The Kwanlin Dun First Nation and Northwestel have created a new phone line to help people report suspected crimes and other safety concerns without having to give their names.
The move is part of a broader goal to improve safety for Kwanlin Dun citizens.
The new TIPS line allows people to anonymously report concerns about issues that include drug trafficking, bootlegging, domestic abuse, child protection and motor vehicle violations.
And because the phone line is anonymous, callers cannot be required to testify in court.
Marie-Louise Boylan, communications manager for the First Nation, said that’s an important consideration for Kwanlin Dun citizens.
“It’s a very intimate community, so people feel uncomfortable having to step forward. This is an opportunity just to say what’s on their mind.”
The TIPS line will be manned 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by Kwanlin Dun’s director of justice and justice service coordinator. They will pass information on to the RCMP or other authorities when necessary.
Boylan said this initiative is a way of getting past the mistrust some First Nation citizens feel toward the RCMP.
“The speed of building trust can be understandably slow,” she said. “Statistics have really shown that when First Nations are doing work with other First Nations, they’re more likely to get engaged… and come forward.”
Kwanlin Dun has undertaken a number of other safety measures in recent months, including improving outside lighting, clearing brush on trails and removing junk vehicles and other debris from the community.
The First Nation also plans to hire a security coordinator and security guards.
The new initiatives come in the wake of the high-profile murders of Brandy Vittrekwa and Allan Waugh in the McIntyre subdivision in 2014.
The TIPS line number is 867-456-TIPS (8477).
All emergencies requiring fire trucks, ambulances or the RCMP should still be called in to 9-1-1.