Crime Stoppers Guelph Wellington (CSGW) hosted Crime Stoppers programs from across the province June 2nd, for the first Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers conference since 2019.
The conference, which was held at the Delta Hotel in Guelph, was entitled “Back to Basics” in reference to the focus on training for volunteers and staff as well as the Annual General Meeting.
CSGW Chair Deryck West said the opportunity to host other Crime Stoppers programs was one the Board of Directors jumped at.
“We always preferred the in-person experience and when the Ontario Association of Crime Stoppers (OACS) said they wanted to get back to that model, we were entirely onboard,” said West. “It was a great opportunity to connect and get back on track, which is where the Back to Basics theme came from.”
However, there was nothing basic about the local program’s impact on the awards program once again this year.
CSGW was successful in several categories, including:
- Best Print Feature (100,001-299,999 population) – for the HTinWC billboard on Highway 6 south of Mount Forest/Township of Wellington North. The bright blue billboard was an eye-catching reminder that human trafficking happens in rural communities. The three partner agencies, Wellington County OPP, Victim Services Wellington and CSGW received funding from the Ministry of the Solicitor General to increase awareness of this crime throughout the County of Wellington and this billboard was one element of the campaign.
- Best Video Feature (100,001-299,999 population) – For #HTinWC – Her Story, in partnership with Tivoli Films of Elora. This video was developed by drawing upon victim experience and illustrated how a victim of human trafficking could be targeted. It also demonstrated how police and Crime Stoppers could be utilized to stop this crime and highlighted the various supports available through Victim Services. The video can be viewed and shared on the CSGW YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/Y9PQW6OR1Yk
- Best Radio Feature (100,001-299,999 population) – in partnership with The Grand at 101 for Swap Talk. The February 2022 episode was submitted and featured the stats from Crime Stoppers month in January 2022, as well as the Cornerstone Award winner and thanking supporters within the community. It also highlighted the various presentations CSGW offers and tied Safer Internet Day with the opportunity to conduct a “Screen Check” on youth cell phones and other devices.
- Special Project (100,001-299,999 population) – The #HTinWC – Her Story animated video was submitted in the Special Project category for its ability to engage the community. The video was made possible through funding from the Ministry of the Solicitor General. Grant partners included Wellington County OPP, Victim Services Wellington and CSGW.
- Online Excellence (Open Class) – this award is open to programs of all sizes throughout Ontario. It recognizes excellence in communication on digital channels such as social media and website. CSGW has active engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. The CSGW website csgw.tips is also the hub of information about the program and is frequently referenced when asking for Tips from the community.
- Marla Moon Memorial Award of Excellence (100,001-299,999) – This is the eighth year in a row that CSGW has taken this prestigious honour. This award goes to the program that demonstrates active engagement in all areas of Crime Stoppers, specifically media, police, community. It looks at volunteer hours, community engagement with information and Tip taking as well as initiatives the program develops. No other program has won this award eight years straight.
Program Coordinator Sarah Bowers-Peter said the opportunity to receive these awards at home was a special experience.
“We are always so appreciative of any recognition we get for the program,” said Bowers-Peter, “but having six awards given to us the same year we host the OACS conference – in our own community – is remarkable. We thank all our partners – our investigative partners, our media partners, the community organizations and local businesses who help with our success. Most importantly, we thank our volunteers and ultimately our Tipsters, who are the reason we do what we do.”
“We hope these awards reinforce to our community that the work we do is being recognized and that Crime Stoppers is safe, reputable and recognized option for reporting crime anonymously and confidentially,” she stated.
Feedback on the conference was overwhelmingly positive. Bowers-Peter said CSGW was proud to showcase the City of Guelph and County of Wellington to delegates across the province.