A Prickly Problem – Sales of cacti causing havoc for people, pets, and parks

Cactus plants are popular potted and garden plants. They have an appealing aesthetic, are easy to grow, and thrive on neglect and so what’s not to love?

But certain cactus plants can harm people, pets and parks and it’s important to know what you are buying before you make that purchase.

Prickly pears are fleshy-stemmed cacti with sharp spines or barbed bristles that detach easily from the plants and lodge in skin and eyes. The bristles and spines can injure people as well impale, infect, blind, and even kill native animals, pets, working dogs and livestock. When the plants get out into the environment, they can form impenetrable walls of vegetation that prevent animals from grazing and from accessing shade and water. These types of cacti also reduce the natural beauty of our parks and outdoor areas. That’s why it is illegal to sell or swap them in NSW.

There are more than 27 species of prickly pear cacti known to be in Australia. Eve’s needle, bunny ears, smooth tree pear and blind cactus are all types of that unfortunately are still being traded. NSW Crime Stoppers, Local Land Services and the NSW Department of Primary Industries have joined forces and are calling for the community to help with two simple messages:  Do not sell or swap these plants and if you see them being sold, report it.

“Many people may not know the cacti they see for sale at their local market or online are illegal to sell or trade so we have developed information to help people identify the types of cacti.  If you have one of these plants do not sell or swap them.  These cactus infestations cost millions of dollars to control.  Stopping the spread is the only way to minimise the devastating impact these plants can cause,” said CEO, NSW Crime Stoppers, Mr Peter Price AM.

“Community awareness and action will be crucial in preventing the prohibited selling or swapping of these plants.  We are asking anyone who sees these plants being sold online to report it to NSW Crime Stoppers”, added Mr Price.

Spring usually brings an increase in plant sales, so we are appealing to the public to be on the lookout for trade of these plants, particularly online.  On the spot fines of $1,000 and penalties of up to $220,000 can apply if someone is found to be selling or swapping certain types of cacti in NSW.

You can help protect people, pets, and parks. If you see these plants being sold, please report it to NSW Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au. We don’t need to know who you are, we just want to know what you know.

For a complete list of plants prohibited from sale or swap in NSW click here.  A fact sheet is also available at https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au/ 

MEDIA RELEASE: Keeping children safe in the online playground

New research commissioned by NSW Crime Stoppers has found many parents do not believe or believe it’s unlikely that their child is at risk of being contacted by a stranger online.

The survey*, conducted with over 1,000 parents across Australia, looked at the attitudes and behaviours of parents regarding their child’s online activity. While over 93% of parents were concerned about a stranger approaching their child online, the study found 16.7% of parents thought their child was not at risk at all of being contacted by a stranger online and a further 26.5% thought it was unlikely.

In the lead up to National Child Protection Week run by NAPCAN, NSW Crime Stoppers has once again partnered with the eSafety Commissioner to firmly focus on promoting awareness of the dangers of the online playground and how to create a safer environment for children.

During 2020, the eSafety Commissioner’s (eSafety) Cyber Report team received 21,000 public reports, the majority of which involved child sexual abuse material. This was the most in the scheme’s 20-year history and a 90 per cent increase compared to 2019.

“Unwanted contact, grooming and child sexual abuse online continues to be a devastating issue, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic,” explains CEO, NSW Crime Stoppers, Mr Peter Price AM.

“Many parents would not leave their child alone in a playground and we want parents to think the same about the online playground. The internet is not ‘fenced off’ like in a community playground and even with parental controls, sexual predators can still find ways to connect with children online.  Until we can build a safe online playground for our children, we just ask parents to be vigilant around their child’s online activity and report anything you see, hear or suspect,” added Mr Price.

eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman Grant, says that while they have seen big increases across all their reporting areas, parents should be aware, not alarmed.

“We’ve all turned to the internet during this pandemic to help us continue to work, learn, communicate and be entertained but with all this extra time we are spending online, often unsupervised, the risk that something can go wrong increases too,” said Ms Inman Grant.

“Parents and guardians have a role to play in keeping children safe online and we encourage parents and guardians to be actively involved in their children’s online lives. This can include ensuring children use devices in open areas of the home, talking regularly with children about the potential dangers online and helping them build the critical reasoning skills they need to make good decisions.”

