Crime Stoppers of Hamilton, Inc. has been actively involved in youth crime prevention programs since 1997.
In 1998, the Hamilton civilian Crime Stoppers Board initiated the first Hamilton Student Crime Stoppers program in three local pilot high schools. The SCS program had delegates from the three participating high schools representing the then, three Boards of Education.
The success of the program resulted in three more schools being added in 1999.
The success of these initial programs led to the recommendation to the civilian Board of a “Regional” SCS program that would include all the secondary schools served by7 the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board, the Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board and the private/independent schools in the area.
In 2000-2001, a Student Crime Stoppers Board was formed with representatives from 86% of local high schools. Subsequently, a Steering Committee was struck to assist with the organization of Student Board meetings and with planning the Annual Provincial Training Symposium.
Hamilton has sponsored 3 Provincial Training Symposiums with two purposes in mind: (1) to teach students from across Ontario how to set up school programs, and (2) to focus on issues of importance to young people.
1999 “Making Ontario Schools Safer” featuring Cst. Dennis Reimer from Taber, AB and Dr. Fred Matthews from Toronto, ON.
2000 “Help Make Your School Safer in the New Millennium” featuring Sammy Havilind, a survivor of Columbine.
2001 “Breaking the Code of Silence” featuring the dramatic productions of “BULLYPROOF” and “The Roadshow Rap” Topics included starting and/or enhancing your School Crime Stoppers Program, youth street gangs, substance abuse, anti-bullying and anti-violence programs, developing healthy relationships, domestic abuse, conflict resolution, date rape, protection on the internet, racism, youth stress and suicide, and peer mediation.
We are thankful for the support of the Solicitor-General of Ontario and local sponsors in assisting with funding for these training events.
The Hamilton Student Crime Stoppers Board at the time set priorities for the following years:
- Create and provide a directory of guest speakers that specialize in relevant issues, i.e. violence, substand abuse
- Improve PR and stress anonymity of callers to Crime Stoppers
- Provide workshops in schools
- Advertise Crime Stoppers
- Theatre productions to promote Crime Stoppers and a specific area of focus
- Breaking the RAT cycle
- Workshops on how to start school Crime Stoppers Programs
- Assist with networking among schools
- Assist with organizing committees within and among schools
- Providing information about how to run a meeting
- Designing and producing a student web page.
Results of a Crime Stoppers Awareness Program in Schools:
Students have always been encouraged to report their concerns to authorities. However, it is widely recognized that there exists a well-entrenched fear of retaliation. With SCS programs in place, a student can report concerns or knowledge of crime or potential crime to authorities in an entirely anonymous fashion. A student never has to give his or her name or testify in court.
Students and school administrators benefit from a School Crime Stoppers Program in the following ways:
- It fosters a safer school environment.
- It empowers students to become part of the solution.
- It permits students to report on critical incidents before they occur permitting authorities to take action to prevent the crime.
- It serves as a deterrent to would-be criminals.
- It reduces student fear of victimization.
- Student calls are processed in a professional and secure manner.
Be a Hero! Report crime!