Warrnambool Senior Sergeant Shane Keogh has been recognised with a Crime Stoppers award for his role in establishing nationwide campaign Dob in a Dealer.
Dob in a Dealer started with Senior Sergeant Keogh in Warrnambool back in 2013, and has since grown to be an Australia-wide program funded by the federal government aiming to stop Australia's supply of illicit drugs, including crystal methylamphetamine (ice), cocaine, MDMA, heroin and cannabis.
"It was a project I implemented back in 2013 to 2014 targeting dealers around drugs, especially methamphetamine which was coming onto the scene at the time, and Crime Stoppers just ran with it and since then it's gone national, it's fantastic," Senior Sergeant Keogh said.
"The success is really in the community, they're the ones that report it."
Thursday marked the last day of the 2018-19 'Dob in a Dealer' campaign.
Latest crime data shows that drug offences have gone up 12 per cent in the year to March in the south-west region.
Senior Sergeant Keogh attributed that increase to the campaign, saying more reporting led to more arrests.
"It's a focus of ours when it's a focus of the community, we use that information to get an arrest," he said.
Warrnambool Inspector Paul Marshall said police had seen a 57 per cent rise in community information reports locally.
"In this campaign we've seen around a 57 per cent increase in community information reports around mid and high-level drug dealing in our area, and that is a fantastic effort from the community and we are really grateful for that," he said.
Simply, more community information reports means more arrests, and that means taking drug dealers off the streets, putting them in custody and the community safety outcomes are greater for it.Warrnambool PSA Inspector Paul Marshall
"Simply, more community information reports means more arrests, and that means taking drug dealers off the streets, putting them in custody and the community safety outcomes are greater for it.
"It's 100 per cent anonymous and we hold that very tight, there's no way that information can get out to anybody.
"We hope we see an increase in community information reports and an increase in drug dealer arrests.
"Drugs are an enormous problem, they're a big problem across a whole lot of community safety outcomes.
"We're not quite on top of it yet, but this campaign is a step in the process."
Senior Sergeant Keogh was presented with the award by Crime Stoppers' Srithar Visuasam at Warrnambool Police Station on Thursday.
"This is an award of appreciation for your pivotal role in the inception of Dob in a Dealer in 2013," Mr Visuasam said.
"We've had two national campaigns since then and the involvement of you in really getting this up and running from Warrnambool has been tremendous and we thank you for your involvement.
"We also really want to thank the community for playing a pivotal role in stopping the illicit drug supply chain."
Anyone with any information can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 for a confidential conversation, report securely online at www.crimestoppersvic.com.au or download the Crime Stoppers app for iPhone or Android.
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