The concept of Crime Stoppers originated in the United States in 1976. It was founded upon sound psychological principals and was rapidly taken up by countries around the world.
Crime Stoppers is now a key source of community intelligence for policing agencies. Despite this, very little research has considered the effectiveness of Crime Stoppers as an intelligence gathering tool.
In addition, since the inception of the program, our society, the criminal element, police practices and crime itself have evolved to accommodate technological and other advances.
Whilst Crime Stopper programs have altered slightly in response to these advancements, the fundamental aspects of the program have remained consistent. The lack of research into the effectiveness of Crime Stoppers as an intelligence gathering tool limits our ability to consider the relevance of current practice and, where necessary, enact change to ensure continuous improvement.
This highlights the need to consider the effectiveness of current Crime Stopper models within a national context.
The Sellenger Centre in partnership with Crime Stoppers Western Australia and Western Australia Police (specifically, the Intelligence and Communications Portfolio) have developed an on-going research agenda to consider the effectiveness of current Crime Stoppers and police processes across Australia.
This research will provide the evidence base that is required to support actions that are implemented, processes that are undertaken and outcomes that are achieved from information received by Crime Stoppers.
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