Crime Stoppers SA says a decision to not allocate any budget to support the independent crime reporting and prevention program in South Australia will not dampen its resolve to keep advocating for state government funding.
The decision comes less than 48 hours after the release of latest wastewater test results by the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission that shows Adelaide as having the highest concentration of methamphetamine in the nation.
Crime Stoppers SA Chair, Ms Sharon Hanlon said: “We have been in ongoing discussion with the Minister for Police and his advisors to try and address the fact that South Australia is the only state to not receive any state government support.”
“We had been advised that a budget bid had been put forward to Treasury, so it is naturally disappointing to see nothing allocated once again. What this does is strengthen our resolve to keep engaging the business community to help fund our operations, as we have done for more than 20 years,” Ms Hanlon said.
“We understand that the State Government is under pressure to accommodate a major GST shortfall in its budget and has already announced cuts to services and tax increases. We will need to curb or delay a number of earmarked crime-solving and prevention activities in response – including plans to better engage with non-English speaking communities and tackle country crime,” she said.
In 2018, Crime Stoppers was advised that the Marshall Liberal Government was reconsidering a $960,000 funding commitment pledged by the then Labor Government. This was followed by the September 2018 budget, which did not have any allocation to the independent not-for-profit.
Earlier this year, Crime Stoppers launched a Go Fund Me page to help fight country crime, with limited community uptake experienced because of uncertainty surrounding local economic conditions.
“We greatly appreciate the in-kind support of SA Police, Channel 9 as our media partner and support from Police Credit Union because it allows us to engage the community and offset some operational costs such as the 1800 333 000 hotline, website and our Rewards program, which has paid out nearly $250,000 since the program first started.”
Crime Stoppers has helped to solve more than 32,500 crimes and more than 21,000+ people have been apprehended since it first began in SA. An average of 25 crimes are solved every week as a direct result of information provided to Crime Stoppers, with one apprehension made for every seven calls received. On average nearly 1800 calls and 400 online reports are received every month.
2018 program results included more than 25,000 phone and web reports received during the year, resulting in 822 apprehensions. A total of 82 firearms were seized during the year, with information provided by the community also stopping an estimated 80,035 cannabis and 12,227 amphetamine street deals in South Australia.
An independent report commissioned by Crime Stoppers Australia in 2018 found the program remains Australia’s most recognised and pre-eminent information reporting service, delivering a return of $11.15 in additional value for every dollar invested. The report also found that 82% of people feel safer knowing the program is in place, and 62% said Crime Stoppers made it more likely they would report information.