bodies:
• Home Office
• Association of the Chief of Police Officers (ACPO)
• Serious Organised Crime Agency (SOCA)
• Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs (HMRC)
• Her Majesty’s Prisons (HMP)
• UK Human Trafficking Centre (UKHTC)
• UK Borders Agency (UKBA)
• Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
• Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).
It is essential that police contact the Operations Department at Central Office to get the latest
information and advice regarding Crimestoppers’ relationship with any partner.
10.2. Local partners
Local partners for committees may include the following:
• Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnerships (Community Safety Partnerships)
• Neighbourhood Watch
• Victim Support
• Housing Associations/Partnerships
• business groups and Chambers of Commerce
• development groups or agencies
• youth groups and agencies
• voluntary and other partnership organisations
• nine Home Office Regions, Scotland and Wales (crime directorate)
• Fire & Rescue Services
• health sector
• community schemes (e.g. local wardens)
• Trading Standards.
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10.2.1 Public authorities
The Crime and Disorder Act means local authorities must consider crime reduction in all their
activities, and form partnerships for crime reduction. The Crimestoppers service can assist such
partnerships and should feature in every Community Safety Plan. Local councillors can be useful
ambassadors who can help promote knowledge of the Crimestoppers service to their circle of contacts
and help with other resources. Councils can also display posters and Crimestoppers messages and
facilitate articles about local Crimestoppers initiatives in council publications, both in print and
MPs can also be helpful. They can help bring Crimestoppers to the attention of ministers in
parliament. They should not however use the Crimestoppers name to promote themselves or their
party, as Crimestoppers is apolitical. As the charity has contact with Government or ministers through
the Chief Executive, please make Central Office aware of local dialogue with MPs.
10.3. Working with specific audiences
Crimestoppers has a positive role to play in all communities and appropriate engagement and
messages are essential. Working with relevant partners, the charity is developing relationships and a
body of knowledge to assist with a wide range of audiences. Anyone, regardless of age, gender,
ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability or class can be the victim of crime and could have information
about crime. That means our target audience is limitless.
Other key audiences are:
• opinion formers – people who have the power to shape the way the public perceive
• the corporate audience – organisations that can help promote Crimestoppers
• the public via the media.
The Charity’s community affairs work has included minority ethnic background activity and work with
those in marginalised circumstances. The Operations Department may be able to advise or assist and
there is more information in the ‘How we help’ section of the Crimestoppers website.
Celebrity relationships may be managed by the charity’s Central Office or the committee that
recruited them. It is important however to avoid two approaches being made at the same time, which
could cause embarrassment to the charity. Communication with Central office is important also
because all history and relationships with celebrities are managed on the Central Office database to
aid in developing a positive working relationship with each individual.
Any current relationships with celebrities should be brought to the attention of the Charity’s Central
Office to ensure there is no cross over in approaches.
10.3.2 Young people
The number of young people affected by crime is disproportionately high. More young people than
ever are currently affected by crime, more likely as victims than offenders. The charity’s youth
projects programme aims to support those facing such situations, now or in the future, and this is
reflected within the strategy document. Crimestoppers’ primary objectives when targeting young
• To increase the number of young people giving information about crime – calling, texting or
• To raise the awareness of the Crimestoppers for Young People brand. Central to Crimestoppers
activity with young people, it is essential that those who are most at risk are aware of it, trust
it and understand it.
• To provide advice and guidance, through resources, for young people who are most at risk, and
those who interact with them, about crime that affects them.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 53
The two key audiences are:
• young people (8-18 yrs) who are at most risk of crime
• those who interact with young people: teachers, youth workers, parents, schools officers etc.
The following groups are vital in ensuring we reach the above audiences:
• volunteers (including Trustees) and staff
• partners and potential partners
• funders: government, private and corporate
• the media.
Crimestoppers has a sister brand which is the hub of all activity relating to young people. Its content is
designed in conjunction with young people and tackles a range of topical crime issues that affect this
audience. Central to the brand is the dedicated website, Fearless. The main purposes of the site are
• enable young people to give information anonymously and safely about crime
• provide information, advice and guidance on youth crime
• provide resources and materials about crime for those who interact with young people.
More information on Crimestoppers work with young people is available by contacting the charity’s
Youth Projects team.
Running events for young people
It is the charity's policy not to be the prime organiser of any social event for young people.
The charity supports the following.
• Developing relationships with the organisers of youth social events as part of a range of youth
activities within the local committee’s business plan.
• Working with the organisers of youth social events to find opportunities to promote
Crimestoppers for young people. It is advisable to find an occasion when the focus of the event
is Crimestoppers, so messages are clear.
• Providing occasional volunteer attendance to engage with young people directly and tell them
• Ensuring those who work closely with young people are well equipped and confident to talk to
young people directly about Crimestoppers, using materials provided by the charity as
Those working directly with young people must ensure they read and comply with the charity’s Child
The charity does not have the resources to test products, so to imply that it has ‘approved’ any
product or service would be misleading. For this reason the endorsement by Crimestoppers of any
product or service should be treated with great caution and, in principle, avoided.
10.5. Memorandum of Understanding
If a Crimestoppers Coordinator receives an approach from any organisation that may result in the
drawing up/signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (or similar), the Crimestoppers Director of
Operations must be informed.
The Police Service cannot enter into contracts or arrangements which confer authority on behalf of
The Director of Operations will determine whether Crimestoppers supports such a Memorandum of
Understanding, and take this forward.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 54
11. Communicating the message
• One of the most important messages for Crimestoppers is that it is an
independent charity and not part of the police.
• The Crimestoppers national logo should not be used by anyone, including
the police, without the permission of Central Office. No partner should be
allowed to use or share a Crimestoppers logo, whether it is regional or local,
without an agreement first.
• In order to convey the charity’s independence of the police, please ensure
that media releases never go out on police headed paper.
• All approaches to national journalists are the responsibility of the
communications team at Central Office.
• Local committees should plan and run a number of local or regional
campaigns each year and support national campaigns when relevant.
• There are a number of campaigns which Crimestoppers DO NOT work on.
• Make use of the ‘In your area’ section of the Crimestoppers website, which
is the third most popular part of the site.
Crimestoppers benefits from high brand recognition. Despite this, many people do not fully
understand the services provided. Much of the public and media think Crimestoppers is run by the
police or connected to the BBC’s Crimewatch programme. Most importantly, some people do not
realise the service is run by a charity. This is an important message to get across to all audiences as it
increases understanding of Crimestoppers’ independence, providing credibility to encourage and
reassure prospective contacts.
Using a variety of communications platforms provides the opportunity to endorse Crimestoppers’ key
messages. To do this effectively, it is important to ensure that all external communications are clear
Crimestoppers was set up as a three-way partnership between the police, the media and the
community and our success depends on these three working closely together.
11.1.1 Corporate identity
An essential part of keeping the Crimestoppers brand consistent is maintaining control of how and
when the logo is used. The word Crimestoppers is a registered trademark, and the logo is also
protected by law. To ensure that the integrity of the brand remains true and that it is always used
correctly, it is important to work together to achieve this. If the public sees the logo in a different
colour, or having been altered in any way, it can damage brand identity and confuse the public.
The national logo should not be used by anyone, including the police, without the permission of
Central Office. Please contact the Communications team at Central Office for Logo request forms and
The police, as strategic partners, have use of the brand. However the logo should not appear on
police vehicle fleets as this brand alignment may confuse the public about Crimestoppers’
independent status. Police should work with Crimestoppers local committees or Central Office to
ensure that the correct styles are used and the Crimestoppers message is not confused by the
surrounding material. Committees and the Communications team should see and agree the final
Other statutory partners may be considered, provided the full implications of raising inappropriate
calls is balanced against any perceived advantage of this type of promotion (i.e. refuse not removed,
inconsiderate parking). This should still be subject to a written agreement, for example one that
specifies how and where the logo will be used and makes clear that Crimestoppers partners must not
pass the logo on to third parties or commercial organisations.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 55
If Crimestoppers branding is being used by a commercial organisation, the arrangement must be
subject to a contract, signed by the Director of Finance and Administration. In most circumstances,
the committee or Central Office will receive some sort of payment. Central Office will advise on the
size and process of the payment, most companies will expect to pay for the direct benefit that using
Crimestoppers branding provides. Draft contracts are available from the Fundraising team.
It is recommended that any renditions of the logo should be signed off by the committee prior to
publication to ensure brand consistency.
11.1.2 Crimestoppers logo and licensing
The following points summarise the Crimestoppers logo and licensing guidelines.
• Ninety percent of people in the UK recognise the Crimestoppers brand which means the
Crimestoppers intellectual property carries wealth.
• Use of the National logo is managed by the Charity’s Central Office and it may be provided to
partners such as police and media, on request from the Communications Team at
Crimestoppers Central Office.
• Through licensing the brand and charging a fee to do so, the charity has more control over who
is associated with the brand, making the intellectual property more respected and thus
increasing its value.
11.1.3 Key messages
Crimestoppers relies on dedicated volunteers and police press offices to promote the Crimestoppers
service in the regions. Use of local media opportunities is encouraged, but Crimestoppers messages
must stay consistent throughout the UK. To do this, it is recommended that all media releases and
publicity materials are checked with the central Communications team or regional staff before being
The following messages are at the heart of the communications strategy:
• Crimestoppers is an independent charity, which is not part of the police
• Crimestoppers offers a unique route for passing on information about crimes as it guarantees
100 per cent anonymity to its user
• Crimestoppers is a forward thinking, modern and efficient organisation
• Crimestoppers has regional committees and partnerships, but is a united national charity
• Crimestoppers plays a unique role in the fight against crime in UK communities
• although Crimestoppers is not part of the police, information passed to the police plays a vital
role in the fight against crime, often helping solve serious cases.
11.1.4 Reputation management
Due to the nature of the Crimestoppers service it is absolutely essential that the excellent reputation
of Crimestoppers is maintained. Without the trust of the public, the Crimestoppers service is nothing.
