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Crime Stoppers History
Crime Stoppers: A Global Phenomenon*
The Origin of Crime Stoppers
In 1976 an American police officer in Albuquerque was frustrated by his lack of progress investigating a murder. He convinced a local television station to make and screen a re-enactment of the incident to encourage local residents to provide information to assist his investigation. He offered the caller anonymity and a reward as primary incentives. Information received in response to the media broadcast let to an arrest within five days and that success led to the creation of the Crime Stoppers concept.
Crime Stoppers Victoria
Crime Stoppers Victoria commenced operation in 1987. It followed a Churchill Fellowship report by Geoff Wilkinson, then director of media for Victoria Police, who had comprehensively surveyed existing programs in America and Britain for enlisting the community in ‘crime solution’ (Wilkinson 1987). He recommended that Victoria Police implement a program involving the police, media and the public. Victoria Police subsequently employed the Crime Stoppers program which was the first of its kind in Australia.
Victoria’s Crime Stoppers program is one of over 1,400 operating around the world. All have the same features – the provision of a free phone hotline for information to be passed anonymously to the police with a possible reward if that information leads to resolution of a criminal matter.
Crime Stoppers Victoria is a ‘community based initiative which encourages members of the public to provide information on unsolved crimes, wanted people and people they know are involved in criminal activity.’
Crime Stoppers Victoria Today
Crime Stoppers Victoria is a not-for-profit community organization and is the trustee for the Victorian Crime Stoppers Program.
Crimes Stoppers Victoria is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient (DGR) and tax concession charity (TCC). Donations to the organization are tax deductible.
Crimes Stoppers Victoria provides an indispensable and vital link between the community and Victoria Police.
The core activity for Crime Stoppers Victoria is providing a facility for the receipt of confidential telephone calls and online reports from the public about possible criminal activity, and ensuring that the resulting information reaches those whose responsibility it is to investigate such matters.
Crime Stoppers Victoria also develops and manages programs and initiatives which inform and educate the community about crime prevention and safety.
*Source: Crime Stoppers Victoria: An Evaluation. Australian Institute of Criminology (2004)
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Crime Stoppers are asking the community to be their eyes and ears this summer. If you have information regarding someone you believe may be involved in arson call 1800 333 000.