A new inclusive campaign from Crime Stoppers ACT will see multilingual materials distributed to encourage people of all ethnic backgrounds to report suspicious activity.
The “It’s what you know, not who you are” campaign will be delivered in Arabic, Cantonese, Greek, Hindi, Italian, Mandarin, Punjabi and Vietnamese as well as English.
Despite Crime Stoppers operating through 28 countries, Chair of Crime Stoppers ACT Diana Forrester said market research had shown participants from non-English speaking backgrounds had less awareness of the organisation.
“Crime happens across all different cultural backgrounds, so we want to reinforce that Crime Stoppers is here for everyone,” she said.
“Even though some people might have come from countries that are war-torn or have an embedded distrust of police and authority, we are an independent program that acts as a trusted link between the community and police for anyone with information about unsolved crime and suspicious activity.
“The latest census data shows that we are a fast changing, ever expanding, culturally diverse nation. Nearly half of all Australians are either born overseas or have one or both parents who was – and one-fifth of Australians now speak a language other than English at home.”
The new campaign features brochures, posters, social media assets and animated videos in the designated languages, with a plan for billboard advertisements later in the year.
A call is made to Crime Stoppers every two minutes in Australia, leading to 100 apprehensions per week as a result.
Ms Forrester said it was important to recognise the diversity within the community and enable Crime Stoppers to become more accessible across cultures.
“Of the more than 6.1 million Australians who were born overseas, nearly one in five arrived since the beginning of 2012, which shows the community is evolving rapidly, and it is critical that Crime Stoppers adapts and keeps pace,” she said.
“Our message is clear. Regardless of your background, everyone can play a part in making a safer ACT by contacting Crime Stoppers and sharing what they know without having to say who they are by calling our toll-free hotline on 1800 333 000 or going to www.crimestoppersact.com.au.”
During 2019, Crime Stoppers calls led to 5,215 apprehensions and 18,686 charges laid across a range of crimes.
Ms Forrester said people from all ethnic backgrounds could make a call to Crime Stoppers and hoped the campaign would help them to understand the system.
“We hope that the campaign will reassure them that they do not have to provide their details when they ring Crime Stoppers,” she said.
“If they prefer to speak in a language other than English an interpreter will be connected to the call. Online reports are welcome in every language.”