With 24 hour news, reputations can be destroyed in a very short time and it is essential to have a
robust process in place for dealing with a media crisis. A reputation management manual can be
found on the charity’s intranet. We also have a designated crisis management team which consists of
Central Office staff. At the time of a crisis, the issue should always be referred to Central Office until
a plan of action is in place. No other person should address an issue of crisis with the media but must
refer them to the Head of Communications immediately.
A crisis is considered to be one of the following:
• unexpected bad publicity
• an urgent issue
• a badly handled issue
• a serious incident, which has or will affect the organisations reputation.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 56
The most serious crisis for Crimestoppers would be the failure to protect anonymity. In this case, the
team will identify key messages, communication channels and the various audiences to be addressed.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 57
11.2. Police press office
The police press office has a valuable role to play getting the Crimestoppers message to the general
public. The knowledge that some members of the community will not speak to the police for fear or
prejudice supports the notion that to use Crimestoppers and promote its independence in press
releases will be a positive step forwards.
The Communications team at Central Office have a good working relationship with all police press
offices, and will keep all updated on any national campaigns or events. In addition a good relationship
with Crimestoppers volunteer committees is essential in supporting local campaigns.
Police press officers can effectively help to communicate some of the key messages but you must
ensure they use the correct wording when referring to Crimestoppers. Experience shows that in some
sections of society, the people who will not speak to the police will not speak to Crimestoppers
because they believe the two to be directly linked and therefore disbelieve the promise of anonymity.
This is the reason that despite the police being Crimestoppers closest partners publicly we declare our
The following rider is recommended for all police media appeals:
Call the charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.
We never ask for your name or trace your call.
The police press officer is also frequently present for the briefing of SIOs and may influence an
interview or press release substantially. Where DNA or other strong evidence is available in an
enquiry, but where no immediate suspect is forthcoming, the use of Crimestoppers should be
promoted as the means to support an early identification.
An SIO may approach Crimestoppers for an enhanced reward for a specific case.See section 9.3. The
Communications team with work with the police press office to coordinate publicity.
Crimestoppers, including Most Wanted, may be used to:
• locate the whereabouts of an identified individual wanted by law enforcement for arrest in
connection with a crime or following the issuing of an arrest warrant, fugitive, prison escapee,
bail breaker etc.
• identify and locate the whereabouts of an individual law enforcement wish to arrest in
connection with a crime. eg individual caught on CCTV, id-fit, etc.
Crimestoppers rewards are payable in each instance, but cannot be facilitated if information is given
online. The level of reward will be set by the Operations Department at Central Office (based upon
the risk assessment and underlying offence).
The payment of a specified reward for wanted individuals, often known as ‘bounty-hunting’, should
not be promoted (i.e. there is a £1000 reward to find this person). Exceptional cases may be
forwarded to the Director of Operations for consideration. An example of our discretion would be the
£50k reward put up for a named individual in the exceptional case of police woman Sharon
What can Press Officers do?
• Build a relationship with the Crimestoppers Coordinator for your force so you are aware of
local campaigns being considered, and how you can support them.
• Know and understand Crimestoppers’ key messages.
• Mention Crimestoppers on every crime appeal, and maximise the use of Most Wanted for your
• Coach your officers prior to interview to mention Crimestoppers.
• Be alert for Crimestoppers marketing opportunities within your force, in force newsletters or
• Join your local volunteer committee to get the most out of Crimestoppers – contact
Crimestoppers Central Office for details.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 58
By doing this you are actively playing an integral role in investigations. Robustly reported or
marketed, Crimestoppers may lead offenders to fear exposure with resulting reductions in offending
11.3. Working with the media
This section is provided to Crimestoppers committees and is repeated here for
Crimestoppers’ committees are encouraged to develop and maintain links with local and regional
media, and with force press offices. It is the most effective way of communicating the key messages
and getting the telephone to ring. Think of ways to attract media support and attention; through
television, radio, internet and print media.
Crimestoppers is a small charity with the clear purpose of helping the community fight crime,
therefore negotiate free support whenever possible. The media will often be keen to help, and will
consider it as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The Communications team supplies media releases for national stories and campaigns in advance.
They can then be personalised with a local slant, which makes them much more attractive to local
journalists. The Communications team can also help produce media releases for committee events.
Lists of regional media contacts can be obtained from the Communications team, as they hold a
national database of all UK media outlets.
Help maintain Crimestoppers independence by ensuring that media releases are always on
Crimestoppers headed paper. More communications guidance and a Crimestoppers media release
template can be found on the intranet. This includes advice on how to write a media release, key
messages and phrases, as well as ‘do’s and dont’s’ when talking to the media. The latest
Crimestoppers statistics and updates are also circulated to all committees through CS News, the
internal newsletter available monthly on the intranet.
Check news releases with regional staff before they are issued, so they are briefed on any media
activity and prepared for any interest the publicity might generate in the region. They will also be
able to advise on tone of voice and key messages. If a committee does not have a regional staff
member, the Communications team can also provide this support. Media enquiries often come to
Central Office in the first instance; ensuring the Communications team are aware in advance means
they are equipped for the enquiries of local and regional media.
Crimestoppers is an apolitical organisation, it does not offer comment to the media on the work of the
police or the government around crime issues. All approaches to national journalists are the
responsibility of the Communications Team at Central Office who develop and maintain relationships
with key national crime editors and correspondents in both the print and broadcast media.
11.3.1 Targeting different types of media
Print and broadcast media are powerful tools and potential allies; committees should ideally have
representatives who are active high level members, for example managing editors.
Regional radio and television
Please bear in mind the following when approaching broadcast media:
• TV journalists are always looking for powerful visual images. Use attention-grabbing ideas for
filming to help bring the piece to life.
• If you want your story on the radio think about sound. Designate an appropriate spokesperson,
someone who is a confident speaker and has had media training. This person should be up-to-
date with the basic Crimestoppers messages and the particular campaign messages.
• Don’t always plan your radio interviews in a quiet room. Sometimes journalists like a bit of
background noise. If relevant to the story, it can add atmosphere.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 59
• Try to be creative, use photographs and avoid using uniformed police officers as it reinforces
the misconception that we are part of the police.
• When writing a media release work out what the ‘top line’ of the story is. Put the best statistic
or the most interesting fact first, to grab the journalist’s attention.
• Designate a spokesperson for the committee. It does not have to be the Chair, but could be
someone who is a clear communicator and has extensive experience of media interviews. If a
Police Coordinator is speaking on the Charity’s behalf, please ensure they do not use their rank
title, as this contributes to public confusion around Crimestoppers independence.
Both the print and broadcast media are now increasingly directing audiences to their website;
encourage them to put further information about Crimestoppers on the ‘news’ section of their
The charity monitors media coverage which mentions Crimestoppers in the story (not the telephone
number) on a daily basis. However, the media monitoring agency only captures print items. If
broadcast coverage has been achieved, let the Communications Team know so it can be logged. Daily
media monitoring reports are available on the intranet which also includes non-Crimestoppers crime
stories of the day. Media coverage, per region, is shown in a graph in CS News and a full media
evaluation is carried out at the end of each financial year which tracks both quantitative and
11.4. Organising campaigns and events
The Operations Department coordinates nationwide campaigns. The key aims are to:
• raise public awareness of the fact that Crimestoppers is an independent charity
• coordinate up to three national campaigns each year. The themes for the campaigns are
agreed in consultation with ACPO, the Home Office and other stakeholders
• coordinate the publicity for operational toolkits supporting regional committees; these include
a range of promotional material that can be used to raise awareness locally
• keep updated media style guidance on the intranet, along with a range of templates.
Local committees should plan and run a number of local or regional campaigns each year and support
national campaigns when relevant. Campaigns might be in partnership with the police, CDRPs,
regional government offices, other charities, the business community or may be completely
independent. These may address a particular type of crime or community in support of Crimestoppers
wider objectives but should seek to maximise the impact of the Crimestoppers message in order to
increase actionable information. (See section 7.1.1) Wherever possible, committees will be expected
to support national campaigns where Crimestoppers is working in partnership with a public or private
body. While these may focus on a theme which is not a local police priority, they are designed to
increase actionable information and awareness of Crimestoppers.
Committees should implement campaigns in liaison with the police force intelligence bureau for
information flow and the police press office for co-ordination. Similarly, committees should inform
Central Office of their year’s programme well in advance so that the 24:7 Bureau can be prepared and
the press office and other relevant parties can be informed. Committees should evaluate the
effectiveness of their campaigns, monitoring impact against effort and cost. This will help inform
Whilst the Crimestoppers service receives and properly directs information on many issues there are
some areas on which Crimestoppers DOES NOT actively campaign, although they may appear on the
fringe of work with partner agencies:
• issues that are the responsibility of agencies other than the police (e.g Local Authorities and fly
tipping, abandoned vehicles, DVLA issues)
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 60
• anything that is clearly or potentially seeking witnesses
• missing persons
• the payment of rewards for wanted individuals, often known as ‘bounty-hunting’, should not be
promoted. See police press offices section 11.2.
Summary tips for a successful local campaign:
• Be clear about campaign aims and objectives.
• Identify the audience.
• Target the campaign to address a particular type of crime or audience.
• Borrow ideas that have been successfully used by other regions.
• Take advantage of the resources provided on the intranet such as the
campaign library of best practice.
• Evaluate campaign outcomes and media coverage informing Central Office
of local achievement.
The charity produces an annual review, which informs the entire organisation about its achievements
and is used to inform stakeholders, supporters and potential supporters about our work. The charity
also produces a magazine twice a year called Connect. This covers both national and regional issues
and is aimed at keeping supporters and members of the community up-to-date with the latest
As well as providing advice, guidance and encouraging the exchange of publicity ideas between
committees, the charity also produce a range of generic publicity materials. These include posters,
calling cards, advertisement templates and leaflets. Information and price lists for all of these can be
found on the intranet. Most literature design work and specifications are also available electronically
from Central Office. They may be used by local printers to produce copies.
