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More Canberrans dob culprits to crime stoppers but fewer want rewards

Clare Sibthorpe

Published: May 19 2017 - 8:36PM

Would you be more likely to dob in a criminal if it scored you $1000?

Crime Stoppers built its reward system on the premise that most people would answer yes, but found few money-hungry Canberrans.

While ACT calls to the non-profit organisation rose 13 per cent in one year, the region's new chair says very few of these callers accepted cash when their information helped the cops.

Crime Stoppers is a community policing initiative which operates through a telephone service that the public can call to anonymously report a crime.

"For people who give information to Crime Stoppers, if that piece of information leads to an arrest, they can receive an award," ACT Crime Stoppers chair Diana Forrester said.

"It can be up to $1000 depending on that information. But most Canberrans don't want to receive a reward. They have a specific sense of public duty and actually don't come forward.

In the past four years, Crime Stopper calls that led to charges rose 54 per cent across Australia, while there was a 33 per cent jump in resulted arrests.

When people call Crime Stoppers they receive a code number, and can call back to enquire about their tip-off. They are eligible for a reward if their information leads to an arrest, solving a crime, recovery of significant property, or increased police understanding of crime in the community. Rewards range from $100 to $1000 depending on the severity of the crime, the number of offenders caught and the offences cleared up.

The number of calls to Crime Stoppers ACT rose from 12,394 to 14,000 from 2015 to 2016.

Ms Forrester, who spent seven of 11 years volunteering with the organisation, said crime prevention would be a key focus in her new role as the ACT chair.

"People may overhear that someone is planning to do some criminal activity, or know someone is planning something that isn't right, and providing that information to us can make a huge difference," she said.

"We ask people to get as much information as they can, keep track of what they see, describe the people involved. We encourage people to contact about anything they are suspicious about."

During Crime Stoppers week, the organisation ran a range of community events in Canberra to teach the public how they can help to fight crime.

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