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Spike in phone and online contacts delivers busiest year on record for Crime Stoppers SA

Posted on 22/03/2021

Crime Stoppers SA has released key program outcomes from 2020 – and the results show that more South Australians are stepping up to share what they know about unsolved crime and illegal activities without saying who they are to help make a safer community.

A record number of calls to the Crime Stoppers hotline saw 20,240 answered throughout the year – resulting in an average of about 55 calls received daily along with a daily average of 15 online reports.

Crime Stoppers South Australia chair, Ms Sharon Hanlon, said that while reports of people ignoring COVID-19 directives is believed to have partly contributed to the spike in numbers, 347 contacts were about murder investigations, while information from the community directly led to 34 firearms taken out of the hands of criminals.

“People were home more during 2020 and were vigilant about what was happening in their local community. The impact of drugs remained a major concern for people, with 2,012 contacts about making and dealing in amphetamine. Eight clandestine drugs labs were located and closed down directly because of information shared with Crime Stoppers – resulting in 2,780 street deals of amphetamine stopped from causing harm,” Ms Hanlon said.

“One of South Australia’s largest commercial cannabis operations was also uncovered thanks to the community and was one of two large rural cannabis plantations shut down during the year. A total of 15,382 cannabis plants were seized, and 704kg of dried cannabis confiscated during 2020 – equating to an estimated 251,760 cannabis deals that were foiled,” she said.

During the year, Crime Stoppers SA welcomed a State Government commitment of $200,000 per annum over the next four years to offset operational costs and deliver critical crime-solving and prevention activities to the community. As a charity run by a Board of volunteers this financial support allows reinstatement of important crime-solving and community education programs, with work now underway to enhance the organisation’s anonymous reporting platform.

Minister for Police, Emergency Services and Correctional Services, Vincent Tarzia, said: “A record number of calls to Crime Stoppers in 2020 shows South Australians are vigilant and protective of their community. The Marshall Liberal Government is proud to support the crime-fighting charity and its tireless work to catch criminals. We are the first South Australian Government to directly fund Crime Stoppers with more than $800,000. South Australians deserve to feel safe and Crime Stoppers is one way we can protect the community at a grassroots level.”

In addition to a partnership renewal with Police Credit Union as major funding partner for another 3 years, Crime Stoppers also launched an initiative with the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Federation (SA Branch) which has seen more than 40 health care sites registering to participate as a way of deterring and resolving crimes around their facilities. A key part of the initiative has seen prominent signage displaying Crime Stoppers contact details in high-risk areas to encourage people to adopt a proactive role about community safety.

In addition to its ongoing highly-successful partnership with 9 News Adelaide, Crime Stoppers SA also welcomed fiveAA as its official radio partner, providing on-air advertising and promotional opportunities through in-studio support.

In late 2020 Crime Stoppers announced a partnership with Torrens Transit, which saw more than 800 buses across South Australia’s extensive public transport network become a rolling reminder for criminals and those with an appetite for antisocial behaviour that plenty of eyes are watching and Crime Stoppers is just a phone call or a click away.

The organisation also welcomed some of SA’s top-level business and industry leaders as its inaugural group of Ambassadors – with Andrew Marshall, President of the Master Builders Association (SA), Philip Morton, Managing Director of Morton Philips, Jodie van Deventer, CEO for the Committee for Adelaide, Martin Haese, CEO at Business SA, and Channel 9 Managing Director, Sean O’Brien all accepting the challenge of being Crime Stoppers SA Ambassadors.

As part of efforts to better engage the community, a Culturally and Linguistically Diverse strategy was announced to better understand and address crime issues and concerns amongst CALD communities and establish a feedback mechanism about the quality and effectiveness of crime-solving and prevention efforts in these important groups.

More detailed 2020 results can be found here.

COVID-specific information:

Total tally for 2020 COVID contacts to Crime Stoppers was 2,003. Between 1/1/21 – 28/2/21 there were been 130 calls to Crime Stoppers SA re COVID

“Of the 4000 additional contacts Crime Stoppers SA received when compared to 2019, about half were COVID-specific reports about potential breaches of self-quarantine and self-isolation orders, and businesses suspected of not complying with restrictions,” said Crime Stoppers SA Chair Ms Sharon Hanlon. 

 “The other 2000 contacts were about a range of other crimes – and we believe that demonstrates people power at its finest,” she said.

 “It is reassuring that people are clearly motivated to do all they can to protect the SA community by sharing what that know without having to say who they are.”

If you have any information about criminals or criminal activity, then call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at


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