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									Customs Watch protects information - July 2013

Industry and the Australian community continue to help the Australian Customs and Border
Protection Service (ACBPS) safeguard Australia’s border by reporting suspicious behaviour to
Customs Watch. In 2011-2012 Customs Watch referrals from industry and members of the public
contributed to approximately five per cent of all ACBPS detections.

ACBPS National Manager Target Development, John Gibbon, encouraged all those with information
to do the right thing, as even the smallest piece of information leads to a safer Australia.

“Members of the public shouldn’t underestimate the importance of their role in keeping Australia
safe. We take every call seriously, the anonymous heroes of the Customs Watch program significantly
contribute to ACBPS detections each year,” Mr Gibbon said.

A powerful partner and ally, Industry is an invaluable surveillance and deterrence mechanism across
Australia at key operational and customs checkpoints. Throughout the regions, Industry is acutely
aware of the local environment and has a unique understanding of what border activities are unusual
or suspicious.

“It is through industry referrals provided to Customs Watch that we can better respond to and mitigate
potential threats. Importantly, ACBPS is committed to working with industry and have enhanced
protection and confidentiality processes to protect community tipoffs and Industry referrals,” Mr
Gibbon said.

As part of the Customs Watch Information Protection Statement, Industry and the Australian
community are afforded anonymity and privacy when reporting information about suspicious or
criminal activity at the border.

“Industry and the community can report information anonymously via the Customs Watch 24-hour
hotline or simply log on to the ACBPS website and remain nameless,” Mr Gibbon said.

Other protection methods include:
    ACBPS does not covertly record personal information;
    a caller will be asked to tell the operator if they do not wish to be recorded;
    information can be reported anonymously 24-hours a day through the 1800 06 1800 phone
        number, international and satellite phone number +61 2 6246 1325 or via the online reporting
        form on the web page;
    any personal details provided are secured and managed separately to the referral; and
    under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) and the Information Privacy Principles, ACBPS will use
        suitable methods to protect personal information.

For the full Customs Watch Information Protection Statement, refer to web page.

“The confidentiality of your personal information is of paramount importance to us. We rely on your
information and your continued support and participation in the Customs Watch program is
recognised,” Mr Gibbon said.

“We will continue to work hand in hand with Industry and the community to deter criminal behaviour,
identify vulnerabilities at particular points at the border and prevent them from impacting Australia’s
national interests.”

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