The NSW Police Force (NSWPF) acknowledges the importance of National Child Protection Week and continues to support this initiative by not only bringing awareness to child protection, but also by encouraging children, young people, and their families to reach out for help if they need assistance, especially during this current pandemic.

“We acknowledge it has been another difficult year for children, families and communities dealing with COVID-19 and being isolated can leave many of our children more susceptible and vulnerable to victimisation. Children are spending more time online and this can place them at a higher risk of being targeted by online predators; and some may also be subjected to domestic and family violence or feel vulnerable in terms of mental health,” NSWPF Youth Sponsor, Assistant Commissioner Gelina Talbot said.

“We all have a responsibility to ensure children and young people in the community are safe, protected and supported, and are able to succeed in life without fear of harm and exploitation. This week provides us with an opportunity to highlight the issues children face and collaborate with others to enhance our response to keeping families and children safe and supported.”

Crime Stoppers, in conjunction with eSafety, has developed a Fact Sheet which has information on a range of prevention strategies to help keep children safe online. This can be downloaded at www.nsw.crimestoppers.com.au or for information and tips on how to keep your child safe online to go esafety.gov.au/parents

Protect your child’s privacy: esafety.gov.au/parents/skills-advice/privacy-child

Find reporting links for social media services, games and apps: esafety.gov.au/esafety-guide

Protect your child from unwanted contact: esafety.gov.au/parents/big-issues/unwanted-contact

Child sexual abuse material can be reported anonymously to the eSafety Commissioner at www.esafety.gov.au/reportillegalcontent

If you have seen inappropriate behaviour towards child online, including online grooming and unwanted contact, please make a report to the Australian Centre to Counter Child Exploitation (ACCCE) at www.accce.gov.au/report. There is no information too small or insignificant to report.

In an emergency, always call Triple 0 (000).

MEDIA RELEASE Show us your guns: NSW residents encouraged to surrender or register guns as part of permanent firearms amnesty

Issued at 5am, Friday 2 July 2021

NSW Police Force and Crime Stoppers are calling for residents to register or surrender illegal firearms and ammunition without being penalised for illegal possession, as part of the first ever permanent national amnesty.

Crime Stoppers and police across the country are giving Australians a chance to surrender for destruction unwanted or unregistered firearms, parts, and ammunition at no cost and without penalty for illegal possession.

Our ultimate aim is for safer communities, and this starts with the safe storage of firearms, and the handing in of illegal firearms and ammunition. Taking illegal guns out of the community can never be a bad thing.

The amnesty coincides with the launch of Gun Safe – a new online portal for managing firearms transactions in NSW.  Designed with community safety top of mind, this platform is the first of its kind replacing manual licence applications with real time information and verification.

The portal will be linked to the acquisition of firearms in NSW and disposal of firearms locally and interstate.  This risk-based system notifies the registry of unusual or unverified transactions which will reduce risk of harm in the community.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the introduction of a permanent national amnesty sends a clear message that community safety is paramount.

“This new permanent amnesty will allow community members to surrender for destruction unwanted or unregistered firearms and ammunition cost free,” said Mr Elliott.

“Gun safe, the new online portal will ensure that all firearms transactions are accounted for, giving the community peace of mind that police can access real time information when it comes to guns to help prevent crime and keep our communities safe.”

Assistant Commissioner Scott Cook, the Police Prosecutions and Licensing Enforcement Commander, is encouraging gun owners to surrender or register their firearms.

“We encourage NSW residents to take advantage of the amnesty to surrender their firearms, gun parts and ammunition, without fear of being penalised for illegal possession.”

“Our focus, as always, is public safety. We want to reduce the number of illegal firearms in the community, so they don’t fall into the hands of criminals, who use unregistered firearms for intimidation and violence,” said Assistant Commissioner Cook.

Crime Stoppers CEO Peter Price AM said, “these initiatives are moving towards a more community centric approach to firearms and safety.   Previously, firearms amnesties had a definitive time frame, but we understand that some members of the community might change their minds about handing in illegal firearms, so we want to give them the opportunity to do so anytime, anywhere.”

