In July 1976, in Albuquerque New Mexico, a university student was killed during a gas station robbery. After 6 weeks of investigation the police had very few leads as to who was responsible. Detectives believed those responsible for the crime were local people, that somebody must have information, and for some reason was unwilling to speak to the police.
Police investigators thought that if the public was able to observe a reenactment of the crime on television this may lead to a citizen providing information that may lead to an arrest. An officer thought of a hotline for callers to pass on information anonymously hoping this may allow people to tell what they knew. He persuaded local businesses to finance the scheme and a television station to publicize it.
The police investigators were right. A caller contacted the police the next day after seeing the reenactment. The tip information was enough to lead the police to the two men who were responsible. Within 72 hours of the reenactment being aired, the police had solved the murder. Unexpectedly, information about many other crimes, some of which had not even been reported to the police, was also received on the hotline. The Crime Stoppers concept was born
Since the program started, there are now more than 950 Crime Stoppers programs worldwide. More than 425,000 crimes have been solved since its inception and over $1 billion worth of stolen property and narcotics have been seized.
Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry
Crime Stoppers of the Lowcountry was set up in 1983 to break the wall of silence that surrounds most crime and that criminals exploit to avoid arrest in the South Carolina Lowcountry. The anonymous number provided a lifeline to people who had information that they wanted to share but felt at risk from retribution.
The 554-1111 numbers ensure that no one need ever know who you are when you call. You will not be asked your name, your call will not be traced or recorded and you do not have to give a statement or go to court.
It's a simple, secure service that allows us to put the police in the picture, without anyone knowing who provided the information that puts criminals to justice. Working in this way we have created a highly effective system built on integrity and trust that works for everyone - except criminals.