Crimestoppers' success is in the stats

MICHELLE COOKE
Last updated 05:00 26/08/2011

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Hundreds of crimes have been solved with the help of Crimestoppers – and most of them have been drug-related.

Crimestoppers was established nearly two years ago, giving the public a way to provide information to police anonymously.

Police said tip-offs had provided crucial information about family violence, drunk drivers, dishonesty and sexual offences.

But most of the calls were about drugs.

More than 15,000 calls have flooded in and of those, 5,300 have been referred to police. Auckland police received 1732 of the tips, Wellington 406,  Christchurch 464 and Waikato 389.

National criminal investigations group manager Rod Drew said the tip offs had helped police solve 355 crimes and 310 of those were related to drugs or anti-social behaviour.

"In some cases Crimestoppers information will be enough to be intelligence in its own right, but mostly it will be a contributor to a larger intelligence picture," he said.

One tip-off contributed to the arrest of two men who were found with $32,000 in cash, 304 cannabis plants and 90 grams of methamphetamine.

The men were also found with two firearms, one of which was loaded, and two large hunting knives when arrested at an Auckland residence in March.

An anonymous tip-off to Crimestoppers also led to the arrest of a wanted Morrinsville man in July.

Hamilton City Area Commander Inspector Rob Lindsay said Daryl Ian George Walker had been actively avoiding police, was under the influence of methamphetamine and was known to have access to firearms.

Crimestoppers chief executive Lou Gardiner said the information from calls could initiate or add to the “intelligence building situation” or could be the final piece needed to make an arrest.

“Essentially the anonymity offered by Crimestoppers flushes out information that may not normally make it to the police because of the reluctance for the individual to provide it in a non-anonymous manner,” he said.

“This can be for a number of reasons. We don’t question those reasons – we just want the information.”

Counties Manukau Inspector Neil Fisher has seen Crimestoppers work successfully in both New Zealand and England, where it has existed for 25 years.

“We’re always pleased to find out information about what’s happening in the community and we’ve got lots of cops here who are just waiting for that information because it allows us to target more effectively,” he said.

Fisher wouldn’t provide details on specific cases because it would compromise the anonymity of the caller.

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“We get those bare facts and we look to see whether it matches information we already know, we verify it, maybe doing some checks against that information to see if the facts are correct and then from that we’ll make a decision if its actionable.”

Call Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111 or go to www.crimestoppers-nz.org to report a crime anonymously.

- (Live Matches)

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