LACK OF SUPPORT A REAL CRIME – Friday November 9 2012

– Twenty-five years after Victoria launched Australia’s first Crime Stoppers program, the results speak for themselves.

Information provided by over 550,000 callers to Crime Stoppers since November 9th, 1987, has led to nearly 14,000 arrests, almost 60,000 criminal charges and the seizure of stolen property and illicit drugs worth more than $150 million.

That sort of record is something to be proud of, but the fact that its been achieved without the sort of funding support this spectacularly successful community crime fighting operation deserves is not.

Both the corporate sector and the State Government have failed to deliver the financial backing that would make Crime Stoppers even more effective  and remove uncertainty about its future.

Successive governments have ignored pleas for recurrent funding  from the most obvious, logical and sensible source imaginable – criminals themselves, in the form of confiscated criminal assets.

The Coalition Government’s refusal to provide a small slice of the proceeds of crime to fund Crime Stoppers – rather than tuck it away in consolidated revenue – is even more frustrating when you consider the Liberal Party’s policy in the 2006 state election campaign.

Then, under the banner of the party’s plan for safe homes and safe streets, the Liberals unequivocally  promised that for the next four years if elected they would “ensure the highly successful Crime Stoppers program continues with sustainable funding from the sale of confiscated criminal assets”.

Federal Liberal leader Tony Abbott apparently still subscribes to the logic and value of such a policy.

While promising last month that a Coalition Government would spend $50 million on new CCTV cameras in crime hot-spots, Abbott said they would be funded from the proceeds of crime and made it clear he believed that “money from criminals should be spent fighting crime”.

Crime Stoppers is not an expensive operation.

It can survive on $300,000 a year, but needs $500,000 to enable the sort of marketing that is known to boost both response and results.

Its total corporate sponsorship last year was $130,000.

The amount of money seized from criminals by federal and state authorities continues to rise and makes the amount needed by Crime Stoppers look like small change.

Victoria’s Office of Public Prosecutions recently reported the seizure of cash and property worth $19.8 million during 2011-12, and this year’s haul is likely to be even higher.

The national Criminal Assets Confiscation Taskforce, led by the Australian Federal Police, restrained cash, property, jewellery, cars and boats worth $97.4 million.

The corporate community’s failure to embrace Crime Stoppers as a cause worth supporting is just as disappointing and frustrating as the Government’s refusal to fund it from the proceeds of crime.

The community board of Crime Stoppers Victoria, a not-for-profit company, has struggled for well over a decade to secure recurrent funding to meet its operational costs and pay for promotion and marketing campaigns.

In 2000, directors were within weeks of having to declare CSV insolvent and appoint an administrator after more than 100 companies were unsuccessfully asked for help.

After years of trying and failing to attract sufficient long-term sponsorship itself, the board of CSV last year employed professionals to do the job.

The money to pay them came from a special funding grant from the previous government, which agreed a professional funding search would be a good investment if it removed the need to go back to government with a begging bowl in future.

After more than 12 months, dozens of approaches to the corporate sector and numerous applications to philanthropic trusts and foundations, not one dollar was raised for Crime Stoppers.

It’s a disgrace that corporates who spend millions on sponsorship of sport won’t spend a dollar to support such a worthy cause.

It’s an indictment of the banking, insurance and security industries – and many others with a vested interest in fighting crime – that the second biggest corporate supporter of Crime Stoppers is a suburban church.

Crime victim George Halvagis donated $14,000 raised by his family and friends at a dinner dance at their Greek community church last year, and the church has continued to donate this year.

The program’s importance is a conduit and filtering process during high-profile investigations was again shown during the recent case of murdered Brunswick woman Jill Meagher, when Crime Stoppers received 1600 calls and online reports in four days.

Crime Stoppers is an essential service and should be treated as such.

Police, the media and the community have all played their part in making it one of this state’s success stories.

