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Taking a byte out of crime

Crime Stoppers may be the next thing you “like” on Facebook.

Crime Stoppers may be the next thing you “like” on Facebook.

Crime Stoppers International is looking to implement a social media aspect to its much-used program.

Crime Stoppers now offers a secure and anonymous text-messaging and email service that has been highly effective, says longtime Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers Association volunteer Wayne Noonan. Incorporating social media is the next step, he proclaims.

“We’re finding today a lot of people communicate through social networking,” Noonan, a former RCMP officer in the province, told Metro yesterday. “We’re looking for new ways to take advantage of this type of networking to see if we can advance our programs around the world.”

More than 350 delegates representing 26 countries in Crime Stoppers International will be in Halifax starting today for the program’s 31st annual international training conference.

Police advisers, volunteers and media partners will be trained over three days in social media, diversity and integrity programs.

Some of the countries participating in the conference include the United Kingdom, Australia, South Africa and Trinidad. The countries will be divided into regions and training will vary depending upon the regions specific needs.

Since its inception in 1987, the program has awarded more than $220,000 for tips leading to arrests in Nova Scotia.

“The program is very effective for our police departments,” he said. “We save time and effort.”

He said the program has helped close more than 5,200 previously unsolved crimes, and led to almost $9 million in illegal drugs being seized around the province and close to $4 million in stolen property being recovered.

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