Crime Stoppers Queensland says cash rewards for information on bikies are doing little to encourage people to call their hotline with information.
Queensland’s Crime Stoppers has paid out just $1150 in bounty despite being allocated $5 million from taxpayers in reward funding almost a year ago.
In October 2013, Police Minister Jack Dempsey announced the money would be paid over 12 months in additional reward payments for information about criminal gangs or bikies.
But 11 months on, Crime Stoppers Queensland has announced its first, and only, reward of $1150 which led to the arrests of two people over the seizure of weapons and illegal substances.
“It’s very low but that’s still considerably higher than what Crime Stoppers would normally pay for the same type of result,” chief executive Trevor O’Hara told AAP without detailing the alleged crime behind the payout.
“It’s the first one that anyone’s actually claimed.”
Mr O’Hara said callers to the hotline weren’t usually motivated by money.
“Not many people claim the cash reward,” he said.
“The cash incentive is not … a significant force in the encouragement of people to report.”
Last year, the Queensland government announced that cash payments of up to $20,000 could be made for information leading to the arrests of criminals involved with firearms, dangerous drugs, extortion and robbery.
This included cash rewards of $1000 which led to a successful raid on drug labs, which uncovered guns, ammunition or other weapons.
Cash rewards of up to $500,000 were also offered if a successful prosecution closed a criminal gang.
Since the government’s funding announcement, 124 people have been arrested over drug, property and weapons offences, with 22 of them linked to a criminal group.
Mr O’Hara said he was not disappointed that only one cash reward had been paid out.
“It’s not something that we focus on,” he said.
A spokeswoman for Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the state would retain the unused funds earmarked for Crime Stoppers.
“Any unused allocation remains in the Queensland government’s consolidated funds,” she told AAP in a statement.