High Point Crime Stoppers making progress thanks to tipsters

HIGH POINT, N.C. – High Point Crime Stoppers Coordinator Amy Southards said the calls to the anonymous tip line are successful, but she often wishes there were more.

She describes the call intake as a “feast or famine” scenario but said that the department averages about 500 tips a year.

Those tips can come in the form of the phone line, online web form or text message.

Southards said the number one misconception about Crime Stoppers is the tips are not completely anonymous. There is no caller ID to the phones used.

“That’s out biggest priority is to protect anonymity of callers which is why we use the call center when I can’t answer the phone,” Southards said. “Even if you text a tip to me, it washes all your information and it assigns you a number.”

Southards is the sole person at the department who handles the calls, otherwise she forwards them to a protected calling service agency in Texas.

In 2017, Crime Stoppers tips led to 54 arrests, seizing four guns off the streets. So far this year, 72 arrests have been made, seizing three guns. Last year, $16,000 was awarded to callers, which is funded by private donations.