As part of its efforts to encourage all Australians to come forward with information about unsolved crimes and suspicious activity, ACT Region Crime Stoppers has launched the “It’s what you know, not who you are” campaign in some of the nation’s most common languages.
Developed in Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi, Vietnamese as well as English, the materials help with ongoing efforts to encourage people from culturally and linguistically diverse communities to come forward with information about criminals and their illegal activities.
Diana Forrester, Chair of Crime Stoppers Australia and Crime Stoppers in the ACT Region said the Federally-funded initiative followed independent market research which found participants born overseas and who come from a non-English speaking background have lower levels of awareness of Crime Stoppers, despite the program now operating in 28 countries.
“Crime happens across all different cultural backgrounds, so we want to reinforce that Crime Stoppers is here for everyone. Even though some people might have come from countries that are war-torn or have an embedded distrust of police and authority, we are an independent program that acts as a trusted link between the community and police for anyone with information about unsolved crime and suspicious activity,” Diana said.
“The latest census data shows that we are a fast changing, ever-expanding, culturally diverse nation. Nearly half of all Australians are either born overseas or have one or both parents who was – and one-fifth of Australians now speak a language other than English at home,” she said.
“Of the more than 6.1m Australians who were born overseas, nearly one in five arrived since the beginning of 2012, which shows the community is evolving rapidly, and it is critical that Crime Stoppers adapts and keeps pace.”
The new Crime Stoppers campaign information includes a multilingual range of brochures, posters, pull up banners, social media assets and animated videos. The materials are available for community use on the campaign page.
Later in the year the campaign will be enhanced with billboard advertisements at prominent retail sites across the ACT.
In Australia, someone contacts Crime Stoppers every two minutes to share information about an array of unsolved crimes and suspicious activity, leading to an average of 100 apprehensions by police every week across the nation for a range of crimes.
In 2019, Crime Stoppers programs across Australia received 313,655 contacts about unsolved crime and suspicious activity which led to 155,240 information reports provided to police for follow-up action. A total of 5,215 apprehensions were made and 18,686 charges laid for offences that included drug dealing, robbery, arson and murder.
“Our message is clear. Regardless of your background, everyone can play a part in making a safer ACT by contacting Crime Stoppers and sharing what they know without having to say who they are by calling our toll-free hotline on 1800 333 000 or going to www.crimestoppersact.com.au,” Diana said.