Crime Stoppers was first launched in Australia in 1987 as a not-for-profit organisation and registered charity. The rationale was to operate as an independent body from other law enforcement agencies and to provide the protection of anonymity to members of the public. Since then, it has become a highly trusted brand.
Crime Stoppers is the only not for profit agency that has an influence across the entire crime-prevention-spectrum from information received through to investigation, arrest, crime disruption and community safety.
The secret of our success mirrors research that found online platforms or hotlines providing the protection of anonymity are more likely to be trusted and used if they are independent from the organisation to which the information is intended. The research also shows that the user must have confidence in the policies and procedures of the organisation providing the anonymity and confidence that the anonymity will be respected.
Crime Stoppers originated in 1976 in Albuquerque, New Mexico in the United States.
It all started when Detective Greg MacAleese had no leads to help him solve a brutal hold up and murder of a petrol station attendant. He decided to produce and broadcast a video re-enactment of the crime, guaranteeing anonymity and a reward for anyone from the local community who called with information.
Within a few hours of the re-enactment airing on a local television station, he received a phone tip from a person whose memory of a vehicle driving away was triggered by the video image. Within 72 hours the police arrested two men for the murder and several armed robberies.
The concept took off from there and has become so successful that today Crime Stoppers is a well-recognised and respected name around the world, now operating in 30 countries internationally, including Australia where each State and Territory has their own Crime Stoppers organisation.
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