If Committees produce their own materials or publications, style and design should be in-line with
products from Central Office for brand consistency. Please refer to the Brand Identity Guidelines
available from the communications team. The Communications team can offer guidance on the design
and production of committee material and advice on corporate identity and tone of voice. Ideas on
how publicity materials can be used are posted on the ‘Most Needed’ section of the intranet.
11.6 Website and intranet
www.crimestoppers-uk.org is a vital communication tool. It allows the charity to raise its profile and
to highlight the good work of Crimestoppers. Increasingly, it is a valuable source of receiving
information about crime anonymously, through the online ‘giving information’ form.
The website presents Crimestoppers both as a national charity and as an organisation made up of
regional committees. The ‘In your area’ section is one of the most popular, so it is vital that the
pages are kept up-to-date. The Communications Team is happy to provide training to volunteers to
update the local section of the site. Local campaigns that deserve national coverage can be included
on the main homepage.
The charity’s intranet is the most comprehensive resource within Crimestoppers and is home to
everything one needs to carry out Crimestoppers activities. It allows for internal communication and
information sharing. However, the more it is used the more effective it will be. To learn more about
the intranet, please speak to a regional staff member or the Communications team. Police
Coordinators and press officers can have access to the Intranet and are encouraged to use it.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 61
Crimestoppers Statistics Guide
Each month every police force is asked to complete a statistical form (Excel spreadsheet), the whole
form being returned to the Operational Assistant at Crimestoppers Central Office.
These forms enable Crimestoppers to monitor and publicise its overall performance & successes.
The form to be used will be supplied to forces before the start of each Crimestoppers year which runs
from April to March of the following year. Forces should not use any other form and must not
prepare/provide/ publicise statistics on any other basis i.e. the calendar year (January to
December) should not be used.
The form has 3 sections:
1. A tab for each of the 12 months in the Crimestoppers year
2. A ‘Year to Date’ tab
3. A tab where details of ‘Interesting Cases’ can be included
Monthly tab – example
Crimestoppers Monthly Returns
A FORCE APRIL 2009
Actionable Arrested &
Crime category Information Detections* Charged Items Recovered £
Murder (and Other Unlawful Killings) Value of Stolen Goods
Assault and Harassment Value of Vehicles Recovered
Possession of Weapons Value of Other Goods
Other Violent Crime Cash
Terrorism Related Offences Property Recovered £0.00
Rape and Sexual Offences (incl Online)
Robbery Drugs - "street" value
Arson No. of Firearms Recovered
Drug Trafficking and Supply No. of Knives recovered
Drug Manufacture and Cultivation
Possession and Other Drug Crime Interesting Cases
Theft Click on 'Interesting Cases' to take you to a new page where you can
Handling Stolen Goods include the details OR simply go the 'Interesting Cases' tab
Fraud and Forgery
Disqualified and Uninsured Drivers
Other Road Traffic Offences
Trading Standards Offences
Public Order Offences
Wanted Persons and Fugitives
TOTAL 0 0 0
*Includes all sanction and non sanction detections including Charges / Summons / Cautions / Taken into consideration (TICs) / Penalty notice for disorder (or other relevant offence) / Formal warnings for
The crime categories shown are based on the list of Home Office Notifiable Offences (in Scotland, the
equivalent Scottish offences apply).
The following example shows the Home Office Notifiable Offences included in the Crimestoppers
‘Murder (and Other Unlawful Killings)’ crime category:
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 62
Crimestoppers List Home Office Notifiable Offences
Murder /Unlawful killing
Causing Death by Dangerous or Careless Driving
Causing Death by Driving: Unlicensed, Disqualified or Uninsured Driv
Causing Death by Aggravated Vehicle Taking
Causing or Allowing Death of Child or vulnerable Person
Threat or Conspiracy to Murder
A full list may be obtained from the Operational Assistant at Crimestoppers Central Office.
Much of each ‘monthly’ tab is ‘password-protected’, including the headings, crime category names
and totals – the latter being automatically calculated.
Filling the form in
1. Only non-zero numbers should be entered – words must never be used nor should you use a
combination of words & numbers e.g.
• If no drugs are recovered, do not enter ‘nil’ or ‘zero’ – just leave the cell blank
• If a shotgun & a pistol are recovered, do not enter the words ‘2 firearms’ or ‘1 shotgun + 1
pistol’ – just enter the number ‘2’, the breakdown of the types of weapons being included in
the ‘Interesting Stories’ tab (see below).
• If 5 vehicles worth £20,000 are recovered, do not enter ‘5 vehicles worth £20,000’ – just enter
the value ‘20,000’, the number of vehicles – or other details - being included in the ‘Interesting
Stories’ tab (see below).
This ensures that the formulae used to calculate totals either on the monthly or ‘Year to Date’
tabs are not affected.
2. All cells are formatted appropriately – there is no need to use a ‘£’ sign when entering the value
3. All results should be entered in the month you hear about them, not in the month they occurred
nor in the month the underlying actionable information was received.
4. If you are unable to include an accurate number of ‘Detections’, please estimate by using the
same figures as for ‘Arrested & Charged’
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 63
‘Year to Date’ tab
Crimestoppers Monthly Returns
A FORCE YEAR TO DATE
Actionable Arrested &
Crime category Information Detections* Charged Items Recovered £
Murder (and Other Unlawful Killings) 0 0 0 Value of Stolen Goods £0.00
Assault and Harassment 0 0 0 Value of Vehicles Recovered £0.00
Possession of Weapons 0 0 0 Value of Other Goods £0.00
Other Violent Crime 0 0 0 Cash £0.00
Terrorism Related Offences 0 0 0 Property Recovered £0.00
Rape and Sexual Offences (incl Online) 0 0 0
Robbery 0 0 0 Drugs - "street" value £0.00
Criminal Damage 0 0 0
Arson 0 0 0 No. of Firearms Recovered 0
Drug Trafficking and Supply 0 0 0 No. of Knives recovered 0
Drug Manufacture and Cultivation 0 0 0
Possession and Other Drug Crime 0 0 0 Interesting Cases
Theft 0 0 0 Click on 'Interesting Cases' to take you to a new page where you can
Handling Stolen Goods 0 0 0 include the details OR simply go the 'Interesting Cases' tab
Vehicle Crime 0 0 0
Burglary 0 0 0
Fraud and Forgery 0 0 0
Disqualified and Uninsured Drivers 0 0 0
Drink Driving 0 0 0
Other Road Traffic Offences 0 0 0
Immigration Offences 0 0 0
Human Trafficking 0 0 0
HMRC Offences 0 0 0
Trading Standards Offences 0 0 0
Public Order Offences 0 0 0
Wanted Persons and Fugitives 0 0 0
Other Crimes 0 0 0
TOTAL 0 0 0
*Includes all sanction and non sanction detections including Charges / Summons / Cautions / Taken into consideration (TICs) / Penalty notice for disorder (or other relevant offence) / Formal warnings for
The layout is exactly the same as for the monthly tabs.
• all cells are ‘password-protected’
• no action is required as all cells are automatically calculated from the monthly tabs, the totals
being from April of the current year
‘Interesting Cases’ tab
INTERESTING CASES ETC
This is a ‘free text’ area where you can include details of
• any interesting results (e.g. arrest & charge of somebody for a serious offence, significant
recovery/seizure of property/drugs etc)
• more details of property/firearms (see ‘Filling the form in’ above)
Crimestoppers is always keen to hear of any interesting results as they can be used to demonstrate our
success locally and nationally more than simple figures.
Please try to include at least one item each month, giving as much detail as possible – note only
‘sanitised’ versions of any results provided will appear in publications such as the ‘Connect’
magazine or the Annual Review.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 64
The following are a couple of examples of what has been provided by some forces:
Following a serious stabbing incident, a call to Crimestoppers identified a local man as the offender,
who to avoid identification and arrest had temporarily moved to another area. He was subsequently
arrested when he returned to his home address.
Crimestoppers information regarding drug dealing led to a warrant at an address where a large amount
of cannabis in sealed bags was recovered. Also at the address was a large quantity of stolen property
from a recent burglary. The property included mobile phones, furniture and electronic equipment,
total value over £45,000. One male was arrested and has now been charged
Frequently asked questions
Q I have updated information concerning a result included in an earlier month (e.g. revised value
of drugs seized/more people arrested & charged etc) – what should I do?
A Include the difference in the month you receive the revised figures
Q I will be late in providing my force’s latest monthly figures – what should I do?
A Contact the Operational Assistant at Crimestoppers Central Office as soon as possible
If you have any queries about filling in the statistics form, you should contact Hunter Thorburn,
Operations Assistant at Crimestoppers Central Office (e-mail hunter.thorburn@crimestoppers-
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 65
Circulation of Images of Suspects: Suggested Force Protocol
During the course of crime investigations officers come into possession of numerous images, the
majority of which are from CCTV systems which, unless they are identified by Police Officers, remain
on file. There is scope to widen circulation of these images into the public domain in order to increase
the likelihood of a positive identification.
In addition a large number of those suspects have been identified and are circulated as wanted, but
have not yet been traced. The chances of locating these suspects would be increased with wider
This is a suggested Policy and will provide specific guidance on the processes to be followed when
images are distributed outside of the Police network.
Images Of Unidentified Suspects
This will only apply to the investigation of crimes where the suspect or suspects are yet to be
identified. It is important that the image is of sufficiently good quality that the person can readily be
identified if known to the person viewing the image.
The commencement of the display of images will normally take place after all other lines of enquiry
which may lead to the identification of the suspect have been exhausted. However if the need to
trace the suspect is urgent and it is reasonably felt that circulation of the image would speed up the
location of the person then this may take place before all enquiries have been completed.
It is important that a statement is obtained which clearly identifies the image of the person whose
identification is sought. This will avoid innocent people being circulated as suspects.
Images should initially be posted onto the Police intranet site to allow Police officers and authorized
police Staff to view them. This ensures proportionality has been complied with throughout the
If unidentified by Police officers and staff, the images should remain on the site for four weeks.
However if it is reasonably felt that the suspect is not from the area in question then consideration
should be given to circulation within other Police Forces.
