If you head to your local shopping centre this week, you may notice some new posters about the place, asking you to keep an eye out for anything unusual, and to let Crime Stoppers know if you do see anything.
It’s Crime Stoppers Week, and the crime prevention organization has launched a campaign to educate retail and community centre staff in local shopping centres about crime prevention and awareness measures and to encourage Canberrans to pass on information that may relate to criminal activity via their website or 1800 number.
More than 4000 people nationally were charged with a crime as a result of a call made to Crime Stoppers in the first quarter of this year, with the ACT branch of the organization receiving 3574 calls or web reports in the period.
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Diana Forrester, deputy chair of Crime Stoppers ACT, was among those involved in the local suburbs awareness campaign who visited the Ainslie shops to promote it this week.
“We’re hoping to reach as many Canberra shopping areas as we can, and talking to shop owners such as Nick from the IGA here in Ainslie, because it’s really the people in the stores that see and hear things, and often they don’t know what to do with those pieces of information,” Ms Forrester said.
“They don’t understand that even small pieces of information can really help to keep the community safe.”
To implement the new campaign, Crime Stoppers ACT representatives will visit and provide information to suburban retailers and community centres, targeting areas most prone to crime across Canberra. The campaign was made possible through the assistance of a community grant from the NRMA and support from ACT Policing and Neighbourhood Watch.
During the launch event, co-managers of the Ainslie IGA Nick and Dimitri Mihailakis filled several of the poster slots above their shopping trolley bays outside the store with Crime Stoppers posters to help boost the campaign.
Crime Stoppers received 97,193 calls nationally in the first quarter of this calendar year. In the same period, 1490 people were arrested and 4172 charged nationally as a result of information provided to Crime Stoppers.
If you believe you have any information that may relate to a crime, please call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or make a report online at act.crimestoppers.com.au.
Pictured are Jason Kennedy, Detective Station Sergeant, ACT Policing; Nick Mihailakis, co-manager Ainslie IGA; Clare McGrath, Neighbourhood Watch’s ACT Vice-President; Dimitri Mihailakis, co-manager of Ainslie IGA; and Diana Forrester, Deputy Chair ACT Region Crime Stoppers. Photo: Charlotte Harper