Crime Stoppers responds to talk closure is imminent

THE head of the Warwick Crime Stoppers committee Lisa Zagata said reports its anonymous call centre was closing were over-exaggerated.

Early media reports on the ABC and the Courier-Mail, backed up by the Police Minister Mark Ryan, said the Crime Stoppers board had made a decision to close the Brisbane centre and make 22 employees redundant, citing a $250,000 funding shortfall.

However the Crime Stoppers Queensland board has not actually decided on the fate the call centre and may choose to keep it open if it finds a new source of revenue.

If it does close the site there is the potential for operations to move into the Policelink call centre.

Ms Zagata said even if the call centre was moved, the service would remain independent and anonymous.

"It's only an administrative change at the state level that will have no impact on the work of the local branch or the benefit of calling the Crime Stoppers number,” Ms Zagata said.

"The call centre they are looking at shutting down only opened in 2013, but the Crime Stoppers number has been in operation for longer than that, and the Warwick branch here pre-dates it.”

Plans for the Warwick Crime Stoppers Golf Day in March are still on track and Ms Zagata said the committee will continue to work with police to reduce crime.

Vice-president Cheri O'Neill said confusion around the closure rumours undermined the good work Crime Stoppers does in the Southern Downs.

"The reason Crime Stoppers has been so successful is because of the anonymous call centre,” she said.

Ms O'Neill pointed to major police operations across the Southern Downs in the past year that started with Crime Stopper leads.

"Something like 50 per cent of the major crimes the Southern Down were solved with help from Crime Stopper tip-offs, there's a lot of good police work involved in that as well,” she said.

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