Victor Valley – WeTip, the 24 hour anonymous tip hotline used by callers to report crime, marks its 40th anniversary today. Started in Ontario in 1972 by Bill and Miriam Brownell as a citizen’s group to eliminate drug dealers, WeTip quickly expanded to take information on all major crimes. The organization, now based out of Rancho Cucamonga, provides anonymous crime-reporting Hotlines throughout the entire United States, including Hawaii, Alaska, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, portions of Canada and Mexico.
In its 40 year history WeTip has received over 450,000 anonymous tips resulting in 15, 000 cases solved and nearly 8,000 criminals convicted, according to their website. In 2011 the City of Victorville received 368 tips from WeTip, according to their annual report.
Karen Hunt, Public Information Officer with the Victorville Police Department said, “When doing press releases for ongoing cases, we include WeTip as a way for the public to get information to law enforcement.”
WeTip’s success comes from the anonymity. Callers can use the toll-free crime hotline to report information about a crime without having to reveal their identity in any way. When someone calls a tipline, the first thing they hear is “This is the WeTip Anonymous Crime Hotline, please do not give your name or identify yourself in any way.”
When they say anonymous, they mean it. WeTip has no taping, tracing, caller ID or call logs; therefore the caller can NEVER be subpoenaed to testify in court, according to the organization.
WeTip phones are answered in both English and Spanish by trained operators 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The information is turned over to the appropriate law enforcement agency. WeTip answers the crime call from anywhere in America for municipalities, school districts, corporations, small businesses, housing authorities and public and private agencies.
Callers are offered the possibility of a cash reward – up to $1,000 if there is an arrest and conviction in the case. The caller is given a three-part fictitious code name so that they can check on the status of the case and claim their reward. Rewards are paid anonymously.
WeTip recently reached $1 million in reward payments, but less than half of those calling the hotlines wish to receive the rewards, officials said.
Crime reports can also be submitted through WeTip’s website www.wetip.com. There is a list of toll free numbers to call to report crime, information on unsolved crimes, and much more.