Targeted operations, anonymous tip-offs and information gathering are among new initiatives as part of a state government crackdown on environmental criminals.
The Department for Environment and Water has signed a two-year trial partnership with trusted charity Crime Stoppers South Australia to strengthen biodiversity protection.
It will enable Crime Stoppers to increase the information and intelligence provided to DEW, which manages the state’s national parks and wildlife through National Parks and Wildlife Service.
Crime Stoppers has a worldwide reputation for protecting the source of information, while helping law enforcement and other agencies to prevent offences and identify criminals.
The DEW and Crime Stoppers SA partnership will provide:
• An online portal to report environmental crimes or information anonymously.
• Targeted operations, including illegal wildlife trade, native vegetation clearances and illegal fishing in marine parks.
• Intelligence gathering to better target proactive compliance efforts.
The partnership has been a success in Western Australia, where Crime Stoppers WA has worked with the WA Department of Water and Environmental Regulation.
It has led to a significant increase in reporting of environmental offences through its secure online portal.
Crime Stoppers SA is partly funded by the South Australian Government and supported by SA Police, who are the main beneficiaries of information provided by the public.
DEW Director of Conservation and Wildlife Lisien Loan said the partnership would help protect the state’s national parks and their wildlife.
“National Parks and Wildlife Service welcomes this Crime Stoppers SA partnership,which will provide the public with greater opportunities to report environmental crime,” she said.
“It will further ensure adequate protections and compliance are in place to protect our unique and much-loved biodiversity.”
In 2022, Crime Stoppers SA received nearly 14,000 hotline calls and almost 5,000 online tips, resulting in 347 apprehensions by police and 755 charges laid for various
All information collected by Crime Stoppers is stored securely and relevant DEW staff would have limited access.
Crime Stoppers Chief Executive Nigel Smart welcomed the partnership and believed it would lead to an increase in reporting environmental crime.
“Crime Stoppers SA is keen to build on our support of government agencies and we are excited at this opportunity to partner with the Department for Environment and
Water,” he said.
“As a charity that has been trusted by South Australians for more than 25 years, we hope our reputation for protecting people’s identity encourages them to anonymously.
share information about environmental crime so we can help authorities to identify those responsible.”
Anyone who wishes to share a tip about an environmental crime can do so anonymously by visiting crimestopperssa.com.au