Rourke Walsh, The West Australian, 27 May 2019

 

More than 5000 Australian criminals were arrested and charged last year as a direct result of public tip-offs to Crime Stoppers, a report has revealed.

The Crime Stoppers Australia Impact Report, released today to mark 20 years of the hotline operating in all States, said that 5404 people were arrested in 2018 and hit with 15,580 charges from 319,861 reports made to the hotline and website.

The independent study also found 82% of Australians felt safer knowinng Crime Stoppers existed and 81% believed the option to remain anonymous when reporting information was a key to its success.

Crime Stoppers Australia chairwoman Diana Forrester said the results, also released to mark national Crime Stoppers Day, highlighted the value of the anonymous reporting service to police.

“It reinforces that people can make a significant difference by anonymousley sharing what they know,” Ms Forrester said.

“We have seen the devastation crime can bring when a blind eye is turned – within Australia, its neighbouring countries and around the world.

“Someone might be reluctant to speak up because they fear retaliation, are wary of police, or want to avoid becoming involved in legal proceedings.  Crime Stoppers offers a safe solution because people can stay anonymous and share what they know,” she said.

Crime related to illicit drugs was the most reported offence, followed by burglary, stealing, assault and sexual assault.

Police Commissioner Chris Dawson said over the past 10 years in WA, the community had provided more than 420,000 pieces of information instrumental in making the State safer.

“During my time as a police officer, I have seen the value of Crime Stoppers,” Mr Dawson said.

“It is a critical component in the collection of community information.

“No crime is committed in secret and it’s never too late to report what you know.”

The report estimates the economic value of Crime Stoppers to Australia at $170 million, with an extra $66 million in value from drugs seized, property returned, and crimes being prevented.