Crime Line praised at international CSI conference

Jamaica’s deputy commissioner of police, Glenmore Hinds, (left), Head of Crime Line, Yusuf Abramjee and President of Crime Stoppers International, Michael Gordon Gibson at the opening ceremony in Montego Bay Jamaica.

The success of South Africa’s anonymous crime tip-off services have once again been showcased on the international stage at the annual conference of Crime Stoppers International (CSI) in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Addressing over 200 delegates Yusuf Abramjee, said an “increase in the number of tip-offs and the resulting successes was because civil society was becoming more active.” He said crime “no longer knew any borders. The world has becoming a small place and countries have to all work much closer together to fight the scourge.”

Delegates praised the success of Crime Line and Crime Stop and said the world could learn from South Africa’s achievements. Crime Line has led to some 1 400 arrests and R41-million of seizures since it was launched over four years ago.

Abramjee said the media partnerships in South Africa assisted with the many successes. Recently, a campaign to track down ATM bombers led to at least nine arrests. “It shows if we all work together, we can achieve a lot,” Abramjee said.

He said more campaigns to track down wanted criminals would be launched. “Police have thousands of wanted on their lists and we need to highlight that. We have to be the eyes and ears.”

The conference is also focusing on the role tip-offs can play to combat corruption. Abramjee said the concept of whistle-blowing had to become a “way of life.”

“We are seeing an increase in corruption and we need to all stand up and do something. We need to say no to corruption and bribery,” said Abramjee.

President of CSI, Michael Gordon-Gibson, congratulated Abramjee, who is a director on the board of the world body, for refusing a R7-million bribe recently. Abramjee alerted police after he uncovered a school subsidy scam and was offered a bribe. Reverend Josias Mabasa was arrested as he paid the first instalment of R50,000. Gordon Gibson said it was “encouraging to see individuals like Abramjee standing up for justice. He refused the bribe and did something.”

News of the suspension of National Police Commissioner, General Bheki Cele, on Monday, took many delegates at the conference by surprise. Abramjee said it was expected “and we need to continue to support and encourage a culture of clean governance.”

Last year, South Africa won a number of awards at the CSI conference and they have again been nominated this year. Colonel Attie Lamprecht from Crime Stop said he was “confident that South Africa would shine again.”

SA – the Good News via Crime Line