Ballarat community members are being urged to "trust their guts" and play a part in building a safer community for all.
It comes as an independent national survey commissioned by Crime Stoppers Australia - undertaken to better understand the motivations and barriers in relation to sharing information - reveals that up to one in five Australians choose to turn a blind eye to unsolved crime or suspicious activity.
While some respondents with information about illegal activities said the fact they would not need to provide personal details when sharing the information through the platform was encouraging, one in three indicated that rather than sharing the information with authorities, they would prefer to share it with family or friends.
This is a cause of concern for the organisation, which is using National Crime Stoppers Day on May 18 to urge all community members to share information that could help authorities to solve a wide range of crimes.
While more than half of the respondents said they would speak up if they knew something about a crime, 79 per cent of those who said they would prefer to remain quiet attributed their decision to concerns for their safety or for fear of repercussions.
The research also found that some respondents questioned their instinct about picking up the phone or making an online report.
More than half of these people did not think their information was worth sharing, while 36 per cent believed the information was not serious enough to share.
A further 19 per cent indicated that they decided not to share the information as they did not actually know if the act they were considering reporting was illegal.
Crime Stoppers Victoria Chief Executive Stella Smith said such moments of self-doubt meant that potentially critical information about unsolved crime or suspicious activity was not being shared.
"We want people to know that even the most insignificant piece of information might be all it takes for police to solve a crime, and we welcome information about every type of crime, no matter how big or small," she said.
"It may be an overheard conversation, odd neighbourhood comings or goings, or something that just doesn't feel right - and that's the very time that people should listen to their instinct and share what they know with Crime Stoppers without having to worry about getting further involved or going to court.
"We want to empower people by reminding them that Crime Stoppers is here for everyone and every crime, every piece of information can make a difference and a safer community can be achieved by people contacting us."
This was reiterated by Ballarat Inspector Dan Davison, who said police relied on the information they receive from the public.
"Crime Stoppers provides the public with the ability to remain anonymous at the same time as providing information that could well solve a crime," he said.
"The smallest piece of information from the public could be the last piece of the crime jigsaw for a particular case that we have been looking for.
If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't, so 'trust your gut' and give Crime Stoppers a call. Your call helps us keep your community safe.Inspector Dan Davison
"If something doesn't look right, it probably isn't, so 'trust your gut' and give Crime Stoppers a call. Your call helps us keep your community safe."
The survey also asked respondents about the types of crime that were of most concern. The majority, 83 per cent, were worried about becoming a victim of theft or robbery while 43 per cent expressed concern about the role drugs were playing in their community.
The research, conducted by Colmar Brunton in February and March this year, surveyed a group of Australians aged 13 and older, which was followed by a series of focus groups and interviews.
People from non-English speaking backgrounds also participated.
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