If the suspect still remains unidentified the images may be circulated to the local press for publication
following consultation with the Crimestoppers Coordinator. This will be authorised by the
Crimestoppers Coordinator or Supervisor of at least Sergeant rank who will ensure an entry has been
made onto the crime record. In some cases there will be justification for selecting a more appropriate
media e.g. if the person is suspected to be from another Force Area then consideration would be given
to approaching media covering that area. Prior to this the victims will be verbally updated. This is in
keeping with the Victims Charter and any objections to the proposed circulation considered. The
Coordinator shall also consider if the image is suitable for circulation via the Crimestoppers “Most
Either a police officer or police staff member may be nominated by the Director of Intelligence to
become a ‘Force Controller’ for the Crimestoppers Most Wanted website. They in turn may create
‘approvers’ and ‘inputters’ to maintain control of the web content. Crimestoppers Operations
Department at Central Office will provide training in the use of the website.
The images may also be displayed in the custody area either via notice boards or monitors. In order to
encourage members of the public and detainees who wish to remain anonymous these circulations will
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 66
be made under the banner of Crimestoppers. Should the person wish to make identification to a Police
Officer or member of staff then confidentiality will be maintained through the use of the Confidential
Source Register. A report will be submitted to the Intelligence unit regarding this and the nominated
resource and investigating officer informed. The person must be informed that, if the Crimestoppers
system is not used, then they will not be eligible for a cash reward should that be appropriate. When
an identification is made then the nominated resource will be responsible for removing the relevant
image from the notice boards and ensuring that it is not circulated by the press in that instance.
A record of all circulations both via the media and in the police building will be retained as unused
Images Of Known Suspects / Wanted Persons
This section applies to the cases where a known suspect is sought in connection with an offence or
where that person has already been convicted of the offence and is wanted.
Releasing a wanted photograph should be done only in exceptional circumstances. The major
consideration is whether the need to warn the public about a dangerous person outweighs the
possibility of jeopardising any subsequent court hearing, particularly in relation to identification
evidence. In cases where the wanted person does not pose a potential risk to the public, it is
necessary to determine that publication is proportionate to the risk and/or that more conventional
means have been exhausted. In all cases the consent of an officer of ACPO rank is required.
The photograph could be either a police photograph or from another source. In the latter case the
consent of the owner should be obtained. Consultation with the CPS is particularly appropriate in
cases involving identification issues.
A presumption against publication of images in this category will operate unless it can be shown that
all reasonable enquiries have been made to trace the offender and that there is strong evidence to
connect that person to the offence. In most cases this circulation will be the last resort in terms of
trying to trace the suspect. However in certain cases where it is justifiable, for example, where it is
felt that the public may be at risk from the person, then the image may be circulated before all lines
of enquiry have been exhausted. Each case should be considered individually in those instances.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 67
Crimestoppers’ Most Wanted:Appeal Management System
020 8254 3200
Version: 20 March 2009
In your web browser go to http://cpanel.cs.precedenthost.co.uk/ams.login.asp
The login screen allows you to login with the credentials that have been provided to you by your Force
Controller or Crimestoppers. If you haven’t been provided with login credentials please contact your
Force Controller or Crimestoppers. There is no facility to recover a lost/forgotten password. If you
need to recover your username/password please contact your Force Controller or Crimestoppers.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 68
This is the screen within the Appeal Management System (AMS) where at a glance you can see what
appeals are available to your division/police force, and their status. The screen divides all of the
appeals into three status areas:
• Active appeals: the appeals that are live or nearing expiry;
• Forthcoming appeals: the appeals that are not live yet and that are still being workedupon;
• Inactive appeals: the appeals that were once live and have since been closed.
All of the appeals show the Crimestoppers’ appeal reference number, the name of the appeal, the
crime type, the date the appeal was last modified and the various functions that you can do with the
All of the functions operate in the same way regardless of the status of an appeal. The preview will
open a new browser window, and will show you what the appeal looks like with the public facing
design applied to it. The amend function allows you to make changes to an appeal. The history
function allows you to see the various stages the appeal has gone through to get to the state it is
currently in. This function is only available if there is a history for an appeal. (NB This functionality
will be introduced in April 2009.) The close function allows you to close an appeal.
Creating a new appeal and amending an appeal
At Appeals Home, click on Create New Appeal. Alternatively, navigate to the appeal that you want to
amend, or search for it.
This is the form where you can create/amend an appeal. As the form is quite large, for the purposes
of this document it has been split into two parts.
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All of the fields on the page that have an asterisk (*) are all required fields.
Appeal Title should be something descriptive i.e. a name, Joe Blogs, an offence, Wanted formurder,
Caught on camera, etc. These should be less than five words and more than one word.
The police force is automatically populated by the information associated with your user account,and
the same in turn for the division drop down list.
The operation/campaign is a list of Crimestoppers operations that are available to your police force.
These should include the list of operations that are taking place in your region at the time.
This is a multiple select option, pressing the Ctrl key on your keyboard and then clicking theoperations
you want to associate an appeal with will mean the appeal can be found by searching forthat
operation on the public facing site.
The suspected offence field is a list of all of the offences as defined by the Home Office. It is not
possible to select a crime type such as Burglary, you need to select an offence. Regardless of which
offence is selected, the crime type will be automatically displayed to the public and used in searches.
So, selecting “burglary in a dwelling” will mean Burglary is displayed.
When you first come to the appeals page you will find the scene of incident field isn’t editable. This is
by design, and is unavailable until a location or a postcode has been looked up. Once a location has
been looked up the scene of incident field is pre-populated, and is available for editing. This scene of
incident is only meant to be a rough location, it isn't meant to be an exact location of the crime.
If a location/postcode has been looked up in the past the details are stored within the system. If the
location/postcode is found within the system, the address that was associated with the
location/postcode is retrieved and is used to populate the scene of incident field. This field is then
made available to you to edit. If the location/postcode hasn’t been stored in the system, then the
location is looked up on the paid for service, and you selects the information they want to use.
Please note. The public facing portion of the website uses some data that is hidden from you to
perform the location search. Say a user looks up London, but then changes the scene of incident field
manually to Scotland. When a member of the public searches for London they would get an appeal
appearing to be within Scotland, and it wouldn’t show up in Scotland either. Please make sure you use
the right postcodes.
The next fields are related to the time and date that an incident happened. As is the nature with
appeals you’re not always going to know the date and time an incident happened. If month and time is
unknown, please make sure you select unknown for all time options.
The next two fields are the big part of the appeal page output on the public facing portion of the site.
The summary of appeal and full appeal text fields are for entering the information that is known
about the appeal.
Important: Summary of appeal text should be descriptive and from 10-20 words, no more than 300
The full appeal text field can contain 4000 characters, around 200 words.
If the appeal you are adding is part of a larger appeal, you are able to relate appeals to each other
from the linked appeal section. This list shows all of the appeals in the system that are live, as with
the operations field, you can select multiple appeals from this list (press Ctrl and click) to be
associated with the appeal you are adding. If you link Appeal A to Appeal B, please link Appeal B back
to Appeal A.
The suspect description fields, although not required, help to draw the public’s eye to the
Alias/ nickname and Whereabouts fields also have character limits, please do not go over 300
characters/ around 10 words or you will get an error message.
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The suspect name, nickname and whereabouts fields are optional fields, as they might not be known
for the specific appeal. If these fields aren’t filled in they won't be shown on the public portion of the
If the sex field isn't filled in then the system will set a value of “unknown” automatically for this field
when it is committed to the system.
The fields between the sex field and the additional information field are provided to allow you to give
a description of the suspect. If this information is unknown then the fields can be left in their default
state, as with the suspect name field, if the data isn't entered it won’t be displayed on the public
As these drop down lists can’t cover every eventuality, the additional information field is provided to
allow you to specify distinguishing features for the suspect (information such as tattoo of mother on
left arm, scar on right cheek).
The image upload facility is available for you to format. It is this FLV file that needs to be
upload any images that you have of the suspect uploaded to the appeal.
and want to display on the website.
The facility will resize images to the various
sizes that the system requires. However, if you
can change your image to approximately 151
pixels wide by 190 high, your image will not
be stretched or mutated.
You can do this in Microsoft Picture Editor using
the resize and crop tools. You will see on the
left hand side the dimension of your image in
pixels. You can also use other image editing
programmes like Photoshop.
Please upload JPEG image files because these
images can contain more detail.
You can replace your images by uploading a
new image in the same place i.e. Suspect
To delete an image, select remove image and
click upload. If you need to delete an image
and have nothing to upload, please contact
The video upload process is a little more
complicated than the images. If you have a
video available for the incident, this video – to
allow it to be viewed on practically all
platforms – needs to be converted into a Flash
Video (FLV) format. If you have Adobe Flash
video encoder please use it, if not then you can
download and install a free product called
Riva (http://rivavx.com/). At present you can
convert from the following formats: AVI, MPEG,
This product is capable of converting common
video formats into FLV format, which will be a
fraction of the file size of the original file
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The only change that needs to be made to the default settings is the exported movie size. This should
be set to 320px by 240px. Once this is changed, in the input movie box select the movie you want to
convert, select where it is to be saved on your machine, and then click the encode button.
Once you have the video encoded, the video will need to be uploaded to an appeal. As with the image
upload section there is an option to upload a video, clicking on this button will load a page that looks
Clicking the browse button on the video upload box, will open a view of your machine. You will then
need to navigate to the location you saved the FLV file. Once you have selected it, click the upload
button and the file will start to be uploaded, and you will be shown the progress of the upload. Once
the file has been uploaded the above form will be closed, and you will be shown the appeal page
There is currently no option to delete video, if you need to delete a video, please contact
You will not see your video, unless you save and preview the appeal from Appeals Home.
Police Contact Information
This section is provided to allow you to give public facing site visitors details of how to contact the
police force who have published the appeal. The four checkboxes are provided to allow the police
force to hide the automatically populated fields, should they not want to show this information to the
public. These fields are automatically populated from your user information, and can be edited if
needed. It is now possible for portions of the information to be displayed to the public site visitor. If
the contact phone section is not shown to the front end user, then the default Crimestoppers contact
information is displayed.
