An Alberta police unit hopes a new telephone hotline will help it crack down on gangs in the Fort McMurray area.

The idea is for people to call in tips about organized crime to an answering machine that investigators will follow up on.

Sgt. Irv Heide says callers don't have to leave their names, and any tips will be kept confidential.

The Combined Forces Special Enforcement Unit was formed earlier this year following a spate of violent crimes in the oilsands city, including two murders linked to the drug trade.

The unit investigates drug networks, street gangs and larger organized crime groups.