“All of us have seen the harm that is caused by the unlawful use of a firearm and the impact on community confidence that often follows, which is why we all have a part to play in making our community safer – that’s our aim,” Mr Price said.

Participating dealers can now accept and record unregistered firearms through the NSW Police Force’s new Gun Safe platform. Dealers using the digital platform can register firearms, prohibited weapons, gun parts and ammunition under the Amnesty.

“For firearm dealers, Gun Safe provides enhanced recording and reporting functions, and real-time information about firearms on the system,” said Assistant Commissioner Cook.

“The new amnesty enhances the services available to dealers on Gun Safe including more transactions, beyond buying and selling of registered firearms.”

“For police, the system gives us more oversight, so we know when, where and how amnesty guns are being handed in.”

More information about the amnesty and surrendering, registering or selling unwanted firearms is available from crimestoppers.com.au/firearmsamnesty

Residents currently under stay-at-home orders in Greater Sydney, Blue Mountains, Wollongong, Shellharbour and Central Coast will need to monitor the government advice on the NSW Health website to ensure they are legally able to hand in their firearms. Currently, handing in firearms does not meet the criteria of a reasonable excuse.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to contact Crime Stoppers: 1800 333 000 or https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.  Information is treated in strict confidence. The public is reminded not to report information via NSW Police social media pages.

Regional Crime

“Draw the line on regional crime” is the central message to the new Regional Crime Campaign being launched today.

In NSW, over 80% of farmers have reported being a victim of crime according to new research by the Centre for Rural Criminology, University of New England.  Even more critical is the high levels of repeat victimisation, with over 76% of farmers being a victim of crime on more than two occasions, and over 23% experiencing crime more than seven times*.

Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police Force are launching a state-wide crime campaign today (Monday 5 April 2021) to address awareness of regional crimes, prevention measures and to increase reporting to Crime Stoppers and the police.

Regional crime can affect individual’s finances and safety directly but can also have a more widespread impact on the prosperity of the town and its people.  In regional areas, the perception of a community, its safety, its people, and its economic situation can affect tourism, impact on its attraction of high-quality health professionals or teachers and other essential service providers.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Crimes in regional areas have a flow on effect, impacting pricing, distribution, and availability of produce everywhere.

The campaign will provide information on how regional communities can deter or prevent crime in their area while encouraging everyone to report crime.  The message to the NSW community is: Any information on any crime anytime. 

The Crime Stoppers contact centre operates 24/7, 365 days a year and all information captured is in complete confidence.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott is urging regional residents to report any piece of information no matter how small to Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police.

“It’s disheartening to hear over 80 per cent of our farmers have reported being victims of criminal activity. Our farmers have had a shocking few years with drought, bush fires, COVID-19 and floods – adding victim of crime to the mix is reprehensible.” Mr Elliott said.

“We’re calling on the NSW community to report any information on any crime anytime. If you know something, say something.”

“We’ve seen firsthand the resilience of our farmers but I draw the line on regional crime.”

CEO, NSW Crime Stoppers, Peter Price AM said “We don’t want to know who you are; we just want to know what you know,”

“Today we are launching a campaign to draw the line on regional crime.  Crime Stoppers is calling for a whole of community approach to draw the line on crime and adopt better prevention strategies and be on the lookout for any suspicious behaviour.   The result will be a better, more prosperous future and healthier communities that thrive,” added Mr Price.

Crime Stoppers is working with the NSW Police Force Rural Crime Prevention Team and the Police Transport and Public Safety Command across a range of major crime areas including stock theft and marine theft and poaching.

Stock theft, as one example, has a significant financial impact on our farmers. Between 2015 and 2020, there has been a conservative estimated value of $22.5m worth of sheep and cattle reported stolen within NSW.  If we consider the value of stud stock, loss of animal by-products and loss of future breeding potential, the financial impact on primary producers within NSW could realistically be over $60m*.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Brett Greentree, Corporate Sponsor for Rural Crime, NSW Police Force says it is important to work together to protect farmers.

“Rural crime has no borders and police across Australia are working together to protect the livelihood of our farmers against offenders who target them,” said Acting Assistant Commissioner Greentree.

“Our farmers have already suffered through drought, bushfires and floods and we will not accept people stealing from them or making them feel vulnerable in their own home.  We urge you to call Crime Stoppers or your local police with any information.”

