I have just returned from the 39th annual conference of Crime Stoppers International (CSI) which took place in The Hague, Netherlands.
I was elected Vice-President of the global body and it is indeed an honour and I am humbled.
For the first time, a woman was elected President. Sharon Hanlon from Australia and I have pledged to do our bit to make the world safer.
Crime Stoppers International is a global nonprofit organization representing several regions committed to support law enforcement efforts to prevent and solve crime by mobilizing citizens to anonymously report illegal activity.
Comprised of local CSI programmes in 26 countries, we oversee a sophisticated network for citizens to report crime anonymously.
Our partners include law enforcement, the media, public and non-profit organizations as well as international companies committed in the fight against crime.
During the three-day conference, a variety of issues were covered including the illicit trade, human trafficking and organized crime.
Experts from across the globe addressed delegates. We also signed “The Hague Accord” and pledged to promote global alliances in the fight against crime.
The South African Police Service, (SAPS), was represented by the head of Detective Services, Lt.Gen TC Mosikili and the Head of Crime Stop, Brigadier Attie Lambrecht.
They are also fellow directors on the board of CSI.
South Africa’s Crime Stop gets thousands of anonymous tipoffs annually via the 08600 10111 number. This leads to thousands of arrests and millions of rands of seizures.
The illegal tobacco trade also dominated much of the discussions at the conference.
South Africa was praised for the #TakeBackTheTax initiative. As spokesperson for the campaign, I was delighted to hear the UK Intellectual Property Office saying they wanted to start a similar drive.
The illegal cigarette trade is a global problem and authorities have to do much more to stop the problem. Various speakers highlighted the lack of action in several countries.
As the global authority on anonymous reporting, CSI principal areas of focus are transnational crime and criminal activity linked to illicit trade, human trafficking, environmental and wildlife crime, cybercrime and international fugitives.
Our work includes:
Contributing to the management and sharing of information on transnational crime.
Facilitating cooperation among stakeholders such as international agencies, business, law enforcement and the media.
Enhancing the capacity of law enforcement and media on topics of organized and transnational crime.
The unique tripartite model of law enforcement, media and the community is the basis of Crime Stoppers’ success in mobilizing communities to take greater responsibility for their safety and security.
This tried and tested model is respected and trusted by law enforcement agencies and communities around world.
Every 14 minutes, a crime is solved somewhere in the world thanks to Crime Stoppers.
CSI through its certified regional entities, takes an active role in ensuring that affiliated local and national Crime Stoppers programs comply to prescribed tip management procedures in order to maintain the integrity of the anonymous reporting system.
“Having established a strong presence in North America, Australia, United Kingdom, Netherlands, South Africa, the Caribbean and parts of Central America over the past 40 years, CSI is ramping up its expansion efforts in Asia, Europe, Africa and South America,” says Hanlon.
We are going to be focusing on South East Asia, Europe, Africa, South America and Middle East over the coming years.
CSI has forged strategic partnerships with key international agencies and has become a major actor in facilitating public private cooperation in the fight against crime.
Our unique model has provided us with the experience and expertise to take a leadership role in this space.
Through the coordination of round tables, workshops and forums, we bring policymakers together with law enforcement, business, media and community to have constructive dialogue, share experiences and determine recommendations for enforcement action.
A few years ago, we hosted the first CSI conference on the African continent in Cape Town. We will be bidding next year to host the conference again locally, possibly in 2021.
We have implemented several special projects, in particular in the area of illicit trade in Central America and the Caribbean.
Activities undertaken in these projects include, capacity building workshops of law enforcement agencies; awareness campaigns and facilitation of public private cooperation and partnerships.
Someone, somewhere, somehow knows something about crime. We must break the silence. We must stop protecting criminals. Blow the whistle on them anonymously.
From next Wednesday, I will be the host of a brand new weekly programme on eNCA, Crime Watch. It will be on air at 9,30pm.
We will also feature wanted criminals and I appeal to the public to do the right thing. The show will also provide useful tips.
Crime affects all of us and it’s time for action. Let’s join hands, mobilize.
It’s a war and we are going to win it!
*Yusuf Abramjee is an anti-crime activist and newly elected Vice-President of Crime Stoppers International. He is also Chief Ambassador of the Namola/DialDirect Safety App. Twitter: @abramjee
(From left) Yusuf Abramjee and Lt.Gen TC Mosikili with CSI President Sharon Hanlon and COO Devrol Dupigny.
The new President of CSI Sharon Hanlon and new Vice President Yusuf Abramjee.