Submit for “Most Wanted” – please ignore this field.
The final fields on the page tell the appeal when to go live on the website, and when it is to be
Appeals are set to a default time of one year.
Setting a go live date in the future will – when the appeal is approved – put it into the “Live when live
date reached” status.
When appeals that are within seven days of their expiry date, their status will be “Nearing expiry” and
once the date passes they are marked as “Inactive”.
Depending upon the stage of the appeal, there will be various action buttons at the bottom of the
form. In the basic form, these options will be “Save to Draft” and “Submit for approval”. Other
options are “Close Appeal”, “Approve” and “Reject”.
“Save to Draft” – If you are working on changes to an appeal, and want to come back to it at a later
stage, clicking this option will save what you have done to date and mark the appeal as work in
progress. If the appeal is live, this will remove it from the public facing website, until it is approved
by a force controller or approver. It will appear in the forthcoming appeals section within on the
appeals home page. You do not have to enter all the required fields.
“Submit for approval” – Informs your designated approver that you have submitted an appeal for
approval. They will receive an email asking them to return to the site and approve your submission.
When the appeal is at this stage it will appear within the forthcoming appeals section.
“Close Appeal” – Performs the same function as the close function on the appeals home page.
“Approve” – Puts the appeal live on the public facing website and marks the appeal with the details
of the person that approved the appeal.
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“Reject” – Puts the appeal back into the approval process where the last modified gets the chance to
make changes to the appeal and submit for approval again. An email is sent to the last modifier to
notify them that the appeal has been rejected.
Make sure you tick the confirmation button before you save.
Should you make an error on the page or miss a mandatory field, the system will take you to the top
of the form and note which fields you need to address.
Closing an appeal
When a wanted person is captured, or the appeal is no longer required, the appeal can be closed. By
clicking on the close link you are able to mark the appeal as closed, and give a reason for its closure.
The screen shows the name of the appeal you want to close and the Crimestoppers’ appeal reference
that was assigned when the appeal was created. You are then prompted to enter the reason the
appeal is to be closed and whether the information was obtained Crimestoppers. You can select
multiple reasons by using Ctrl and click. The final check box is a failsafe to ensure you want to close
the appeal. When the “Close appeal” button is clicked, the appeal – if live on the public facing site –
will no longer be available for viewing by the public.
Please note: The appeal can be reinstated at any time by amending the appeal.
On closure, the appeal is marked with the date that it was closed, and by who it was closed. This
information is then available for viewing via the history function from the appeals home.
The system contains three levels of access, all have different permissions and functions available.
The levels are:
• Input officer
• Force Controller
Input officers, approvers and force controller levels are all related to a police force, and are only able
to modify appeals for their own police force.
When any user submits an appeal for approval an email will be sent to their nominated approver as
nominated in Users Home (detailed below). This email informs the nominated approver that an appeal
has been submitted for them to approve. As the drop down list within Users Home contains all of the
approvers and force controllers for the force it is possible for the person who has submitted the
appeal to be their own approver, meaning they would receive the email informing them of the new
appeal. If a user doesn’t have a nominated approver within the system, then an email won’t be sent,
and the appeal will remain listed as awaiting approval.
An appeal can go through many stages from initial conception to being live. When a user is creating
the appeal, they have the option to submit it for approval or to save the appeal to draft for
completion at a later stage. If the appeal is submitted for approval, the approver is notified as above,
the approver decides if the appeal should go live. If the approver decides the appeal is incorrect, they
could correct the appeal themselves and submit for approval again or they can reject the appeal. If
the appeal is rejected an email is sent to you that last edited the appeal informing them the appeal
has been rejected, and for them to make changes to the appeal. No details are provided as to why the
appeal was rejected.
If a user edits an appeal that is live, and then submits it for approval or saves the appeal to draft the
appeal is removed from the public facing website until it is approved again. When an appeal is
approved the date the appeal was approved and the details of you are “stamped” onto the appeal as a
record of who made the appeal live, at this point the appeal is made publically available again.
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At any time during the appeals life it is possible to view what it would look to the public, including
video and images. This preview opens in a new window and shows all of the details that have been
There is a search provided within the AMS for users to be able to quickly find an appeal they need to
work with. This search will search the appeal title and the CS reference number, i.e. CS0903-5205.
The results are only shown for your police force and are listed so the oldest appeals will be at the top.
All of the appeals have their status visible on the page, allowing you to see what stage the appeal is at
within its life.
This functionality is only available to force controllers. This functionality allows new users to be
added to the police force and existing users to be edited. A force controller’s screen looks like this:
This page displays the name of the users, their type of access, their job title and the police force they
are associated with. As with the appeals page there are functions available for you to interact with
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 75
Edit/Add a user
This is the form for adding a new user or editing a current user.
There are a number of required fields on the page. Information such as telephone number, email and
name are used to pre-populate the police contact details section within the appeals page.
Logging into the AMS as a force controller allows you to add a new input officers and approvers to your
The approver drop down list shows all of the force controllers and approvers in the police force
The person selected from this drop down list is the person that will be notified via email when an
input officer submits an appeal for approval.
Should Crimestoppers make a change to your appeal, whether by request or editing for spelling, style,
an email is sent by the system. Make sure you nominate a person to be notified when this happens.
To alter the password, click on “Alter password” in Users Home. Passwords can only be reset, they
cannot be looked up as passwords are encrypted.
The close functionality has recently been altered and at the time of writing this is subject to change.
As with the appeal close function, the close function within the user areas allows the closing of a user,
but only if there are no appeals associated with them. Only Force Controllers can close users.
If there are appeals associated with the user, then you will be taken to a screen that looks the same
as the appeals home, but with only one option to amend the appeal. The listing shows all of the
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 76
appeals that are associated with the user. These appeals need to be saved by you, the force
controller, before you can close this user.
Clicking on the “Amend” function will open the appeal page in a new window. Simply submitting the
appeal for approval or approving the appeal will associate the appeal with your user credentials. Once
all of the appeals have been associated with another user, the initial user may be closed.
If you need to close a division please contact Crimestoppers.
Contact Hunter Thorburn or Sasha Arms at Crimestoppers.
Telephone: 020 8254 3200
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THE CRIMESTOPPERS GUIDE TO
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1. Why do the general public need Crimestoppers 74
2. What is the benefit to the Police? 74
3. Some facts about the Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 phoneline 75
4. What is an actionable call? 75
5. Developing the call 76
6. Caller Interview technique 77
7. Developing the caller and introducing a CHIS 77
8. Rewards 78
9. Enhanced rewards 78
10. Difficult calls 79
11. Feedback 79
A. Crib sheets 81
B. Crimstoppers Interview Model (PEACE interview skills) 89
C. The 5 Ws and H 92
D. Reward Risk Assessment 93
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 79
Crimestoppers is the only registered charity in the UK that actively assists the Police to solve crime.
Crimestoppers works in close partnership with Police officers and police staff providing a mechanism
for the public to pass on information that would normally not be available to Police. This is achieved
through the use of the nationwide 0800 555 111 telephone number. The key to the success of
Crimestoppers is the guarantee of total anonymity for the caller.
The purpose of this manual is to assist those call agents who will be answering the Crimestoppers
phone and talking to the general public who wish to give information about crimes and criminal
It is also to designed to improve the quality of message logs taken by agents, ensure agents know the
right things to say and ask and help you to understand a little bit more about the Crimestoppers
scheme: how it works, why it works and most importantly, how vital the role of call agent is to the
success of Crimestoppers.
This may sound like a simple and straightforward task and in most cases it is, however like everything
else there are certain rules and regulations. Additionally, there are certain techniques which can be
used not only to maximise the amount of information gleaned from the caller, but also to ensure that
the caller’s experience of ringing Crimestoppers is a favourable one, encouraging them to use the
service again or recommend others to do so.
Typically however callers do not ring back so it is the prime objective of all call-agents to get the best
information from every caller, every time. If you miss the information on the first call, it is likely to
be lost forever.
The manual will take you through information you should know, information which is beneficial to
know and frequently asked questions about Crimestoppers. It also covers the reasoning behind some of
the calls we receive and the why people ring Crimestoppers instead of the police. It is designed to be
user friendly and jargon free and can be referred to from time to time as and when you need it.
Crib sheets are added as an appendix. They are not intended to be used as a question list to be read
out to callers, more to prepare you for engaging with callers and getting the best information from
them. Remember, the better information you get from the caller, the greater the likelihood of a
positive result. In a lot of cases, these questions may provide answers that can easily be corroborated
by the police. This corroboration may either support a warrant application or prove to be a test of
whether a caller is genuine.
Paramount to all contact with callers is the fact they are ringing to provide information to
Crimestoppers charity and not to the police.
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1. Why do the general public need Crimestoppers?
There are many reasons why the general public are uncomfortable about coming forward to the
Police openly. These are some of the thoughts going through people’s heads, which prevent them
from giving information to the Police. Unfortunately it is often these very people who do have the
information the Police need: -
• I’m frightened of retaliation
• I don’t want the Police coming to the house
• I’m afraid to be a witness
• I’ve already had threats
• I’m elderly – it’s too much for me.
• Our family knows their family
• I’m worried my name will get out
• I live on my own
• It’s about a neighbour
• Its about a member of my family
• I wouldn’t ever speak to the police
• I need to remain anonymous
• I don’t want to get involved
Many of these are very real, very serious fears and concerns that will stop an individual from coming
forward to the police, even if they know their information would be useful in solving a crime.
Crimestoppers offers these people a real solution to these problems and through this allows call
agents the opportunity to unlock this frequently invaluable information.
When someone calls Crimestoppers, there will never be any attempt to find out who they are or
where they live. Since the inception of Crimestoppers in the UK in 1988 no calls have been traced.
This level of consideration for the caller does of course have to be carefully balanced with the need to
extract as much information from them as possible, to support positive action. The ability of the call-
agent to engage with the caller is key to this process.
