VANCOUVER: The next time you see something that looks like a movie poster, it might make you look twice. It’s actually part of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers’ latest appeal for anonymous tips to solve illegal weapons and gang crimes in the Lower Mainland.
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers Executive Director Linda Annis today unveiled a new “Guns and Gangs” advertising campaign that encourages people to contact Crime Stoppers with anonymous tips on gang activity and other serious crimes.
This latest poster, billboard, social media, in-theatre, and TV campaign is a unique twist on classic movie posters. The aim is to reach anyone who knows someone involved in illegal activities, or has key information, and wants to do the right thing – but won’t tell anyone for fear of reprisal.
Crime Stoppers provides them with the means to safely provide their tip ANONYMOUSLY so police can investigate. The main targets of the new campaign are:
• Girlfriends, boyfriends, partners of anyone involved in crime
• Parents and extended family
• Non-criminal friends
• Casual acquaintances like servers, bartenders, valets, special entertainers.
“Each year, Crime Stoppers receives almost 5,000 tips which lead police to make arrests and lay charges. To us, each of those tipsters is hero,” Annis said. “So, our new campaign consisting of mock movie posters celebrates the actions of those who learn something about a crime and then anonymously report it to Crime Stoppers.”
“We’ve had great success with three previous Guns and Gangs local advertising campaigns in recent years. Since 2016, tips to Crime Stoppers are credited for 216 gun and gang-related arrests, and the seizure of 313 illegal weapons,” Annis added. “Anyone can be a hero. We accept anonymous tips about any crime 24/7 and in 115 languages. We don’t want to know your identity or where you’re from, we just want information that can help police to solve crime.”
The foundation of the new ad campaign is a series of poster images inspired by famous graphic designer Saul Bass who is known to film buffs for his retro movie posters created in a distinct dynamic style.
These messages “flip the script” on crime by celebrating tipsters as the “stars” of the narrative. The posters feature three storylines. They will be displayed on restaurant and bar screens, on billboards, on bus and Skytrain overhead cards and on transit shelters.
• The Gunman’s Barber – in which a barber’s anonymous tip put a criminal behind bars.
• The Gang Member’s Gym Buddy – their anonymous tip led to a heavy sentence.
• The Drug Dealer’s Neighbour – her anonymous tip sent a criminal to jail.