IT was the brainchild of a Warrnambool police officer and now the Dob in a Dealer program is being rolled out across Australia.
The idea of Warrnambool senior sergeant Shane Keogh, the program aims to stop the drug ice at its source - dealers, traffickers and manufacturers.
It was rolled out in 15 locations across regional Victoria during 2015 and quickly caught the attention of former Primer Minister Tony Abbott, who committed $1 million to make it a nation initiative.
Senior Sergeant Keogh said Dob in a Dealer was similar to other campaigns run during the 1970s and ‘80s.
He said the idea started with an article in The Standard in 2013 that called on people in the community to “dob in a druggie”.
“After a bit of feedback, including from a solicitor in England who wasn’t so sure about the term druggie, we changed it to Dob in a Dealer,” Senior Sergeant Keogh said.
“The difference between this and other campaigns is Crime Stoppers were involved from the start. It wasn’t just a police program, it involved the community.
“It’s been a co-ordinated and integrated project from the beginning.”
The program initially rolled out to 15 communities in Victoria that were having issues surrounding the use of Methylamphetamine and associated crime.
Crime Stoppers Victoria chief executive officer Samantha Hunter said some wondered if Australians would “dob”, but the service experienced an increase of over 150 per cent in illicit drugs and ice reports throughout the initial Victorian campaign.
She said the program did not place a focus on users, recognising it focused on the people who came into towns, made money and left the misery and suffering behind them.
“It’s a cost-effective program that asks the community to help us,” Ms Hunter said.
“The key law enforcement issue around ice is supply, and this program aims to disrupt that.”
Ms Hunter said any piece of information could assist police in identifying who is manufacturing or dealing in ice or other illicit drugs.
“People often know who the dealers are in their local area, but they should also be on the look-out for suspicious activity, such as high volumes of people visiting one residence,” she said.
Minister for Justice Michael Keenan launched the national program on Monday, saying the program focused on gathering local intelligence and engaging people in helping make communities safer.