The theft and poaching of oysters and rock lobster, and the illegal harvest and trade of abalone, is having a detrimental effect on the industry, threatening the future of legitimate seafood businesses and retailers.  It also affects marine resources, tourism and business and can lead to a higher risk of contamination if not processed in accordance with safe food handling practices.

Assistant Commissioner Peter Cotter APM, Commander of the Police Transport and Public Safety Command said crime in the marine space is also leading to an even greater risk to the wider community.

“In many cases, the fabric and economic stability of a country community is associated with its local marine environment.  The waterways are kind to us, they sustain us, and they give us food, but it all must be done legally and with diligence to the environment,” said Assistant Commissioner Cotter.

“Those breaking the law and fishing without legitimacy or licences are committing criminal acts. It is up to all of us – the community, and the police – to work together, report and disrupt this crime, and ensure the future of the waterways and the prosperity and culture of the community.”

The newly launched community awareness campaign will run state-wide for a 12-month period.  Crime Stoppers will be visiting regional communities to engage with communities in an effort to help reduce crime and increase reporting.

Crime in regional areas is not new, however it continues to be a growing area of concern for the whole of NSW, not just the farming community and therefore it needs a whole of community approach.

  • You can help by reporting anything suspicious, strange, or concerning.
  • Any piece of information, anything you have seen or heard, may be crucial in preventing or solving a crime.
  • Call or click Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000/ nsw.crimestoppers.com.au
  • For a crime in progress call Triple Zero (000). Save Triple Zero for Emergencies (000)

*Source:  NSW Farmers Survey, data analysis February 2021, Centre for Rural Criminology, University of New England.’

 

Crime Stoppers (NSW) partners with free community register to tackle bike theft

With advancements in bike technology and some bikes now worth more cars, bikes are hot property, not just for bike lovers, but for thieves.

Bike sales are sitting at $1.2 million annually and this year has seen the demand surge by 60% compared to last year.  Much of this has been brought on by COVID-19 with people wanting to move around in a COVID safe way as well as seeking a safe form of exercise for families.  This demand has led to a shortage and put bikes on the radar for thieves to sell in the buoyant used bike market.

Crime Stoppers has partnered with BikeVault and Bicycle NSW to help reduce theft and increase the chances of stolen bikes being recovered.

BikeVault – a national online bike platform originally launched in 2015, is a free community service where bike owners can store their bike’s details. So, in case it’s stolen and recovered, the bike can be tracked and returned to the owner. Combining the forces of industry Crime Stoppers works with the Police, bike owners and the wider community – to expose and defeat the illicit trade in stolen bikes.

Additionally, when buying a used bike, you can check to see if the bike you are buying is stolen property, ie. chain of custody.

In the unfortunate event a bike is stolen, online support can assist owners in finding their bike and increase the odds of its recovery by police.  A major part of bike recovery it’s the online community which helps bring awareness to the stolen bikes by having spotters who trawl for and report stolen bikes found for sale online and at less reputable retail premises.

The power of an informed community cannot be overestimated.  Prior to the launch of this register, stolen bikes were easy to sell for quick profits with perpetrators having little fear of the stolen bike being identified and them being caught.  Removing the pathways to safely sell and profit from stolen property is the ultimate deterrent to profit driven theft.

A resident from Westmead, Dave, had his bike stolen from a locker whereby the thief used a crowbar to break it free.  “I entered my bike’s details on Bike Vault and the Police portal. Several weeks later, someone saw my bike for sale, realised it was stolen and reported it.  Thanks to the Police and the online community I managed to get my bike back.  I would recommend anyone who owns a bike to make sure they register their bike’s details.  You will have a much better chance of having it recovered”.

“We want to encourage all bike owners to use this free service for your bike, increase its identification to deter thieves and make it easier to recover.  If you are thinking of buying a bike check online before you purchase a bike to ensure it isn’t stolen and please report stolen bikes.  With the community working together we can prevent and reduce crime in our community”, said NSW Crime Stoppers, CEO, Mr Peter Price AM.

Crime Stoppers, BikeVault and Bicycle NSW will be working together on a dedicated campaign to garner a groundswell of community support and action to reduce bike theft.

