New Website for Tipsters in Canadian Criminal Cases
Site Warns Tipsters Contemplating Aiding Police in Exchange for a Reward
WASHINGTON - A new website for tipsters in Canadian criminal cases launched today. The website, www.canadianpolicereward.org, warns prospective tipsters about the risks of cooperating with Canadian police officials who offer rewards in exchange for information.
"The police will try to dazzle you with promises of rich rewards. But unless you demand written assurances up front, and treat the relationship like a cold-blooded lawyer negotiating a business deal, you could end up risking your life for nothing," the website warns. "So think twice before cooperating in Canada."
The website was created by an American tipster who helped Canadian police organizations solve a major criminal case and yet, he says, got no reward funds in return from the Canadians. The tipster infiltrated a violent anti-abortion group and lived undercover for years. He provided police and the FBI with the key piece of information that led to the arrest of James Kopp, the anti-abortion radical.
Police accuse Kopp of shooting three Canadian doctors who were providing legal abortions, and then shooting and killing an American physician, Dr. Barnett Slepian, in his home outside Buffalo, NY, in 1998.
The public was terrified and Canadian law-enforcement organizations formed the National Task Force on Doctor Shootings and offered a $547,000 reward for information leading to Kopp's arrest and conviction. But today the tipster says those same police organizations refuse to pay up--even though Kopp has been convicted twice and the FBI has repeatedly urged its Canadian counterparts to pay the tipster the promised funds.
The website asks other informants to share their stories of deceptive treatment at the hands of Canadian police. In criminal cases, negotiations between police and tipsters happen behind closed doors, with little scrutiny from the press or public. In a first, the new website will collect evidence of other empty police promises.
"The police need tipsters to help solve crimes. But if the police offer rewards and never pay, tipsters like us will just walk away," it warns.
The tipster goes by the alias Jack Steele to protect his identity.
For more information, please visit www.canadianpolicereward.org