August 13th, 2007 at 08:25pm
Good evening Stuart,
I was rather interested in that story during the 8pm news about the National Security Hotline having received 100,000 calls since its inception in December 2002, which is about 4 and three quarter years ago, which means an average of just over 21,000 calls per year, or about 57 calls per day, which is fairly impressive.
Phillip Ruddock said that over half of the calls were referred to security agencies, which is a good thing, however I am a bit surprised by that percentage as I rang the hotline last week for some advice. I'm an amateur photographer and I was a tad concerned about the possibility of somebody thinking I was acting suspiciously by taking photos of various things, so I rang for advice about minimising my suspicious appearance, and the friendly operator told me that they receive a lot of calls about photographers, and most of the reports go nowhere because the photographers in question aren't suspicious.
I would imagine that it is up to the security agencies to decide who is and isn't suspicious…which means that a lot of those calls being referred are actually non-issues, and a lot of the calls not being referred are probably nuisance calls or nutty paranoid people.
Don't get me wrong, It's great that the hotline has reached 100,000 calls and people are keeping a look out for suspicious activities, but I would be much more interested in a statistic about the number of potential problems the hotline has helped to prevent. I think that would be a much more important thing than the number of calls they receive.
I hope you had a good weekend,
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