More information or to enter your bike’s identification details can be found at: https://www.bikevault.com.au

 

-ends-

For more information:

NSW Crime Stoppers: Public Affairs: Cecelia Haddad: 0411 264 948

 

About BikeVAULT

BikeVAULT part of the PropertyVAULT suite of free to use asset registers is the leading national online platform to combat bike theft – providing digital lifecycle asset identification and ownership protection.

 

About Bicycle NSW

Bicycle NSW is the peak advocacy body for people who ride bikes in NSW. Its mission is to: Create a better environment for all bicycle riders.

Road users called on to report drink, drug-affected, dangerous and distracted drivers, as part of new campaign

Issued at 5am, Tuesday 1 December 2020

NSW Police and Crime Stoppers NSW are calling on road users to report drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving on roads across the state as part of a new safety campaign.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Command and Crime Stoppers will be joined by Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, and Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, to launch the Four Ds (drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving) campaign today (Tuesday 1 December 2020).

The campaign is focused on enlisting the community’s help to crack down on the Four Ds to prevent crashes and keep loved ones safe.

Minister for Police and Emergency Services, David Elliott, said dangerous driving is unacceptable and the NSW Government is determined to highlight the concerning behaviour.

“This Government is committed to community safety and we know that the 4Ds – drink, drug, dangerous and distracted driving are a significant contributor to deaths on our roads. The people of NSW have been through enough this year, we want to see everyone enjoy the Christmas and New Year periods with family without tragedy or chaos,” Mr Elliott said.

“This behaviour is deplorable and we’re determined to help put a stop to it once and for all. The NSW Police Force and Crime Stoppers initiative reminds us all that we each contribute to safety on our roads.”

280 people have died on NSW roads so far this year (from 1 January 2020 to 26 November 2020), with speed a factor in 28 percent of cases, drugs a factor in 20 percent, 16 percent alcohol-related.

Traffic and Highway Patrol Commander Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb said more people will be using NSW roads in coming weeks with borders reopening and the Christmas holidays period approaching.

“Keeping the public safe is our top priority. We’re asking for you to help us protect yourselves, loved ones and the community on NSW roads. If you see or know anyone who is drink, drug, dangerous or distracted driving, please report it to Crime Stoppers and we will investigate,” said Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb.

“Our message to motorists breaking the law is clear: someone is watching you now and you will get caught,” said Assistant Commissioner Karen Webb.

Assistant Commissioner Webb has highlighted some ways road users can report the Four Ds without jeopardising their own safety or breaking the law:

  • Use a passenger to record the time of the incident and the registration of the driver’s vehicle.
  • If possible, keep dashcam vision of the incident and provide it to Crime Stoppers or police.
  • If it’s an emergency – where there is a threat to life or someone’s safety – please call Triple Zero (000) through a passenger, hands-free, or pull over somewhere safe.
  • If it’s not an emergency, contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

The CEO of Crime Stoppers NSW Peter Price AM said he hopes the community’s involvement will help improve safety and accountability on NSW roads.

“Never before have we asked the community to report these crimes and Crime Stoppers NSW is the first, not only in Australia, but around the world, to initiate this campaign,” said Crime Stoppers NSW CEO, Peter Price AM, said.

“This is one of the most important campaigns we have ever embarked upon. These traffic issues are an offence and these offences often lead to innocent people being injured or killed which is absolutely devastating for their families,” Mr Price said.

“We are counting on the community’s strong relationship with us to contact Crime Stoppers and make our roads safer for everyone,” he said.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said the community’s support could help to save lives.

“Everyone has the right to get home safely to their loved ones at night. Reporting dangerous behaviour on our roads could be the difference between life and death.”

“We’ve already seen far too many people killed and seriously injured in road trauma this year. We need everyone in the community to help us put a stop to this tragedy and trauma.”

Issued by NSW Police Force Media Unit (02) 8263 6100
Authorised by A/C Webb, THPC
(Ref:af:meddocs/medrel/2020/November/THPCFourDs.YES.061120)

JOINING FORCES TO STOP SCOURGE OF DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Joining Forces To Stop Scourge Of Domestic Violence

Call the police if you see or hear domestic violence – that’s the clear message from the NSW Government, Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police as a new joint TV advertising campaign begins on commercial networks.

