Arsonists to be targeted

ARSON attacks on public housing properties are costing the state millions of dollars a year, and will again be targeted during this year's Crime Stoppers Week.

Launching the event in Hobart yesterday, Crime Stoppers chairwoman Jill Taylor said she wanted to make the public more aware about the work Crime Stoppers did, and for everyone in the state to know the 1800 333 000 number to report crime.

``We want everyone to have the number in their phone,'' Ms Taylor said.

``It's about being alert and watching for suspicious behaviour and phoning that information through.'' 

Housing Tasmania director Peter White said that in 2011 arson on Housing Tasmania properties cost more than $5.5 million, but that  had since decreased to $3 million.

``When a property is destroyed in arson, another Tasmanian in need is denied a roof over their head,'' Mr White said.

He said Crime Stoppers Week encouraged people to come forward with information on arson, and last year that   resulted in arrests.

``When there's arson, there's often someone in the community who knows the person responsible,'' he said.

``The message is that someone knows something.'' 

Methamphetamines and illegal firearms will also be targeted throughout the week.

Police Commissioner Darren Hine said that while methamphetDHamine production was more low-key in Tasmania, ``we shouldn't have our heads in the sand''.

``All drugs are an issue in Tasmania, and there's a lot of areas where Crime Stoppers can help,'' He said.

Ms Taylor said even if the information provided was small, it could be ``the missing piece of the puzzle''.

``We do ensure confidentiality - there's no names and we're not interested in who the caller is,'' Ms Taylor said. 

Crime Stoppers Week will run from Monday, April 28, to Sunday, May 4.

 Anyone with information on crime can call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

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