Sir John Stevens QPM, ex-Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police is on record as saying, “The fear of
coming forward is one of the biggest difficulties in fighting crime.”
We recognise that for many people, even calling Crimestoppers is a giant leap of faith for them to
make, so we try to recognise those people at an early stage in the conversation and treat them as
sensitively as possible.
2. What is the benefit to the Police?
Since Crimestoppers began in 1976 its usefulness to policing and law enforcement has expanded to
such an extent that there are now over 1300 operations across the world with new schemes being set
up all the time.
The key benefit to Police is the ability to bring in information that wouldn’t otherwise be available to
them. Crimestoppers in essence is a conduit for taking information from the public and passing it
either to the police or other agency, though it must also be viewed as an important public service,
like Childline or the Samaritans.
Essentially, the benefit to the Police can be listed as follows:
• One Crimestoppers call can save hundreds of Police working hours
• The cost savings and ability to re-deploy saved resources are significant.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 81
• Across the UK all 55 Police forces have recognised Crimestoppers as a “best value” approach.
Ex-Deputy Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Service Bill Griffiths brought
Crimestoppers to the UK from America in 1988 and he says of the scheme, “It solves crimes which we
would otherwise have been unable to solve”.
Although Crimestoppers information comes from anonymous callers, the Police can still act and
produce results based on this information. Very often however, a Crimestoppers call is the
springboard that launches Police in the right direction in an investigation. Typically however callers do
not ring back so it is the prime objective of all call-agents to get the best information from every
caller, every time.
Crimestoppers forms an integral part of the National Intelligence Model in the UK. Crimestoppers is
also more and more included in Force crime reduction strategies. In short, without Crimestoppers, an
additional 6,000 offences would probably be undetected every year.
3. Some facts about the Crimestoppers 0800 555 111 phoneline
• Calls to Crimestoppers from landlines are free and some mobile phone service providers do not
charge (some do however)
• They are never traced.
• They do not show up on itemised billing on landlines
• They are not tape recorded
• There is no caller line identification (CLI)
• Callers are never asked for their details
• Call agents are forbidden from passing details of a caller’s apparent age, ethnicity or gender to
• Rewards are paid without prejudice to a caller’s anonymity.
• Information is always sanitised prior to being disseminated to the police.
4. What is Actionable Information?
A large number of calls received by Crimestoppers call agents are requests for a police response and
are not appropriate to be forwarded as an actionable Crimestoppers information report. Many are also
inappropriate calls that are not relevant to Crimestoppers e.g. callers wishing to record a crime
It is very important to ensure that the Crimestoppers information you receive and subsequently pass
on is of sufficient content to qualify for further action.
You should ask the question of each piece of information you receive. “Is there anything that can be
done with this?” For instance if a caller does not know the name or address of an offender, can the
Police identify them and take action? Has a crime been committed? If you are in doubt as to whether
you have enough information to send or whether the information is relevant to the police, then please
refer to a line manager or coordinator for advice.
It may be helpful to refer to the official definition of an actionable call:
“Crimestoppers information, received within a police force or law enforcement
agency from which positive action may be taken to prevent, reduce or detect crime
& disorder or to provide intelligence regarding offenders.”
The fact that the Police in one county may not take action because of their priorities, whereas the
Police in another county will take action, is not however a question for us. That is a question for the
relevant Intelligence Unit on whether to action our information. This is their decision, not ours.
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Easiest is to say that Crimestoppers do not: -
• Record crimes. If people wish to report a crime or obtain a crime number, then they must ring
• take reports of nuisance unless that has resulted in some crime e.g. damage (graffiti) where a
caller can identify the offender/s.
• take reports regarding manner of driving or simple litter offences where any prosecution
requires the statement of that witness to be successful
• record details about abandoned cars (not stolen cars) which are the responsibility of the
• take information about untaxed vehicles as the DVLA has its own hotline number 0800 0325202,
unless the caller has specific information about the lack of other required documentation e.g.
no insurance or being driven by an unlicensed driver. Do consider however that the Channel
Islands are not covered by the DVLA and the police there do deal with these offences. Likewise
there is a national fly-tipping hotline 0800 807060.
Remember; if you take calls that should not be taken you create expectancy that Crimestoppers and
the Police will take that action.
5. Developing the call
This is where proper planning and an extensive knowledge of what Crimestoppers can offer are
essential to answer the questions frequently posed by callers. When a caller makes that giant leap of
faith and rings 0800 555 111, they may want to know what safeguards are in place to protect their
anonymity. Be prepared to tell them!
Some callers are obviously very nervous about making the call. Volunteer how they remain anonymous
and put them at ease.
Currently, around 1% of those eligible for a reward actually go on to claim them. This tells us the main
reason for ringing Crimestoppers has to be because the caller genuinely wants to see a result from
This puts the call agent in a good position because the caller will want to provide enough information
for the police to be able to take positive action. Consider this when speaking to them and be honest
with a caller who initially offers little information. If the information is obviously insufficient to be
actionable, tell them. If they are holding back information but want action they may be persuaded to
tell you more
It is not usually possible to interrogate intelligence systems whilst the caller is on the line so be aware
that even a small piece of information could be that which completes the picture and allows the
police to swear out a warrant or make an arrest.
Also consider the effect on Crimestoppers reputation within your force if you send out information
that is too sparse to be acted upon. This will only generate negativity from hard pressed officers and
that impression could apply to the next piece of real quality information you send out.
Simple phrases which may assist to develop the call are: -
• This is not recorded, we don’t want to know who you are, just what you know.
• If you inadvertently told us the information was about a neighbour, don’t worry because we’d
take that out and just report on the actual address where the suspect lives and not who they
lived next to.
• We can’t even let the police know your gender, accent or apparent age.
• We don’t even need to know who you are if you wish to claim a reward.
• The police are warned not to let any suspect know of the existence of a Crimestoppers report.
APCO / APCOS Manual • Hard Copy • April 2010 84
• Yes this information is disclosable at court but if there was a possibility of identifying the
caller from the information given, then consideration would be given to identifying this fact at
a pre-trial review and the evidence being withdrawn if it became necessary to disclose. (Yes
some callers are aware of disclosure)
6. Caller Interview technique
Many Police Forces train officers with the PEACE Model and this has proved very successful in 1000’s of
interviews, providing a simple structure which can then be tested by use of questions. When a caller
rings Crimestoppers, we are going to try and get as much information from the caller as possible by
introducing our own interviewing skills. This is certainly one of the most important elements of being
a successful Crimestoppers call agent.
It is important to strike up a rapport with the caller if there is an opportunity to do so. We do this for
• To prolong a conversation enabling us to extract as much information as possible, ask as many
relevant questions as possible and thereby maximise the value of the information given
• To show the caller that we are as interested in receiving and dealing with their information as
they are in providing it.
• To test the quality of the information they are providing with a view to weeding out malicious
calls or false information.
• We want to make the caller feel confident enough to use Crimestoppers again and call back
with further information.
Quite often, when talking to a caller, they will give you their reason for calling Crimestoppers or
wanting a person to be arrested. This will be sanitised from the finished report. You may consider
ringing an Intelligence Unit and telling them your gut feeling that the information you are sending is
top quality, even if you can’t explain why. This can sometimes make the difference as to whether
information is actioned or not (e.g. my neighbour is growing skunk and I know because my son buys it
Please read the appendix on PEACE interview skills. This is a simple model, which allows you to
control calls and more importantly, link all the information together to support easy to prepare fluent
actionable information reports.
7. Developing the caller and introducing a potential CHIS (Covert Human
Developing a CHIS is a much specialised area requiring a great deal of training and not a task to be
taken on by Crimestoppers call agents. However, there are occasions when an “ordinary
Crimestoppers caller” clearly has substantial knowledge of major crime or criminal activity and
will not speak openly with the police. There may be opportunities for these people to be
introduced to trained source handlers who are far better able to carry out a full risk assessment
and develop the individual.
If this situation arises always take as much information from them as possible (because they may
never ring back) and give the caller a reference number. If the coordinator is available, transfer
the caller through in order that he/she can make the necessary contact with a source handler. If
this is not possible, ask the caller to ring back when the coordinator is available and in any case,
ensure the coordinator is informed of the situation.
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Different forces have different procedures for speaking with sources and it is down to the co-
ordinator to agree the procedure in force. Remember that source details e.g. name, address or
phone number should never appear on the Crimestoppers actionable information log as this is
always disclosable. It could also damage Crimestoppers reputation if a caller, expecting to remain
anonymous is pressed for personal details in this way. Means to facilitate contact could include
passing the caller a phone number for an CHIS Controller (where the force permits).
There may also be occasions when a caller is likely to be able to provide further information to
Crimestoppers at a later date but will not consider speaking to the Police. In this case give the caller a
reference number and encourage them to ring again if they have further information. Never task a
caller to find out information.
Crimestoppers is able to pay cash rewards for information that leads to the arrest and charge of an
offender. This reward is paid to a caller without prejudice to their anonymity. The procedure is as
• If a caller expresses an interest in receiving a reward (less than 1.5% of callers actually do),
they need to be given a reference number. This is the only means of identification by which
they will ever be known.
• The call agent will give the caller a reference number (to be arranged by your local
• The caller will be advised to ring back quoting the reference number to monitor the progress of
• If an arrest and charge takes place the caller will be asked to nominate a branch of the Nat
West or Royal Bank of Scotland (or The Ulster Bank in Ireland) from which to collect the
• The caller will then be told to visit that branch on a certain date, give their reference to a
member of the bank staff and collect their cash reward. No signatures or further identification
will be required.
In normal circumstances, the rewards on offer are from £100 to £1,000 and are set down in a matrix in
the ACPO Manual of Guidance.
