Criminals are on notice this week with the start of the latest Border Watch awareness campaign encouraging Australians to flag all suspicious or illegal border related activity.
For 20 years Border Watch (formerly called Customs Watch and Customs Hotline) has provided members of the public and industry the means to contribute to the Australian Border Force’s (ABF’s) intelligence gathering and investigation efforts.
The Minister for Home Affairs Peter Dutton said Australia has one of the largest and most challenging border environments in the world, which is why Border Watch is so important.
“Information provided by the public is often the missing link that leads to successful ABF operations,” Mr Dutton said.
“Border Watch currently receives more than 52,000 reports each year from industry and members of the community.
“We want to make sure this continues with all members of the public encouraged to flag suspicious border activity with Border Watch. Even the smallest piece of information can lead to significant ABF results.”
Border Watch referrals have led to the detection and seizure of dangerous drugs, firearms, currency, wildlife, investigations into illegal worker exploitation and the removal of visa overstayers.
For example, in the six months to December last year, Border Watch received in excess of 21,500 referrals, which led to over 1.4 tonnes of drugs and precursors being seized and thousands of potential immigration and citizenship breaches identified.
“We’ve seen fantastic results since Border Watch was launched. It has been a proven method in stemming the flow of drugs, weapons and other prohibited goods across the border,” Mr Dutton said.
“What these results tell us is something that we’ve always known. The Australian public care about safety, they are concerned for their communities and they won’t stand for illicit activities.
“Our latest awareness campaign will help get the message out. If you see something unusual, if you see something suspicious, if it doesn’t feel right, contact Border Watch.”
Flag it anonymously with Border Watch at australia.gov.au/borderwatch
Source credit: CBFCA