Attorney General and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic Violence Mark Speakman said the six-week campaign comes after five women were killed in domestic violence murders across NSW in the last eight weeks.

“The brutal killings of these innocent women are just another tragic reminder of this terrible scourge – the latest victim was only 18 years old,” Mr Speakman said.

“I’m calling on the community to be a lifeline for these victims. When you know there’s an emergency happening next door which requires an urgent police response, don’t hesitate.

“Your phone call could be the difference between that woman living and that woman dying.”

Minister for Police and Emergency Services David Elliott said the dedicated men and women in blue need the community to be their eyes and ears across our neighbourhoods.

“Police do an incredible job responding to emergencies 24/7, and domestic violence call-outs can be some of the most violent and volatile scenes they confront,” Mr Elliott said.

“But they can’t respond if they don’t know what’s happening. That’s why we’ve joined Crime Stoppers and police to ensure domestic violence is reported so police can attend, arrest perpetrators and ultimately save lives.”

Crime Stoppers CEO Peter Price AM said home should be the safest place on the planet, offering solace to families – but sadly for some, it can instead become a living nightmare.

“Our mandate is for a safer NSW, which is why we continue to deploy our resources in the best way possible to make it safer for all, irrespective of age, race, or religion,” Mr Price said.

“Crime Stoppers promotes ‘good neighbourly behaviour’, so please look after your neighbour because you never know when they might be picking up the phone to help you one day.”

NSW Police Domestic Violence Corporate Spokesperson, Assistant Commissioner Mark Jones, said police respond to thousands of domestic violence incidents each year.

“Officers are responding proactively to domestic violence more than ever, with Domestic Violence Liaison Officers in every command and High Risk Offender Teams in every region holding perpetrators to account and protecting victims,” Assistant Commissioner Jones said.

“But we need the public’s help. If you know that someone is in immediate danger, if their life is being threatened, then pick up the phone immediately and report to police.”

This ad campaign builds on the NSW Government’s ongoing commitment to reduce domestic and family violence, including the recent NSW and Commonwealth investment of more than $21 million to boost frontline services in response to COVID-19.

The ads can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/user/CrimeStoppersNSW and will run across all commercial networks and their catch-up counterparts from today, as well as SBS, social media and in doctors’ surgeries across the state.

For more information about Triple Zero (000) and other reporting pathways including Crime Stoppers NSW, visit https://www.triplezero.gov.au/triple-zero/home.

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MEDIA:
Brooke Eggleton | Attorney General | 0437 472 455
Mike Morrow | Minister Elliott | 0408 937 179

Prohibited Plant Trading

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Blitz Against Environmental Crime

**Editor’s Note: For further information please contact Crime Stoppers Media Officer, Cecelia Haddad, [email protected] or phone 0411 264 948**

A new state-wide environmental crime campaign by Crime Stoppers is being launched to address the ongoing issue of crimes having a devastating effect on our waterways.

For the first time Crime Stoppers has collaborated with both Local Land Services (LLS) and the NSW Department of Primary Industries (DPI) on a dedicated campaign to address the illegal trading of certain plants catastrophic to our waterways.

Plants like water hyacinth, frogbit and salvinia are illegal to trade and devastating to our environment.  These plants grow at a rapid rate, block waterways, reduce water quality and can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars to control.  They restrict livestock, birds and other native animals’ access to water, reduce food and shelter for fish and native animals and prevent native water plants from growing.

But it doesn’t stop there.  These water plants also put the economy and our community at risk.

“Boating, fishing and swimming will be a thing of the past if we don’t stop the growing and trading of plants which cause havoc in our waterways”, said CEO NSW Crime Stoppers, Mr Peter Price AM.

With spring fast approaching, the rapidly expanding online marketplace has become an emerging pathway for the prohibited trade of plants, and a biosecurity challenge.  It is an offence just to have frogbit plants because of the devastating impact that species can have.  So, we are appealing to the public for help.

“Community awareness and action will be crucial in stopping the prohibited trading of these plants.  We are asking anyone who sees these plants being sold online to report it to NSW Crime Stoppers. added Mr Price.

