A new ad campaign involving mock movie posters aims to silence gangsters in Metro Vancouver.
At a movie theatre in Surrey, the region’s Crime Stoppers chapter unveiled a new “Guns and Gangs” initiative that encourages people to give anonymous tips about gang activity and other serious crimes.
The crime-fighting organization hopes the messages “flip the script” on crime by celebrating tipsters as “stars” of the narrative.
New posters feature the three storylines of “The Gunman’s Barber” (how a barber’s anonymous tip put a criminal behind bars), “The Gang Member’s Gym Buddy” (an anonymous tip led to a heavy sentence) and “The Drug Dealer’s Neighbour” (how one tip sent a criminal to jail).
The Saul Bass-style graphics will be displayed on restaurant and bar screens, billboards, and on bus and Skytrain overhead cards and transit shelters. Videos will be played before movies at local Landmark company theatres including the one in Guildford, where a launch event was held Wednesday (March 15).
Launched at a #SurreyBC movie theatre, a new Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers campaign wants to silence gangsters.— Tom Zillich (@TomZillich) March 15, 2023
How new movie poster-style ads aim to ‘flip the script’ on criminals: https://t.co/S2UKH4JZNO @SolveCrime @LandmarkCinemas #crime pic.twitter.com/WCBHAuw4m4
The PS&Co campaign aims to reach people who know 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.
The ads target girlfriends, boyfriends and partners of anyone involved in crime, parents and extended family, non-criminal friends and casual acquaintances such as servers, bartenders, valets and special entertainers.
Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, says the organization had “great success” with three previous Guns and Gangs advertising campaigns in recent years, and hopes for the same in 2023.
“Since 2016, tips to Crime Stoppers are credited for 216 gun- and gang-related arrests, and the seizure of 313 illegal weapons,” says Annis, also a Surrey city councillor.
“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.”
Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers is online at solvecrime.ca, or call 1-800-222-8477.