* In all cases local arrangements will apply and will usually be dealt with by the Crimestoppers
** Rewards are funded by the local Crimestoppers Committee (not by the Police).
Where a caller is eligible for a reward, a risk assessment will be carried out before considering making
the payment. Bear in mind that to a young person, a reward of £200 may be hugely disproportionate
to their normal financial means and could lead to them being careless and identified by the subject of
their information, with obvious consequences. Some callers are in close and regular contact with
those they pass information about and having large sums of cash after their arrest could put them at
substantial risk. A risk assessment form is attached as an appendix and will be completed in every
9. Enhanced Rewards
You need to be aware however that under certain circumstances, namely where a heinous crime has
taken place and the police have used Crimestoppers from the outset of the investigation, an enhanced
reward of up to £10,000 may be offered subject to approval by the Crimestoppers Director of
Operations. This is a very valuable tool to encourage SIO’s to use Crimestoppers whilst investigating
murders and other serious crimes. This reward is funded by Crimestoppers and not by your board of
***This reward must be authorised by the Crimestoppers Director of Operations before it may be
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For further information about Enhanced Rewards, contact the Operations Department at
Crimestoppers Central Office.
10. Difficult calls
Difficult calls do not come along too often but when they do you need to know what to do. Let’s look
at a few examples which have come up in the past.
• Immediate threats to life (or property), including bomb calls. These calls need the information
to be as specific as possible e.g. target, location, time, method, motive (use the 5Ws and H,
who, what, when, where, why, and how?). Action: this must be passed on live to a relevant
named individual, who might be a line manager, an intelligence coordinator, duty officer in the
control room or local police station. Ensure you record whom the information was passed to,
dated and timed, on the Crimestoppers log. Never be satisfied by sending an email or fax or
leaving information on voicemail, without having passed it on personally. Don’t ever get this
• A call suggests that a serving police officer is corrupt or has committed a criminal act of any
kind. If the caller is unwilling or unable to speak directly to a police inspector to make a formal
complaint, then again, take as much information as possible (5Ws and H) then pass directly to
your line manager/Crimestoppers Coordinator and do not send it in open form for everyone in
the office to read. Do not discuss with colleagues. This will be passed to the police
Professional Standards Department for guidance.
• Allegations of corruption in the prison service. These logs should be forwarded to the
Crimestoppers Coordinator for onward transmission to the Prison Professional Standards Unit
with a copy to the Police Director of Intelligence.
Feedback is the lifeblood of Crimestoppers. Without it, we cannot tell people how successful
Crimestoppers is and therefore cannot hope to gain the confidence of an SIO conducting a murder
enquiry or even an officer tasked with developing Crimestoppers information. Volunteer boards also
thrive on being a part of the success story.
As a call agent or coordinator you will realise the good feeling surrounding a successful conclusion to
an information report you sent out. Consider then how call agents at the 24/7 bureau feel if they
don’t ever get to hear of how their information has formed a part of an arrest.
An easy way to get support is to compile stats each month by division in each force. Simply showing
calls actioned by division, arrests’ resulting from the information and a simple calculation reveals the
calls actioned per arrest. The result gives your Director of Intelligence very strong indication as to
which divisions perform best in tasking information and intelligence. No division wants to be the worst
in this and you will find that the individual division intelligence will be happy to meet with you or the
coordinator to discuss how they can improve feedback.
Most forces have regular inspections at divisions by one or more members of the command team. If
you can identify who reviews intelligence then you will probably identify an ally here who will be
happy to raise the question of feedback on your behalf providing you can demonstrate the benefits to
be had from this.
You may also find that the chair of your Crimestoppers volunteer committee will be chomping at the
bit to improve results from actionable information. A well written letter from them to the chief
constable may also improve results.
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In order to get this support however you have to be able to stand by the quality of reports you are
sending out. If the information is not actionable or is very brief and demonstrates no evidence of
questioning skills by the agent, then you are not going to get the arrests let alone any positive
Get into the habit therefore of taking note of the content of this manual, plan your interviews,
question thoughtfully using a degree of empathy to put the caller at ease. Raise your level and it’s
only right to expect to raise levels of interest around you.
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• Name of suspect/suspects
• Where do they live? (Home address etc)
• Do they have a mobile or other phone number?
• How do you know he/she/they are dealing drugs?
• Which drugs is he/she/they selling?
• Where do they keep the drugs? (hiding place if known.)
• What prices do they charge for them?
• What quantities do they sell?
• Where is he/she/they selling e.g. at front door, at the garden gate, to cars in the street etc?
• Describe the house and how entered. (Eg first floor flat with entry phone on ground floor)
• Is there any security on the premise? Eg CCTV, Iron gates etc.
• Do they have pets eg. Large dogs?
• When is he/she/they selling e.g. times during the day, which day of the week?
• When are they busiest?
• Do they deliver drugs?
• Do they have a car? What is it and what is the registered number?
• Who are they selling to?
• Is there any apparent pattern to how people make purchases? E.g. is it preceded by a mobile
phone call, a stone thrown at a window, lights left on?
• Are there any regular callers? Names, registration numbers etc.
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Suspected Paedophilia and Internet Porn
As rough guidance only, there is a subjective test to apply to photographs. If you have to deliberate on
whether the subject is under 16 years, then it is not child pornography. Paedophilia photographs are
very distressing in that subjects are clearly very young.
• Name, address, phone number and employment/previous employment.
• Email address, Internet service provider (i.e. freeserve, AOL, Tiscali etc).
• Web sites visited?
• What computer drive are the images stored on?
• Are there any other witnesses? - If so who are they?
• Where is the computer located?
• If images are downloaded, is it retained as photographs or put onto CD roms, floppy discs, or in
any other form?
• Does the suspect play an active part? E.g. selling photographs or images, arranging group
meetings or attending them.
• Do they distribute lists of photographs/videos?
• Do they have any regular contacts, friends or relatives?
• Are they members of any social networking site?
In these cases, the caller must be referred to the National Terrorism hotline first and information
should only be taken if it is apparent the caller will not do this.
Bear in mind that any terrorist information will be sent to Special Branch Officers who will deal with
any information thoroughly and in covert manner.
• Name, alias name, address, phone number and employment/previous employment.
• Can the caller describe the suspect?
• Do they know the Nationality of the suspect?
• If they are suspected of being in this Country unlawfully, what do they base this suspicion on?
• What Passport do they have?
• Is there any evidence?
• Other witnesses?
• Does the suspect play an active part? Eg handing out leaflets, arranging meetings or attending
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• Where do they meet up?
• Do they have any regular contacts, friends or relatives?
• Is the caller willing to speak to a detective and if so will they provide a contact number?
• Do they contribute financially to any parties etc?
Miscellaneous Vehicle/Driver Offences
Vehicle Excise Offences
These are all now dealt with by the DVLA directly on 0800 0325202. They will however only take
information where the caller states the unlicensed vehicle is on a public road or being used.
• The Registered number and description of the vehicle used.
• The premise the subject leaves when they are suspected to be over the drink drive limit.
• Where does the suspect park their car?
• How much does the suspect usually drink?
• What time do they usually leave?
• The name of the suspect and preferably where they live. (If address not known, then at least
the direction of travel.)
• What route do they travel on?
Dealing with abandoned cars is a function of the Council.
However, does the car appear to be stolen? e.g. broken window, ignition wires hanging out, damage to
door locks etc.
When did it appear in its current location?
If you believe the car may be stolen, you could carry out a PNC check, ensuring that all enquiring
person details are entered on PNC.
If the vehicle is shown as stolen, then this becomes actionable information. (Exact procedural advice
should be sought from your Force Intelligence Department.)
Dangerous Driving etc
The Police need a complaint statement if they are to deal with offences relating to manner of driving.
Any complaints therefore will need to be made direct to the Police.
Driving Document Offences
The question needs to be asked “How does the caller know that a person is driving without
documents?” I.e. has the suspect been bragging or telling people they have given police false details
etc. This needs to be shown on any action generated.
If there is nothing to support a claim then do not generate an action.
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Callers require to be questioned in depth regards any information relating to firearms. If information
is passed to the Police that a person has a firearm which is unlicensed, the only way for them to
search for it usually is to mount a full firearms operation.
Information required includes: -
• If the caller has seen the weapon can they describe it? I.e. have they seen a similar one on
• Is it a handgun, or rifle/shotgun?
• Is it one with a revolving cylinder like cowboys’ use, or an automatic with a top slide and magazine
for bullets in the handgrip?
• If a shotgun, is it cut down? Is it pump action or double-barrelled etc?
• If a rifle, does it have sights on it or a clip with bullets in?
• What colour are the weapon and the grips.
• Describe its length and weight if the caller has held it.
• Is it loaded or is there any ammunition for it?
• Is it known to be genuine or a replica?
• If a replica, has it been modified?
• Does the caller know how, when or where they came into possession of it?
• Does the caller know why they obtained it?
• Where is it kept?
• Does the suspect carry it around with them?
If the caller can answer these questions then include the responses in text.
If not, then include in the negative.
Each vendor and buyer must register with e-bay and give certain personal information. There is a
“Comments” page for each vendor and buyer so users can post comments on what type of service they
received and whether goods were received on time and were as described on the site. E-bay scan the
site for illegal items but some do slip the net.
If you get a call regarding goods offered for sale on e-bay, please consider the following:
• Each item offered for sale has a unique reference number, what is it?
• Each vendor has a unique reference number, name, e-mail address and the town where they live.
This information is usually clearly visible.
• Each item has a description. Get this description of the item.
• If the item is being auctioned, ask how long the auction has to go, days/hours/minutes.
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• Name, age, description, address and any other personal information on suspect.
• Who do they live with?
• Details of offence he commits or is suspected of committing to gain wealth.
• Details of personal assets (include addresses of properties, vehicles, and any other valuables,
which may include Omega watch, gold bracelets etc.)
• Location of personal assets e.g. do they have a safe or where they may hide wealth.
• What holidays have they had, have they installed new kitchens, extensions on the house etc?
• Details of any employment he/she may have had or has currently.
• Do they claim benefits?
• Does the caller have any knowledge of bank accounts they may hold?
• Do they have any associates or ex-partners?
• What security do they have on their property?
• How long have they been involved in committing the crimes?
• Attempt to obtain the location of the offence, and the date I time it was committed, as until an
offence is identified there is no crime to investigate.