“To make a real difference and protect our waterways, we need a whole of community approach. People are spending time online and this is where most illegal trading of these plants occurs’, said Mr Price.

Local government authorities and the Nursery & Garden Industry NSW & ACT are also supporting the campaign.

Penalties of up to $1.1 million or 3 years imprisonment are in place for individuals found to be selling these plants.

If you see, know or suspect criminal activity, contact Crime Stoppers in complete confidence on 1800 333 000 or report online at https://nsw.crimestoppers.com.au.  We don’t want to know who you are, we just want to know what you know.

For more information about the three targeted weed species visit https://weeds.dpi.nsw.gov.au

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For further information, photos or interviews please contact Crime Stoppers Media Officer, Cecelia Haddad, [email protected] or phone 0411 264 948.

Child Protection

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MEDIA RELEASE

Crime Stoppers and NSW Police Force join
the eSafety Commissioner to keep children safer
online

Issued at 1.30pm, Sunday 27th October 2019

**Editor’s Note: For further information please contact Crime Stoppers Media Officer, Cecelia Haddad, [email protected] or phone 0411 264 948**

Crime Stoppers and the NSW Police Force have joined forces with the eSafety Commissioner to launch a Child Protection campaign to combat child sexual abuse and unwanted contact online.

The campaign will run as a pilot in NSW and is the first time a joint initiative between Crime Stoppers/Police and eSafety has taken place. Aimed at parents and carers, the education and awareness campaign will focus on two key crime areas: child sexual abuse material and unwanted contact online.

Child sexual abuse material is rife on the internet.

In the 2018-2019 financial year, eSafety’s Cyber Report Team finalised statutory investigations into more than 8,000 images and videos depicting child sexual abuse. Over 99 percent of these investigations were completed within two business days and notified to the Australian Federal Police or the INHOPE network.

Crime Stoppers, the NSW Police Force and eSafety are asking the community to be vigilant online. If someone suspects or sees something related to online child sexual abuse it should be reported immediately so action can be taken.

Predators are increasingly gaining access to children online through popular apps, games and social media sites to solicit sexual images or video, or harm them physically.

Research by eSafety has revealed 1 in 4 young people have been contacted by a stranger online. The joint campaign will help parents and carers understand the warning signs of unwanted contact, protect their child’s privacy online, and to report suspicious activity.

Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety and the Arts, the Hon Paul Fletcher said the campaign is an important initiative to encourage parents and carers to consider the online safety of children in their care.

“The online safety of children is a shared responsibility – everyone has a role to play in combatting predatory behaviour online, such as unwanted and harmful contact from strangers. There’s a clear obligation on companies to design, develop and deploy all their products and services with user safety in mind, but I also urge all parents and carers to educate themselves about the risks children can face when using the internet. The information available through the eSafety Commissioner, NSW Police and Crime Stoppers as part of this campaign are valuable resources to help parents and carers have much needed conversations with the children in their lives about staying safe online.”

The eSafety Commissioner, Ms Julie Inman Grant, wants everyone to be more aware of the dangers to children online, and the strategies for reducing risks and reporting suspect online behaviour.

“Child abuse and exploitation can happen online. The predator could be a stranger, online ‘friends’ your child has not met face-to-face, or someone they actually know. We are asking parents to talk to their child before a predator does and make sure that parents are armed with the right responses & strategies”, said Ms Inman Grant.

NSW Crime Stoppers CEO, Peter Price AM, said we cannot underestimate the valuable contribution the community plays in helping to stop, solve and prevent crime.

“Reporting these crimes enable authorities to shut down the illegal content and catch the offenders. We are asking parents to closely monitor their child’s online activity. If they see or suspect anything of a suspicious or uncomfortable nature, say something”, said CEO, NSW Crime Stoppers, Mr Peter Price AM.

Crime Stoppers in conjunction with eSafety have developed a series of Education Fact Sheets on its website, www.nsw.crimestoppers.com.au for parents and carers to download. The Fact Sheets will provide more detailed information on reporting child sexual abuse material and prevention strategies to keep children safe online.

“With many crimes there are usually witnesses but online crimes happen in the privacy of a child’s phone or computer. We rely on parents and carers to report what they see or know. A preferred outcome is prevention, so parents please monitor your child’s online activity and educate them on how to spot the danger signs,” Price said.

