A new set of playing cards covered with details of unsolved murders will be given to South Australian prisoners under a scheme which has already resulted in multiple arrests.
- Operation Persist began in 2015 to gather information about crimes from prisoners
- More than 100 prisoners have come forward with tips
- Other countries have shown interest in the scheme
Similar playing cards have been issued in the state’s prisons since 2015 under Operation Persistwhich the head of Major Crime Detective Superintendent Des Bray said had resulted in 20 people being charged over 10 alleged murders.
Details of unsolved murders cases are also displayed on posters and TV screens in prisons and Department for Correctional Services offices.
The operation also involves offering other incentives to prisoners to provide information about crimes.
Prisoners can dial nine on phones within the system to speak to Crime Stoppers without their calls being monitored by corrections staff.
Superintendent Bray said the operation would now continue “indefinitely” with support from Crime Stoppers and Community Corrections, a section of the Department for Correctional Services.
“We have had approaches from 121 prisoners, and we’ve had those approaches from the prisoners themselves, sometimes through their lawyers, friends or family members,” Superintendent Bray said.
“That’s resulted in 174 actionable opportunities where we can follow up and 36 statements from prisoners.”
He said SA Police had been approached by authorities in the UK and the Netherlands interested in the scheme.
“It’s something across the world they’re interested in,” he said.
Crime Stoppers chief executive Nigel Smart said Operation Persist had resulted in information about 118 unsolved cases.
“We are committed to victims of crime and families,” the former AFL player said.
“If it leads to one of two cases being solved, bringing closure to those families is a great outcome.”
Geoffrey Adams was acquitted of murder after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of his wife Colleen in 1973, in a case that was revived under Operation Persist.
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