Crime Stoppers began in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico.

A detective by the name of Greg MacAleese was frustrated by the lack of progress with an investigation into the shooting murder of a young college student during a service station robbery.

Several weeks had passed without any credible leads.

In an attempt to encourage the public to provide information MacAleese arranged for a re-enactment of the murder to be shown on the local TV station. The re-enactment offered complete anonymity, and a financial reward for information leading to the arrest of the killers.

Within hours of the broadcast, an individual called in valuable information. The video image had triggered the memory of this person who on that night heard a loud bang in the vicinity of the gas station and then saw a car driving off at high speed. The caller told MacAleese the vehicle belonged to a resident in a nearby apartment complex.

Within 72 hours this resulted in the arrest of two suspects who were convicted and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole.

Realizing that this type of programme might be useful in fighting crime, MacAleese convinced the Albuquerque Police Department to allow a group of citizens to establish the first Crime Stoppers programme.

The growth of Crime Stoppers programmes around the world has been dramatic with programmes implemented in more than 1,200 communities around the world.

Since its first chapter was officially formed in Albuquerque in 1976, Crime Stoppers worldwide has been responsible for more than 800,000 arrests and the recovery of more than US$7 billion in drugs and personal property.