“We know that a whole-of-community approach is necessary to effectively tackle criminal behaviour.”

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About the eSafety Commissioner
The eSafety Commissioner (eSafety) is Australia’s national independent regulator for online safety. It helps Australians have safer experiences online through a range of prevention and education resources, as well as legislative complaints schemes to report serious cyberbullying, image-based abuse and illegal content.

Cyber Crime

MEDIA RELEASE

Crime Stoppers welcomes “community version” of powerful enterprise payment verification system to protect small businesses from payment fraud.

At a time when Australian small business has never been more vulnerable to cyber fraud and scams, Crime Stoppers welcomes the launch of an anti-cybercrime initiative to help the Australian small business community protect itself from cyber scams and payment fraud.

Australian Fintech company, eftsure, has developed a community version of its powerful enterprise payment verification system, as part of “giving back” during this tough time.

Crime Stoppers believes this ‘Check who you’re paying service” will help to fight cybercrime by allowing any business, in just a few clicks, to verify who they’re paying before they pay. It’s not the full enterprise version but within a few easy steps it will protect small business from fraud.

The Problem:

Cybercrime is a trillion dollar-a-year global problem and has been estimated to cost Australian businesses nearly $30BN per annum*.

COVID19 has given cyber scammers and fraudsters new opportunities with pandemic themed content and angles of attack, one of which is the vulnerability of staff working from home and the heightened risk of dispersed finance teams due to weakened financial control environments, non-routine processes and IT security.

Business Email Compromise (BEC) is the fastest growth area of cybercrime which typically results in financial loss through payment fraud.

In a digitally connected world and supply chain, where identity theft is easy, it’s difficult to know who is on the other end of the computer sending you critical information such as bank account details for payment.

Fraudsters are exploiting a gap in the banking system which does NOT MATCH payee names to account numbers at time of processing. The “Check who you’re paying” service DOES MATCH payee names to account numbers to ensure the funds will be received by the intended recipient.

 

 

The Solution:

Now Australian small business owners can use a “free community version” of the “Check who you’re paying” service to conduct similar checks of supplier information that eftsure provides to its enterprise customers.

eftsure’s Know-Your-Payee enterprise solution protects over $3 billion of payments each month.

Peter Price AM, Crime Stoppers CEO said: “We are very pleased to assist in bringing this opportunity to the business community. Business is challenging at the moment and earnings need to be tightly managed and protected. Businesses, now more than ever, can’t afford to lose money through deception. This system enables a free verification check of who they are sending their hard-earned cash to.”

PwC’s 2020 Global Economic Crime and Fraud Survey reveals that over a third of Australian organisations experienced fraud or another type of economic crime within the last two years. 22 per cent of Australian respondents to the survey reported they lost over $7 million in that time period, and some lost more than $140 million. Further, Australian respondents reported 56 per cent of incidents were perpetrated by external factors including hackers and organised crime syndicates, higher than the global result of 39 per cent.

Mark Rigby, PwC Consulting Partner, says “Both internal and external fraud are particularly prevalent during downturns. It’s important for organisations to be even more vigilant as they look to manage disruption to business processes, controls and working conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic that present malicious perpetrators greater opportunities to commit fraud via digital means.”

Founder of eftsure, Ian Mirels CA, said “Prompted by both the rapid rise in cybercrime and the increase in businesses vulnerability due to COVID-19, eftsure fast-tracked the development of the “Check Who You’re Paying” service to provide more businesses protection from invoice frauds and email scams at a time when they need it most. We see this as our ability to do some social good in this tough time. The service allows SME owners, start-ups and smaller finance teams access to certain functionality of eftsure’s cutting edge tech used by the top companies in Australia to prevent payment risk. While this service is being offered during the COVID-19 period its ongoing availability will be reassessed when teams across Australia move back to centralised work environment versus a dispersed one. The “Check who you’re paying” service is in line with eftsure’s long-term mission to help finance teams mitigate fraud through automation and streamlined processes.”

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https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/reports-and-pubs/files/cyber-security-strategy-2020-discussion-paper.pdf

For more information: NSW Crime Stoppers: Public Affairs: Cecelia Haddad: 0411 264 948