And while they're fighting drug culture, Crime Stoppers is fighting crime. And a big part of that is public messaging, getting the public to know about and trust that hotline as an anonymous and effective way to fight crime. And today CRIMESTOPPERS rewarded its media partners who participated in the two Crime Stoppers advertisements that received regional recognition at the Crime Stoppers International conference held in September. At the press conference, the media also got an update on the latest activities of the programme.
Chris Garcia, Crime Stoppers Belize
"It was more or less 3 things; 1). We haven't had a press conference for years and so we needed to do something so the public know what we are doing. 2). To thank the media, all of you for assisting and promoting us throughout the years and making people know about the crime ring, what's happening so that they know what type of information to give and 3). To acknowledge our sponsors and supporters that gives money and in kind."
"I would like to go back to the youths - the children. We have been doing a lot of program with children and with youths and every year we come across many times some of the same children and listening to them they speak differently about crime and they talk about
telling their brothers not to do certain things. Some of them would tell us that they use to hearing gunshot all the time and that they were scared and now that they know that they can do something they told their parents that they should call the Crime Stoppers. We see a lot of the children talking and thinking differently because we have been interacting and doing programs with them."
"Last year we won for the Gun Violence ad. Some people thought that it was a bit boring but that was what was happening and the international community recognized that and they saw the message that one bullet affects a whole nation."
"This year we thought to do something that would get people together and do something with people that the public recognize and know. So we reached out to the media people; the anchors and they willingly came together and they did it and the same in San Pedro; the guys from the different newspapers, radio stations came together and they did the ad also. It was a matter of targeting the media for them to do something to show the public we do not only report crime, but we also take an active part in inviting people to reduce crime, report crime and stop the violence."
The advertisements are being shown on major television stations in Belize - including Channel 7.