New Zealanders will now benefit from a new anonymous telephone number they can ring to report details of crime, with the launch of a new charity, Crimestoppers New Zealand, in Manukau today.
Being set up on a similar model running successfully in the UK, Crimestoppers will receive anonymous calls with information about crime and criminals. The 0800 555 111 number is not set up to report emergencies. That service continues to be provided by the 111 number.
Though the 0800 number is independent of New Zealand Police, it is another tool that the Police and other law enforcement agencies can use, says Lou Gardiner, the chief executive of the crime-fighting charity. Mr Gardiner is the immediate past chief of New Zealand Army.
“One of the key strengths of Crimestoppers is anonymity. Callers don’t have to reveal their identity or share any personal information, and calls cannot be traced. It empowers our communities to pass on information about crime without endangering those who are providing the information.
“Crimestoppers provides a non-threatening service where information can be provided by phone or through an encrypted online form via a website ( www.crimestoppers-nz.org ). We don’t need a statement from the caller, and we don’t need them to appear in court. All we want is information about crime, not who you are.”
Crimestoppers has been highly successful in helping solve crime in the UK for more than 20 years, says Lord Ashcroft, the founder and chairman of Crimestoppers UK which is providing expertise and the use of their call centre for the New Zealand operations.
“During our 21 years, Crimestoppers UK has received over 1 million actionable calls which have resulted in more than 90,000 arrests and charges. Every four days someone is arrested for murder in the UK as a result of information passed to us.”
The Board of the charity is chaired by John Perham, who is chairman of the National Communications Advisory Board for New Zealand Police and has mentoring responsibilities for a number of senior Police staff. Other trustees include Gavin Jones, retired assistant commissioner of New Zealand Police and Dr Allan Freeth, chief executive of TelstraClear.
Crimestoppers New Zealand has been made possible by extensive support from a number of organisations including New Zealand Police, Chapman Tripp, Ernst and Young, Gen-i, Western Union, Manukau City Council, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Quantum, St John’s and Manukau City Council.Read more