MARKHAM, Ont. — Crime Stoppers, the public awareness and crime tip reporting program, has a new focus this year: cargo theft.
During a ceremony to celebrate January being International Crime Stoppers month, Crime Stoppers of York Region announced that cargo theft and related crimes will be the organization’s promotional cause of the year.
To that end, a full marketing campaign has been creating, featuring a crime prevention video and “door hanger” posters. The message of the program is that cargo theft affects everybody.
“Cargo crime costs all of us and puts well-being of truck drivers and other transportation workers at risk,” said York Regional Police detective sergeant Paul Lasalle. The York department is one of the partners in the campaign, as is the Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police (Organized Crime Committee). The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has also endorsed the program.
“These crimes are everyone’s responsibility as they affect everything from jobs to the price of merchandise on the shelves and are used to fund many other types of crime, including violent crime” said Lasalle.
The posters will be distributed throughout the local transportation community and at truck stops in York Region, the GTA and highway 401 corridor. They carry the Crime Stoppers 1-800 phone number and remind people that rewards are provided for tips that lead to arrests or the recovery of stolen property.
According to a 2010 study commissioned by the Canadian Trucking Alliance (CTA), cargo theft is a $5 billion problem in Canada.
“Criminals are drawn to cargo crime because it is low risk, high reward and there is a lack of attention paid to this issue. However, it’s anything but a victimless crime,” said CTA vice-president of trade and security, Jennifer Fox.
“Thanks to efforts like this one from enforcement agencies like York Regional Police and Crime Stoppers, we can engage communities to help us put an end to cargo crime.”