Feeds

Crimestoppers benefits from recession-hit grasses

Hard times mean no honour among thieves

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Snitching hotline Crimestoppers has reported it's on a bit of a roll purging the UK's streets of crims - thanks to boracic citizens increasingly willing to grass for cash.

According to the Times, reward payments for crimebusting tip-offs in 2008-09 hit £35,000 - "the highest recorded payout in 11 years and is topped only by payments made in the 1990s, at the peak of that decade’s economic downturn".

The charity's chief exec, Mick Laurie, said: “Looking at Crimestoppers’ statistics over the past few years, some may conclude that there might be a correlation between the number of people claiming rewards and the recession.”

Indeed, among the reports Crimestoppers received was that of the commuter who rang his missus from a bus and told her to stage a burglary at their home so they could claim on the insurance. A fellow passenger overheard the mobile phone conversation and called it in.

Another, demonstrating the credit crunch effect on honour among thieves, involved a prisoner who asked his other half to “shop” him for a robbery he had committed "so that she could claim the Crimestoppers reward". Another lag decided he'd prefer the cash himself and grassed him up.

A less successful attempt to swell the personal coffers came from one sharp-eyed citizen who insisted he'd seen Osama bin Laden coming out of Tesco.

Crimestoppers has around 30 "handlers" who field up to 600 such calls a day, which contribute to the annual total of 220,000 telephone and email tip-offs. Info which results in a conviction for a serious crime can earn the informant £10,000, while a similar result for a lesser crime might be worth £1,000.

In fact, as the Times notes, just one per cent of Brits who contact Crimestoppers actually claim a reward - as opposed to 80 per cent of those who get in touch with the Stateside equivalent. The charity has, since setting up shop in 1988, coughed more than £1m in rewards.

Cash aside, Crimestoppers is celebrating a "personal best" during 2008-9 when it helped police "solve 85 murder cases across Britain in 2008-09, a figure that includes at least 20 per cent of all solved murders in the capital". ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
14 antivirus apps found to have security problems
Vendors just don't care, says researcher, after finding basic boo-boos in security software
'Things' on the Internet-of-things have 25 vulnerabilities apiece
Leaking sprinklers, overheated thermostats and picked locks all online
Only '3% of web servers in top corps' fully fixed after Heartbleed snafu
Just slapping a patched OpenSSL on a machine ain't going to cut it, we're told
How long is too long to wait for a security fix?
Synology finally patches OpenSSL bugs in Trevor's NAS
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
Israel's Iron Dome missile tech stolen by Chinese hackers
Corporate raiders Comment Crew fingered for attacks
Roll out the welcome mat to hackers and crackers
Security chap pens guide to bug bounty programs that won't fail like Yahoo!'s
HIDDEN packet sniffer spy tech in MILLIONS of iPhones, iPads – expert
Don't panic though – Apple's backdoor is not wide open to all, guru tells us
Researcher sat on critical IE bugs for THREE YEARS
VUPEN waited for Pwn2Own cash while IE's sandbox leaked
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Backing up Big Data
Solving backup challenges and “protect everything from everywhere,” as we move into the era of big data management and the adoption of BYOD.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.