Most-wanted list `key' for police

TASMANIA Police may be missing out on useful crime fighting tool by not publishing a most- wanted list.

Tasmania is the only state or territory besides the ACT that does not publish a standing most- wanted persons' list.

Crime Stoppers Victoria chief executive Samantha Hunter said there were "massive" benefits in having a well publicised most- wanted list.

The organisation in conjunction with Victoria Police publishes a list of more than 100 wanted people on its website.

It also runs monthly half-page ads in the Herald Sun listing wanted crooks.

"We've got about an 80 per cent arrest rate on our monthly page," she said.

"We do a lot of parole absconders, people with warrants out for serious assaults and crimes we consider as serious ... it's not `someone stole Aunty Milly's knickers off the line'."

Tasmania Police compiles an internal statewide "target list" of criminals or groups considered a threat to public safety.

"We do a lot of parole absconders, people with warrants out for serious assaults and crimes we consider as serious ... it's not `someone stole Aunty Milly's knickers off the line'." - Samantha Hunter

However, the list is rarely publicised and requests by media for it are usually rejected.

"It is not always in the interests of an investigation to publicise when police want to locate a particular person in relation to a crime," Assistant Commissioner Donna Adams said.

"On occasion, however, police seek assistance from the community on the whereabouts of a particular person in relation to a criminal investigation."

These requests are made via traditional media and the Tasmania Police Facebook page.

The response to the Facebook posts has been "very positive", with information provided directly to investigators, "sometimes within minutes" of publication.

Queensland Crime Stoppers maintains a small list of wanted people on its website that includes people wanted in other states.

Chief executive Trevor O'Hara said the list was something the community liked to look at to remind themselves about those who were wanted.

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