Beginning this week, the Central Ohio Crime Stoppers will no longer be taking “tips” on drug crimes. This comes as a result of simply too many tips and not enough time. While tipsters might not like the way this sounds, the drug tips haven’t been followed up on for years.
According to the Columbus Dispatch, the police department hasn’t followed up on Crime Stopper’s leads for over 5 years. No, this doesn’t mean they’ve been at the station with their feet kicked up munching on donuts—the police have simply been stretched too thin with their own leads.
They say the Crime Stoppers tip line takes an average of 700 drug related tips each year. This is in addition to the police department’s own tip line and the leads generated by good old fashioned police work. There simply aren’t enough officers to go around.
Sergeant Rich Weiner, a spokesperson for the department states, “We’re inundated with so many tips that we can only work those that show some promise.”
Arrests made off of Crime Stopper’s tips in general have fallen over the past several years, dropping from 354 in 2009 to 244 so far in 2010. Because the organization pays out up to $2,000 for tips that lead to arrests, this amount has also dropped. Only $12,300 in payouts have happened this year while there were $29,000 in 2009.
The greatest number of tips that come into Crime Stoppers are those related to fugitives or people wanted on warrants.
All told, the police in Columbus have received 4,000 tips so far just this year from all resources. This is astronomical considering their own leads and the number of people they have available to work the leads. It’s completely understandable that they would need to be focusing on quality rather than sheer quantity.
When the police work a lead, they do their best to weed out those that may have been motivated by revenge or simple mistakes. The likelihood of them arresting someone without good evidence is pretty slim, though it is possible.
Innocent people are charged with crimes all the time. Luckily, a criminal charge doesn’t always mean a criminal conviction. Whether you are completely innocent of the charges against you or if you made a mistake you now regret, a good criminal defense attorney can help you in court and ensure your best interests are looked after.
Contact us today for a free consultation on your case. Together we can discuss your options and the best thing for you to do.