Seeking crime fighting Christmas gift wrappers

Reckon you can wrap Christmas presents (at least averagely)…?
How about your bbq’ing skills…?
Have an interest in your community’s safety?

If you answered yes to the above then boy do I have a deal for you!

Crime Stoppers are looking to boost their numbers and our Brisbane Bayside Volunteer Area Committee are actively recruiting volunteers right now.

More about that shortly because on a personal note, I reckon I go alright in all three of the above. I mean check out the latest gift I wrapped for my wife.

Christmas wrapping. No prizes for guessing what it is.

Plus the last feed I cooked her wasn’t even too shabby..

Bacon and eggs with what looks like a twisted broken and an infected eye.

And as for community safety? Well when I continue to align myself with Crime Stoppers I feel pretty good about myself. Crime Stoppers work in partnership with the Queensland Police Service and each committee has an active police representative. That would be me for Bayside.

First up though, a little information overview about Crime Stoppers in general. They are a registered charity and community volunteer organisation. They provide intelligence to police to help stop, solve and prevent crimes.

Crime Stoppers committee volunteers come from various walks of life, many cultures and languages are represented as is a vast range in ages (see below) with both men and women actively engaged. They generously volunteer their time either as an event volunteer or a committee member.

Basically they work to encourage the community to report suspicious or criminal activity anonymously. Funds raised are used to empower the community to participate in the fight against crime and contribute to the stopping, solving and prevention of crime, through reporting criminal or suspicious activity anonymously through the 1800 333 000 number, the Crime Stoppers website or using the Crime Stoppers mobile app.

Committee volunteers are expected to attend monthly meetings and to assist with an event every two or three months for four to six hours. Event volunteers do not need to attend meetings, but are expected to assist at the events.

Crime Stopper volunteer Susie Randall doing the hard yards

So if you’re the sort of person wanting to fight the good fight and step up to create and live in a safer community, want to put something back into your community, enjoys quality time with good people with a common interest in doing one’s part to stop crime, then I know some people who would be very interested in having a chat about the recruiting process.

You can find the criteria yourself by clicking this link, or phoning 1300 309 355, but basically to be eligible one needs to be a decent person and pass a criminal history check. It obviously helps if you enjoy getting out, meeting and speaking to members within your local community.

I think it’s important to remember though that although we as coppers have a great working relationship with our Crime Stoppers partners, they are not police officers and nor are they attached in any way to the Queensland Police Service. We do of course have similar vested interests like solving and even preventing crime.

For those that don’t know the process of how Crime Stoppers works a very basic run down goes something like this:

  • Person has information about a crime that has occurred or is going to occur.
  • That person phones Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000 or they can go to online reporting suspicious or criminal activity.
  • The call taker obtains the information provided.
  • That information is provided to police or other such agency.
  • The matter is investigated.
  • Police or other agencies take any number of actions dependent upon the investigative outcome, including arresting the offender.
  • The initial person reporting the crime phones back after a couple of months and is provided an update as to the outcome.
  • Dependent upon the outcome a financial payment may be made to the person who provided the information.

To assist in this bigger picture, our Crime Stoppers volunteers in Brisbane Bayside work at ground level to get the message out through many avenues like guest speaking on Bay FM, pop up stalls, handing out brochures and providing information sessions and also fundraising.  Each Volunteer Area Committee takes care of themselves and initiate their own fundraising ideas which may include wrapping Christmas presents in shopping malls for donations (no tips offered by me I might add), sausage sizzles in Bunnings carparks or attending information sharing days at local festivals and markets.

And if you’re wondering what happens to the money raised… some of it goes to the purchase of Crime Stoppers promotional merchandise, signage etc and some of course goes to funding for cash rewards to those anonymous callers I mentioned.

I, being our Bayside police representative, attend monthly meetings with our local Crime Stoppers committee and work with them often (after all, I too like spending quality time in good company). Our Bayside committee members range in age between 22 and 60+ so can comfortably chat about Taylor Swift or Willie Nelson with confidence which I feel helps reach all sorts of people.  I seriously rate the work our men and women in our Bayside committee do.

As an example of how great our little partnership is running locally, just last month anonymous information provided to Crime Stoppers subsequently investigated by police resulted in a substantial amount of drugs removed from the streets. I would say the monetary value but I struggle to count that high let alone spell it.

But think about that for a moment. In one month a huge quantity of drugs is now not able to be taken by our children (and adults). Plus, do you know how many sausages one can buy at a Crime Stoppers fund raising BBQ with that much money?

Go on, take the plunge and make the phone call and I may even see you at the next committee meeting.

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