Crime Stoppers programs have since inception represented to the public, as a part of its contract (which offers a reward if certain terms and conditions of the contract are performed by the person accepting the offer), that the person communicating information to Crime Stoppers will not have his or her identity disclosed.

Some representations boldly claim that Crime Stoppers "guarantees" anonymity, while others simply state that you are not required to identify yourself or that Crime Stoppers does not want to know who you are.

Crime Stoppers has done a remarkable job of keeping that promise since 1976. Yet, there are situations where the identity of the person communicating to or with Crime Stoppers does become public.

The most common example are:

When the tipster discloses his/her own identity by agreeing to appear as a witness in a criminal proceeding

When the tipster ill-advisedly tells others

When the tipster is not really considered a Crime Stoppers tipster because the person does not follow the Crime Stoppers procedures or may not have even made the communication to Crime Stoppers


There is one very rare, but very understandable , and lawful failure to keep a person’s identity a secret even though the person contacted Crime Stoppers. That is when the communicator is not really an informant or tipster, but a person whose call in and of itself is a part of a criminal act or scheme.

For example, a person called Crime Stoppers to inform Crime Stoppers that the person was going to blown up a public school with hidden explosives. The purpose of the call was to terrorize others with the bomb threat. The intent was to have Crime Stoppers forward the threat to law enforcement officials who would respond to the school, etc. This type of call is commonly referred to as a "Terroristic Threat".

It is perfectly legal and proper, whether under civil contract law or criminal law, for Crime Stoppers to cooperate with law enforcement officials to identify and apprehend such a person. Because:

Crime Stoppers maintains tip communications lines (telephone, web, text, etc) to solve crimes.

A person who communicates a threat to Crime Stoppers is not responding to a reward offer and does not intend to claim a Crime Stoppers reward for making a threat through Crime Stoppers.

The contractual term which promises "anonymity" is inapplicable to persons who are not legitimate tipsters but are merely using Crime Stoppers to mask their identity as they commit a crime.

Crime Stoppers has never promised "anonymity", "amnesty", or "immunity" to persons who communicate their threats through Crime Stoppers.


It is suggested that a Crime Stoppers program may want to make it clear to the public that criminals cannot use the Crime Stoppers communications system and expect to be untouchable.

One method of addressing this is to have a "TERMS OF USE" Agreement that is posted on the Crime Stoppers web site and other publications or broadcasts if possible, which reads:

"Crime Stoppers accepts tips and information about crimes in order to solve or prevent such crimes. Users who communicate their own criminal threats by making them through Crime Stoppers are not considered to be Crime Stoppers tipsters; are not eligible for rewards; are not immune from prosecution; and are excepted from the promise of anonymity