• What is the name of the suspect and where does he I she live (exact address if possible)?
• Obtain a full description of the suspect, to include identity colour, age, height, build, hair colour
and style. Does the suspect have a noticeable scar I tattoo?
• What was the suspect wearing at the time of the offence? Was his I her face covered? Were gloves
worn, if so where are they now?
• Did he I she commit the offence alone?
• Was a weapon used I carried and what happened to it?
• Was the suspect on foot or was he using a vehicle, if so what vehicle and where is it now?
• Is the suspect regularly involved in this type of offence and if so how often, in which area and at
• By what method does the suspect carry out his I her offences? I.e. approach the victim from
behind in the street and snatch the victims handbag.. ..approach the victim asking them for the
time, then producing a knife observes the victim at a cash point machine and snatches money.
• Define what the caller describes as robbery, as many of the general public are confused between
robbery and burglary.
• What does the suspect do with the property he steals, other than cash? Does he have a handler for
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credit cards, or does he I she use them themselves? Does he I she keep stolen property at home?
• Does the victim have a drug habit, if so what and how much is it costing? If yes the informant is
likely to know the supplier?
• Always try to obtain the suspects mobile phone number.
• Is the suspect employed and what times can he I she be found at home? Where does he I she
• Does the suspect carry weapons as a matter of routine and is he generally violent? These points are
vital for Officer Safety.
• Remember, you’re information is likely to be researched by a Crime Analyst who will be
searching for similar offences, as well as the offence spoken about by the caller, so
precise detail is essential.
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1. Brief summary of type of
Immigration Status e.g.
2. Have you provided this
information Yes No
(If YES, when and to whom?)
RD details / Date:
3. Is the person you are reporting
currently in the UK?
Yes, go to Q5
NO, Is arrival imminent?
YES, Which port?
(Take details: Time / flight. No /
If NO, refer caller to UK Visas:
0845 010 5555
4. Details of person being reported:
(Please include other names that
the person is known under.)
DOB (age if DOB unknown):
Passport no/ Nationality:
Address UK or other location
Ask times at home/other occupants
Telephone number (LAN line,
5. INDIVIDUAL WORK DETAILS (if
Hours of Work:
Employers details (Company
name / address / tel. Number)
6. EMPLOYERS DETAILS (if
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Type of Industry:
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CRIMESTOPPERS INTERVIEW MODEL
The interview model, on which the content of the many police training courses are based, consists of
a series of operations captured using the mnemonic PEACE. This stands for:
P – Preparation and planning
E – Engage and explain
A – Account
C – Closure
E – evaluate
P - Preparation & Planning
The Call agent should prepare an interview plan identifying specific areas requiring investigation by
the police, points to provide opportunities for corroboration by the police to ensure the best
possibility of a successful result.
Crucial elements of good planning and preparation for an interview situation include:
• Understanding the purpose of the interview
• Defining the aims and objectives of the interview
• Understanding and recognizing the points which the police may be able to corroborate
• Assessing what information is available
• Where it can be obtained
Preparation includes having a good knowledge of the range of questions available for each offence,
which may be developed from looking at the crib sheets and also from developing your own questions.
E - Engage & Explain
These two terms also known as ‘Interview Preamble’ refers to early phases within the actual interview
and is defined as follows:
The essential element of engagement is an introduction appropriate to the circumstances of the
interview. It is desirable that a proper relationship is formed between the call-agent and caller. This
requires, for example, that the agent develops an awareness of empathy and is able to respond to,
the welfare needs of the caller and any particular fears and expectations. (i.e. how is their anonymity
ensured, how far does sanitising go, how are rewards paid etc.)
The engage phase is followed by the explanation phase (if necessary) in which the call agent should
outline what will happen to Crimestoppers information. The agent may also be required to explain the
reasons for asking questions in order to develop the information (not to find out who they are).
Explain what kinds of action will be followed after the phone call.
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A - Account
This term describes the stage in which the caller’s recollection of the events of interest is obtained.
This stage is directed at obtaining the fullest possible account from them. There are two accepted
approaches of inducing recollection known as: -
• The cognitive approach
• Conversation management.
Different techniques for assisting recollection are associated with each method. With the cognitive
method, the caller is asked to think back and mentally relive the event, initially with minimal
interference from the call agent. The agent does not interrupt, makes effective use of pauses and
avoids leading questions. The caller is then encouraged to recall the event again using a different
chronological order, or from a different perspective.
When the conversation management method is used, the caller is asked first to say what happened
and the agent then subdivides the account into a number of individual parts which are enquired about
in turn for further details.
The cognitive method provides the caller with greater control over the way the interview develops,
whereas conversation management attributes more authority to the agent. This basic difference
between the two approaches broadly defines when each is most appropriately used. For example,
conversation management may be more appropriate for reluctant callers than the cognitive method.
The agent should allow the caller to give his or her version without interruption by them. The agent
should probe the caller’s account to check for any inaccuracies which may be noted.
C - Closure
To avoid confusion between the caller and call agent and to engender future calls with any further
information, the call agent should ensure at the end of a call: -
• Callers are thanked before closing
• every one understands what will happen in the future.
Closure should also include elements such as giving the caller the opportunity to ask any questions. It
is crucial that the agent always ensures that there is a planned closure, rather than an impromptu
end, to the call. The agent should summarise and check back as to what the caller has said.
E - Evaluate
After each call is completed, the event and the information that came from it should be evaluated
fully. The first consideration is whether the objectives of the interview were achieved – Is the
information actionable? Consideration should be given to the following:
• The points achieved during the call
• The sanitization of the information to prevent unnecessary harm to either the caller or
• Does the address/s exist and is it spelled correctly?
• Does the entry on the database comply with minimal data entry standards?
Evaluation can also help agents to improve their interviewing skills. To this end, they should take the
opportunity to reflect on their personal performance and identify areas for future development or
WHEN ANSWERING THE CRIMESTOPPERS PHONE
The 5 Ws and H
WHO are we talking about? We need names, nicknames, ages, descriptions, associates
WHAT are we talking about? Identify the crime accurately. With vehicles get the
WHEN did/does it happen? Was it on TV/radio or in the newspaper?
WHERE accurate locations of offence or offender/s. Full addresses where possible
WHY Is there a motive? What’s the background to this crime?
HOW was this offence committed?
These questions make the difference between arresting criminals and letting them get away
PLEASE ASK THEM
REWARD PAYMENT RISK ASSESSMENT
THIS FORM MUST BE COMPLETED IN ALL CASES, WHERE A CRIMESTOPPERS
CALLER HAS QUALIFIED FOR A CASH REWARD AND WISHES TO CLAIM IT.
Person Risks Will the amount of reward be sufficient to cause a sudden change in
lifestyle for the caller?
i.e. If the caller is a juvenile who never has cash will they be able to
cope with a reward of £100 or more?
(The individual’s welfare must be considered in light of the reward.
Consider the psychological pressures that may be experienced by the
individual or third party.)
Does the caller live, work or socialise in close proximity to the person
who has been arrested and charged as the result of their information?
e.g. If the caller is in possession of a large amount of cash and mixing
with the subject of their information either close to the time of arrest
and charge or soon afterwards, they may assume that person has
benefited from passing information about them.
Has the caller got a cover story which reasonably explains their
possession of a large sum of cash which is out of character for that
i.e. How can a juvenile explain to a parent that may find the cash or
notice the ability of their child to spend freely?
(If the caller appears to be a juvenile, subject to the actual information
they passed, consider suggesting they liaise with a parent or other
appropriate adult, who may be able to assist or advise them
Operational Risks Is there a risk of disproportionate damage to the reputation of
Crimestoppers if the caller is unable to satisfy the Crimestoppers co-
ordinator/agent they are able to deal responsibly with a cash reward.
(Consider arranging for the caller to get smaller payments in stages so
they never have a large sum of money. If the caller cannot satisfy the
co-ordinator/agent they can cope reasonably with minimal risk, consider
whether a reward payment can be made.)
Person Risks - (explain rationale for classification)
Operational – Significant/Low (explain rationale for classification)
Risk Management Plan
(Having identified the risks, what action will be taken to remove them? If risks are unavoidable, detail
steps taken to reduce them)
Decision made to pay reward YES/NO
Co-ordinator/Agent Conducting Risk Assessment
Name (Print) Contact No
Name (Print) Contact No
Crimestoppers Reward Payment Risk Assessment Form
• Will the amount of reward be sufficient to cause a sudden change in lifestyle for
the Crimestoppers contact?
If the contact is a juvenile who never has cash will they be able to cope with a reward
of £100 or more? The individual’s welfare must be considered in light of the reward.
Consider the psychological pressures that may be experienced by the individual or third
• Does the Crimestoppers contact live, work or socialise in close proximity to the
person who has been arrested and charged as the result of their information?
If the contact is in possession of a large amount of cash and mixing with the subject of
their information either close to the time of arrest and charge or soon afterwards, they
may assume that person has benefited from passing information about them.
• Has the Crimestoppers contact got a cover story which reasonably explains their
possession of a large sum of cash which is out of character for that person?
How can a juvenile explain to a parent that may find the cash or notice the ability of
their child to spend freely? If the contact appears to be a juvenile, subject to the
actual information they passed, consider suggesting they liaise with a parent or other
appropriate adult, who may be able to assist or advise them appropriately.
Person Risks – High/Low
Explain rationale for classification
• Is there a risk of disproportionate damage to the reputation of Crimestoppers if the
Crimestoppers contact is unable to satisfy the Crimestoppers coordinator/agent
they are able to deal responsibly with a cash reward.
Consider arranging for the caller to get smaller payments in stages so they never have a
large sum of money. If the caller cannot satisfy the coordinator/agent they can cope
reasonably with minimal risk, consider whether a reward payment can be made.
Operational – High/Low
Explain rationale for classification
Risk Management Plan
Having identified the risks, what action will be taken to remove them? If risks are unavoidable,
detail steps taken to reduce them.
Decision made to pay reward or not
Coordinator/Agent Conducting Risk Assessment