Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Media man a crime buster, by Kelly Ryan - Herald Sun - 9th June 2008

Putting the finger on crime for more than 20 years has won Herald Sun journalist Geoff Wilkinson a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

The senior investigative reporter has been recognised for his services to crime prevention, particularly through the establishment of the Crime Stoppers program.

The program began in Victoria in 1987 - when Wilkinson was media director for Victoria Police - and was later adopted by all Australian states and territories.

Nationally, calls have led to more than 45,000 arrests, 125,000 charges and the recovery of drugs and stolen property worth over $900 million.

Wilkinson said that his award was "recognition and acknowledgment of the efforts of a lot of people over a long period.

"Crime Stoppers is a simple concept, but it needed the support of police, media and the community to make it work as well as it has," he said.

Wilkinson has bagged many prestige journalism awards, including the Victoria Law Foundation's Reporter of the Year in 2002 and 2007 and News Limited's Specialist Writer of the Year in 2006, as well as three Melbourne Press Club Quill Awards.

But Wilkinson said Crime Stoppers was his most important achievement.