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Gardai target crooks with new website

A new Crimestoppers website has been launched -- with the Justice Minister calling for more people to use the helpline.

Minister for Justice Dermot Ahern wants the public to share vital information with gardai on suspicious activities and serious crimes.

The Crimestoppers Trust website aims to increase awareness of appeals for information. The web address is www.crimestoppers.ie.

"The Crimestoppers confidential phone line, which is staffed by specially trained gardai, is playing an increasingly valuable role in fighting crime, and the trust's sponsorship of rewards for vital information on particular crimes has also been invaluable to the gardai in the battle against crime," Mr Ahern said.

"Crimestoppers demonstrates the benefit of business organisations working with the State to tackle crime. It gives people who have information about a crime, but who are afraid to come forward, a safe way to do so and is a valuable tool in the fight about crime".

Quality

Crimestoppers, set up more than 10 years ago, is a partnership between the Garda Siochana, the Department of Justice, Equality and Law Reform and business organisations.

Assistant Garda Commissioner Louis Harkin said it was the quality, not the quantity, of calls to the line that was important.

"Just one call can be sufficient to provide vital assistance to an investigation," he said.

Crimestoppers chairman Tim Dalton stressed that while the new website would inform the public about investigations, it was not an alternative way to contact the service with information on crime.

He urged more businesses to support Crimestoppers.

"The backing of our business sponsors is essential," he said.

"To meet the demand for the service we do need to raise more funds so I am calling on businesses and representative organisations who are interested in helping fight crime to support our efforts".

Crimestoppers can be contacted in confidence on 1800 25 00 25.

aphelan@herald.ie