Crime Stoppers marks 20 years

The Crime Stoppers program has helped police solve crimes for 20 years.
The Crime Stoppers program has helped police solve crimes for 20 years.

The Crime Stoppers program across Australia led to more than 5400 arrests last year and provided a $170 million boost to the national economy, the organisation says.

Marking its 20th year of operations on Monday, it has also released an independent survey which found that 82 per cent of Australians feel safer knowing the program is in place.

The opportunity to report crimes anonymously is also important, with 81 per cent of those questioned considering the option a vital drawcard.

"We have seen the devastation crime can bring when a blind eye is turned within Australia, in neighbouring countries and around the world, Crime Stoppers Australia Chair, Ms Diana Forrester said.

"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."

In 2018, Crime Stoppers programs across Australia took 319,861 calls and notifications through its hotline and internet site.

That resulted in 145,442 information reports being raised and passed to police.

The information in those reports led to 5406 arrests and more than 15,580 charges being laid.

Ms Forrester said the independently-commissioned Impact Report estimated the economic value of Crime Stoppers to Australia at $170m, with an additional $66m in added value from drugs being seized, property returned, and crimes being prevented.

"Every dollar invested in Crime Stoppers delivers an outstanding $11.15 in return value," she said.

"For an organisation which prominently features a volunteer leadership base, these are great results thanks to the community, media outlets, our corporate and government program partners and our many volunteers."

Crime Stoppers can be contacted by calling 1800 333 000 or going to www.crimestoppers.com.au.

Australian Associated Press