© West Australian Newspapers Limited. Since the launch of Crime Stoppers WA in 1995, reports from members of the public about criminal

Image courtesy of The West Australian, 18 February 1995 | © West Australian Newspapers Limited

Humble beginnings

Did you know that Crime Stoppers originated in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States?

It all started when Detective Greg MacAleese had no leads to help him solve a brutal hold up and murder of a petrol station attendant. He decided to produce and broadcast a video re-enactment of the crime, guaranteeing anonymity and a reward for anyone from the local community who called with information.

Within a few hours of the re-enactment airing on a local television station, he received a phone tip from a person whose memory of a vehicle driving away was triggered by the video image. Within 72 hours the police arrested two men for the murder and several armed robberies.

The concept took off from there and has become so successful that today Crime Stoppers is a well-recognised and respected name around the world, now operating in 30 countries internationally, including Australia where each State and Territory has their own Crime Stoppers organisation.

CRIME Stoppers IN WA

WA Police Commissioner Bob Falconer brought the idea to Perth when he was recruited from Victoria, where Crime Stoppers was already operating. He officially launched Crime Stoppers WA on 27 March 1995 after a month of trials.

The trial introduction confirmed strong public support, with 344 calls received that led to the recovery of $55,000 worth of goods. As a result, 18 people were arrested and 12 members of the public received rewards of up to $1,000 each for reporting crime.

Over the past 20 years Crime Stoppers has proven to be a great success in Western Australia, having received more than 500,000 calls and led to more than 12,000 arrests.

We’ve come a long way our small beginnings of a handful of call-takers to a fully equipped contact centre that processes all calls and online reports.

As a result, Crime Stoppers has grown to become a significant contributor to crime reduction, with around 50% of police intelligence coming from reports that the public has made to us.

Here’s to another 20 years and beyond!

Crime Stoppers throughout Australia

The program first came to Australia in 1987 when Crime Stoppers was established in Victoria. By 1998, Crime Stoppers was active in all States and Territories.

And the rest is history!

Crime Stoppers Australia Ltd (CSA) was registered in 1999 to bring together the interests of Crime Stoppers in all jurisdictions around the country.

Crime Stoppers Australia comprises a Board of Directors who represent their respective States and Territories. It includes an official representative of the Australian Police Commissioners and a representative from the Australian Institute of Criminology.

CSA operates in the interests of all Australians by coordinating national appeals and programs that seek public support in reporting crime and criminal activities, especially for cross-border crimes such as bush fire arson, illicit drug manufacture, importation and distribution, fugitives and outlaw gangs.

AN International role

Crime Stoppers Australia is a core member of Crime Stoppers International, the global organisation that encourages people worldwide to report transnational crimes such as human trafficking and international fugitives.

Representatives from Crime Stoppers Australia are also on the Board of Directors of Crime Stoppers International, whose global headquarters are in the Netherlands.