By SAT News Desk
MELBOURNE, 8 February 2021: Sharing what you want to inform Crime Stoppers confidentially has never been so easy and quick. The public shift to online services has meant that more and more people are choosing to share their crime information online. Since 2017 the number of online tips to Crime Stoppers has increased by an average of 20% each year. The new reporting system uses conditional logic, determining future questions based on the information the person provides.
What hasn’t changed is Crime Stoppers’ focus on anonymity. As with all tips to Crime Stoppers, we don’t want to know who you are, just what you know. Although comprehensive information is invaluable, the smallest detail can help solve a crime. Crime Stoppers Victoria’s CEO, Stella Smith says, “you don’t have to be 100% sure to make a tip to Crime Stoppers. If it is enough to make you suspicious, it is enough to let us know.”
Every day brings something new at Crime Stoppers, with the public sharing information about a wide range of crimes, including high-risk road users, illegal firearms, homicide, and the manufacture and supply of drugs in the community. In recent years high profile crimes have also prompted Victorians to flood the Crime Stoppers call center and website with information for investigators.
Minister for Police and Emergency Services Lisa Neville says, “Reporting suspicious activity to Crime Stoppers is not only a huge help to police by saving valuable time and resources, but it also helps to keep the Victorian community safe.”
“The information which members of the public have provided through Crime Stoppers has led Victoria Police to arrest more than 26,000 people and layover 100,000 charges since it was established in 1987.”
Despite the overwhelming support the program receives from the public, sharing success stories of individual cases is a challenge. Stella Smith said “the commitment to anonymity means each tip is treated like it has the potential to divulge someone’s identity. If a criminal knew that police were tipped off with a call to Crime Stoppers, that might be enough for them to work out the identity of the caller and we cannot allow that to happen.”
To make the sharing of crime information easier for Victorians, the new reporting system uses simple illustrations and has been translated into ten languages including Mandarin, Hindi and Arabic.
The new-look website is still home to community safety campaigns and resources covering a range of crime prevention tips to avoid becoming a victim of crime.
The new Crime Stoppers Victoria website is also a place for the public to be amateur detectives. The website features hundreds of images of people police need help identifying.
Victorians can swipe through these images on their phones and quickly share what they know with Crime Stoppers. Every piece of information helps keep Victoria safe.
The new website was developed with funding from the Department of Justice and Community Safety. “The capability and security of this site was beyond what a not-for-profit organization could achieve on its own, so the support of the Victorian Government has been invaluable,” said Stella Smith.
Minister for Corrections, Youth Justice, Crime Prevention and
Victims Support Natalie Hutchins says, “I encourage all Victorians to use this new service from Crime Stoppers to help improve
safety in their communities. Language should never be a barrier to reporting crime. And we know being able to report crime confidentially is important to the community, as 70 percent of people who contact Crime Stoppers choose to remain anonymous.”