Australian Institute of Criminology

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Crime Stoppers Victoria : an evaluation

Technical and background paper no. 8

Dennis Challinger
ISBN 0 642 53836 0 ISSN 1445-7261
Canberra: Australian Institute of Criminology, October 2001

Abstract

This report presents the findings of an evaluation of Crime Stoppers Victoria, which is based on a joint effort between the community, police and the media. The program provides 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. The evaluation is based on an analysis of calls received over the period from 1 October 2001 to 30 September 2002 and their success rate in helping to clear up crimes; a survey of Victorians on their awareness of Crime Stoppers and their willingness to use it; a survey of Victoria Police members on their experience of and views on Crime Stoppers; and an assessment of the cost effectiveness of the program. The evaluation concludes that Crime Stoppers Victoria demonstrates: a most acceptable level of success, with 1.9% of calls leading to arrests; a resulting total benefit of over five times its direct costs; substantial public awareness and enthusiasm; significant support from investigators and operational police; and effective and attractive media coverage, with the Herald Sun's Crime Stoppers page leading directly to the location of 23% of the 'wanted' persons featured. The only area in which the program did not perform well relates to the number of calls that it directly receives through the hotline. Overall, the evaluation indicates that Crime Stoppers Victoria is a useful, valuable and important organisation for Victorians wishing to assist in dealing with crime.