It’s time the Baillieu Government does the same – Geoff Wilkinson

**Update** 

It seems Crime Stoppers may have a happy birthday after all. Late yesterday a spokesman for the Premier announced an immediate allocation of $200,000 and an in-principle commitment to recurrent funding to be addressed in the next State Budget. He said the Government was a bug supporter of the program

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About Jumpin' Jack Cash

Deep connections are the most important aspect of my existence. I don’t care if people don’t know what they want. I love books. I’m cynical of love stories, although I’m romantic. I adore gardens. I like women who challenge me. I love the rain as an excuse to stay inside and dream. I'm furiously impatient. If I ask you a question best to tell me the truth as I'm likely to already know the answer. I'm a carnivore. I continuously underestimate the magic of fresh flowers in my home. I love warm rain in the summer. My mood elevates to epic proportions when the sun shines. Tell me not to do something and I'll do it twice and take photos. Running is my antidepressant. I loathe lies. I rarely forgive a lie. Loyalty and honesty are my most noble virtues, and I value them more than anything in other people. I love to love, and am able to fall in love very quickly, although it's only ever happened once. I understood myself and fixed myself only after destroying myself. My greatest excitement comes from deliberately getting lost in foreign cities. I can be extremely loud and frighteningly silent. I hate insinuations. I love storms. Justice for all. I'm a proud man, but welcome the influence of the feminine soul. I have two sisters. I’m a dreamer. I’m a deep thinker. Don’t deal with guilt trips or drama that well. I'm extremely stubborn and persistent. I'm brilliant at keeping secrets. I love driving. I become absolutely and completely lost while watching a burning fire. When the toast pops from the toaster I’m never ready and shit myself. I play the guitar, but require much improvement. Solitude and warmth of the sun are perfect together. I’ve been married once and now divorced. I’m a music junkie. Chocolate mousse is the shit. I curse too much. I find it difficult to make friends. I spent four years as a firefighter. I’ve run my own company since 1991. Bright lights, big cities. I’ve been an executive producer of a feature film. Some people don’t care, and that’s the biggest let-down of the human race. There are cures and solutions for many evils, but no remedy for the worst of them all - the apathy of human beings. The sound of the Italian language being spoken is as good as my favourite music. I hate corrupt cops. I relentlessly and passionately pursue anybody and anything that sets my soul on fire. I'm a dog lover, and all my dogs are considered family members. I have an obsession with photography. I have some close friends who are household names, but shall always remain anonymous. I’m crazy but not lazy. Losing a soulmate has hurt me badly. My two young sons are the nucleus of my universe. I love airports. I love freedom. If you are dishonest or disloyal, I can erase you from my life and memory immediately and permanently. I yearn to explore, dream about and discover as many friendships, deep connections and places, one possibly can in a lifetime.
This entry was posted in Abduction and Kidnapping, Accidental Death, Aggravated Burglary, Armed Offences, Armed Robbery, Arms Dealing, Arson, Assassination, Assault, Attempted Murder, Break-and-Enter and Burglary, Child Pornography and Abuse, Corporate Crime, Corruption and Misconduct, Cyber-Bullying, Deception, Demonstrations and Rallies, Domestic Violence, Drowning, Drug Trafficking, Manufacturing and Dealing, E-Crime/Cyber Crime, Escapee, Espionage, Extortion and Blackmail, Fraud, General, Hit-and-run, Home Invasion, Homicide, Human Trafficking, Illegal Casinos and Brothels, Illegal fights, Immigration and Visa Crime, Manslaughter, Mass Murder, Missing Persons, Money Laundering, Murder/Suicide, Organised Crime, Police Culture, Police Shootings, Prison Crime, Property Damage and Vandalism, Protests, Race-Fixing, Rape and Sexual Assault, Rioting, Robbery, Serial Killers, Serious Assault & Recklessly Causing Serious Injury, Stalking, Suicide, Terrorism, Theft, Threats To Kill, Traffic, Victoria Police News, Weapon and Firearm Possession and tagged , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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