Crime Stoppers is a community policing initiative that commenced operation in the Australian state of Victoria in 1987, it has been operating Australia wide since 1998. All states and mainland territories of Australia now operate a Crime Stoppers branch.
Crime Stoppers operates a telephone service that the public can call to anonymously report a crime. This enables the caller to overcome any fear of involvement or retaliation, by remaining anonymous at all times.
As of December 2003, Crime Stoppers Australia had taken 1,336,473 calls, leading to 26,730 arrests, 99,935 charges, A$51,981,958 in stolen property recovered, $711,971,492 worth of drugs recovered, have paid $912,010 in rewards and collected information leading to 149 murder convictions.
Some states have initiated a rural crime stoppers program to assist farmers in the reporting of crime. Farmers can be reluctant to report crime because of fears of retribution. In Victoria a program began in April 2002 and has seen calls from rural area increase by 10%.
The original toll-free number was 008 333 000, but between 1994 and 1998 it was changed to 1800 333 000. Crime Stoppers also maintained a non-toll-free hotline at (03) 265 5000. The number, now (03) 9265 5000, is no longer owned by Crime Stoppers.