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On Wednesday afternoon, the City of Bradford West Gwillimbury commemorated Crime Stoppers Awareness Month with a small flag raising ceremony in the city center.

Mayor Rob Keffer read the proclamation as York-Simcoe MP Scot Davidson, South Simcoe Police Chief Andrew Fletcher and Crime Stoppers volunteers Dave Cockburn and Derek Adhiya helped hoist the flag outside the palace of Bradford Justice.

Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka Crime Stoppers is a community-based, volunteer-run crime prevention program that began in 1987 and encourages anyone with information about a crime to tip anonymously – information that is then passed on to assist with police investigations.

With more people at home and spending time online, Chief Fletcher noted that throughout the pandemic, there has been an increase in tips submitted to Crime Stoppers.

The organization is completely dependent on donations and fundraising to cover the costs of its national free whistleblower line, crime-fighting programs and rewards.

Simcoe-Dufferin-Muskoka Crime Stoppers works with Barrie Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Orangeville Police, Rama Police, Anishinabek Police Department, RCMP, Shelburne and Police from South Simcoe.

Cockburn thanked the Mayor and South Simcoe Police on behalf of Crime Stoppers for the continued community support for the program.

“As a non-profit, non-governmental organization, we rely a lot on donations from the public to keep our program going, and on volunteers of course,” said Cockburn.

Donations received cover rewards for those who submit advice that leads to arrest, recovery of stolen property or illicit drugs.

In 2005, Crime Stoppers International was recognized by the United Nations as a global force in the fight against crime and terrorism.

Tips can be called at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477), submitted online by clicking here, or on the new application. Appellants never have to identify themselves or testify in court – and locally, they will always be entitled to a cash reward.

-with files from Miriam King