Crime Stoppers and Protection for Tipsters

If you have information about an individual case, or you recognize a missing person, it is vital to let investigators know. The smallest detail or tip can go a long way in helping to solve an investigation.

There are a number of options for passing along information regarding a missing person. You may choose to contact:

  • Crime Stoppers;
  • The police service handling the case;
  • Your local police agency.

What is Crime Stoppers?

Crime Stoppers is a civilian non-profit community-based charitable organization that brings together police, media and the public to help solve or prevent crime.  Its goal is to provide the public a way to report information they have about a crime or crimes without contacting police directly.

A key feature of Crime Stoppers is the guarantee that people providing tips, or tipsters, can remain completely anonymous.  This can be important when tipsters have safety or other concerns.

How does Crime Stoppers work?

When a person contacts Crime Stoppers, s/he is given a unique code number.  Callers do not have to give their name or identify themselves.

A trained staff member documents the tipster’s information and forwards it to the investigating officers.

The tipster will not be asked to reveal her/his name, will not be required to make a formal statement to police and will not have to appear in court.

Legislative protection

Crime Stoppers guarantees the anonymity of tipsters in two ways.  First, whether contacted by phone or through a web tip, the identity is not traced.  Secondly, the Supreme Court of Canada has ruled that protecting the identity of the tipster is paramount.  As a result, a tipster name (if known) or other information that might reveal her or his identity cannot be disclosed.

To read the Supreme Court’s decision, visit

R. v. Leipert, [1997] 1 S.C.R. 281.

If anonymity is not a concern

If you have information about a missing person and maintaining your anonymity is not a concern, information can be submitted to your local police or the police agency handling the case.  Please note that your name and contact information will be recorded by police.

A number of police, public or family websites accept tips.  However, it is important to know that none can guarantee your anonymity.

Whichever method you use, if think you have recognized a missing person or have information about any missing person’s case, please share your information with police.  It is the best way to help locate a missing person. 

Visit www.canadiancrimestoppers.org/  for more information.

This document has been developed by the CCIMA for general information purposes (12/2012).