On November 17, the Municipal Regional Council (MRC) of Argenteuil launched a new “Échec au crime” or “Crime Stoppers” program. The program aims to reduce crime and catch more criminals, by encouraging residents to provide anonymous tips relating to possible criminal activity taking place in the region.

All calls to Crime Stoppers are anonymous. Agents are legally prevented from sharing the personal phone numbers or contact information of tipsters to any agency, including the police.

Grenville Mayor Luc Grondin, who also serves as president of the public safety committee at the MRC Argenteuil said  he hopes the Crime Stoppers program will help reduce crime, especially break-ins. The decision to join the program was unanimously adopted by the MRC Argenteuil earlier this year. Grondin said that there was no cost for Argenteuil to join the program, aside from a budget of approximately $3,000 to pay for signage.

“There are lots of thefts taking place at summer homes and cottages, particularly in Gore, Harrington and Wentworth,” said Grondin.

He said that part of the problem stems from the fact that people are hesitant to get involved and report suspicious activity for fear that they might be wrong, or that they might implicate themselves in an investigation. By reporting these events to Crime Stoppers, citizens are able to maintain their privacy, while still assisting police.

The 2014/2015 annual report provided by the MRC d’Argenteuil detachment of the Sûréte du Quebec shows that violent crimes against individuals have dropped by nearly 25 per cent in the past five years.

Between April 1, 2014 and March 31, 2015, there were two crimes resulting in death, 18 sexual assaults, 167 assaults, seven aggravated thefts and 105 other crimes against the person. There were a total of 299 crimes against the person during this period, which was down from a four-year average of 400 incidents.

Property crimes have also gone down, from 847 incidents between 2014 and 2015, compared to a four-year average of 1,146 incidents. Property crimes included 18 cases of arson, 257 break-ins, 278 simple thefts, 130 car thefts, 13 instances of withholding evidence, 30 cases of fraud and 121 nuisance charges.

To report a crime to Crime Stoppers, call 1-800-711-1800 or report it online at www.echecaucrime.com.