New van helps spread the message

Crime Stoppers purchase van through crime profit grant

Mayor Richard Atwell with Camosun College student Jeremy Vargas

If it wasn’t decalled with the unmistakeable Crime Stoppers logo, the Dodge Caravan unveiled at Saanich Police headquarters on Thursday would otherwise be, well, just another minivan.

Instead, the gently used white van was the centre of attention. It stands out with graphics, the Crime Stoppers’ logo design and the silhouette of an anonymous tipster holding a phone.

The van will be used by Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers’ two program co-ordinators, Gillian Millam and Phil Downie, on a daily basis as they commute the region doing community engagement.

“We’ll be driving it to all the events we go to, as well as parades, and this [design] will help raise our profile,” Millam said. “It’s great to have a new vehicle, our previous van was on its last legs.”

Upon learning they were approved to purchase the van through a $20,000 grant from the Civil Forfeiture Office, Millam said they shared the idea of putting an enlarged graphic on the van with Camosun College’s design program.

Jeremy Vargas, a Saanich resident and Camosun student, represented his digital production, writing and design class at the van’s unveiling. Vargas was the project manager for one of three groups in his class that worked on the design campaign for Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers.

“To see our efforts on this car, it means we’re part of something, it’s a great feeling that we did a service to help the community, even if it’s a small part of the puzzle,” Vargas said.

The silhouetted figure phoning in an anonymous tip was the work of the class, which also designed a variety of promotional materials the local Crime Stoppers chapter can now use.

“Our new van, clearly branded with our contact information, will help us make sure our communities know we are a constant resource for them,” said Susan DeLarge, president of Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers.

“You never know, your tip could be the difference in solving a crime and making your community a safer place for everyone.”

Saanich Police supported the van’s arrival with several officers at the unveiling, as Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is based out of the Saanich headquarters.

The van, also called a “rolling crime prevention billboard,” will serve in 16 South Island communities visiting schools, public events and increasing effectiveness in crime prevention and remediation.

Crime Stoppers accepts anonymous tips at 1-800-222-TIPS(8477).

 

reporter@saanichnews.com