Crimestoppers, the UK’s anonymous crime information charity, received an unprecedented number of calls following last month’s riots in London. Some 2,675 tip-offs were received in August following the civil disobedience. At over six times the normal level of activity, this represented a major challenge to the Crimstoppers Trust.
Michael Gordon-Gibson, Head of Operations at Crimestoppers, explains: “The demand was phenomenal. The response to the publication of images following the riots and looting led to our busiest period ever – demand increased by over five times normal levels.”
Crucial to the success of Crimestoppers’ continued service was the dedication of staff and volunteers as well as a new confidential information management system, abmpegasus Information In Confidence, provided by UK software firm, ABM. In 2010, Crimestoppers identified the need for a more robust, web-based solution for recording anonymous crime details. After looking at various options from software providers around the world, abmpegasus was selected as the best option due to its proven successful implementation in many UK police forces. abmpegasus Information In Confidence is used by police forces and other organisations to manage anonymous tip-offs securely, eliminating the risk of revealing details of the information source.
Working closely with Crimestoppers, ABM was able to deliver a system that accurately met the organisation’s needs. Gordon-Gibson continues: “Keeping track of anonymous information and reducing bureaucracy were important, but we were looking for resilience above anything else. ABM’s team were excellent throughout the project and good communication was maintained at all times, even out of hours. abmpegasus went live in October 2010 and it has proved easy and intuitive for staff to use. From day one we have had no issues – our staff like the system and it makes them more efficient. It has significantly improved the way that actionable information logs are sent to police forces.”
Crimestoppers typically takes over ninety thousand actionable calls a year leading to over eight thousand arrests. Someone is charged with murder every seven days as a result of information given to the charity.
“Following the London riots,” Gordon-Gibson says, “Crimestoppers experienced its busiest period since the organisation started 23 years ago. During this time, abmpegasus experienced no issues whatsoever, despite a 40% increase in simultaneous users, allowing our operations to continue unimpeded. The vast amount of information provided to Crimestoppers will undoubtedly play a crucial role in justice being served on the people that committed crimes during the riots.”
abmpegasus is set to continue to play an important part in Crimestoppers’ operations as the organisation continues to expand. More recently, the charity has launched Integrity Line, a service for commercial organisations wishing to provide employees with an independent and totally anonymous way of passing on information about wrongdoing at work. As well as providing additional income to the Crimestoppers charity, Integrity Line provides a valuable service to organisations seeking to eliminate malpractice in the workplace. Due to successful uptake of the service, Crimestoppers has identified the need for a new contact centre at its headquarters, due to open in 2012.
Tim Eatherington, Managing Director of ABM, concludes: “We are delighted that our software is helping Crimestoppers to continue its invaluable work in identifying the perpetrators of crime. The response to the London riots shows that the British public are not willing to let crime take over our communities. Thanks to abmpegasus, callers to Crimestoppers can be assured that the information they provide remains completely anonymous, is securely stored and effectively dealt with.”
For more details about abmpegasus, visit http://www.abmsoftware.com/abmpegasus