A record number of people are using a confidential telephone number to tip-off police about crime in Shropshire.
New figures show that 478 calls about Shropshire incidents were made to the Crimestoppers number in 12 months to the end of March, resulting in 35 arrests and the detection of 66 offences. A senior Shropshire detective has praised public-spirited residents who called the crime line.
Detective Inspector Gavin Kinrade said: "I would like to thank the hundreds of people across the county who assist the police by passing on vital pieces of information.
"Their messages have helped us reduce crime and anti-social behaviour in Shropshire and have led to significant numbers of arrests and the detection of various offences."
He said information had been given on crimes including murder, burglary, drug offences, theft, robbery, violence, criminal damage, vehicle crime and drink-driving.
He added: "All the information is useful, even that which does not directly lead to an arrest.
"Sometimes we are not able to act on it immediately but it may form another piece in the jigsaw which eventually leads to a breakthrough for us."
Det Insp Kinrade said: "Of course, some callers are quite happy to leave their names and contact details, but people can be assured it is an anonymous phone line and can call it in strictest confidence."
He said that police were always grateful for information.
"People living in our local communities are our eyes and ears. They are the ones who are aware of what's happening in their neighbourhoods and are usually the first to spot something which is out of place and suspicious."
The Crimestoppers figures show an increasing number of calls about incidents in Shropshire over each of the past five years. In 2005/06, there were 322 recorded calls, 379 in 2008/2009 and 478 during the past year.
The 35 arrests last year were 14 up on the previous year and the number of crimes detected as a result of information nearly doubled over the same period.
Det Insp Kinrade said: "The police in Shropshire are really grateful for the public support we receive.
"I cannot stress strongly enough how important it is that people either contact us direct, or via Crimestoppers, whenever they have information which might help us arrest offenders."
By Brett Gibbons