Should You Report A Crime Anonymously
If you are a victim of a crime or witness a crime, you may have second thoughts about reporting it. You may think reporting the crime is more trouble than it’s worth, as happened with the infamous murder of Kitty Genovese in the 1960s. But instead of ignoring the crime, you may want to consider reporting it anonymously.
Some of the benefits of reporting a crime anonymously are that it may encourage you to report it in the first place. Other benefits can include leaving you out of it.
However, there are some drawbacks to anonymous reporting as well.
For example, police may not be able to use you as a witness and could have a harder time finding the perpetrator.
Whether you want to anonymously report a crime is an individual decision you have to weigh. If you do choose to go this route, you should know there are typically several options to make an anonymous report:
In this day and age of surveillance cameras and Internet snoops, it may be nearly impossible to do anything, much less report a crime, anonymously. However, you should remember that reporting a crime is usually better than not reporting a crime at all.
Update: Blair High School Received Anonymous Tip For Safety Concern Monday Principal Says
Update : Around 2:27 a.m. Monday, Montgomery County Police officers began investigating the report of someone who threatened to bring a gun to Montgomery Blair High School, Police Spokesperson Officer Carlos Cortes told MyMCM. Officers responded to the school in the morning hours and did not find anything. No one was arrested, injured, or transported to an area hospital, Cortes said.
Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Md.
Original : Montgomery Blair High School received an anonymous tip for a safety concern to the school, Principal Renay Johnson said in a letter to families Monday.
This morning we received an anonymous tip from the Maryland Safe School tipline regarding a safety concern to our school. Out of an abundance of caution, we contacted the Montgomery County Police investigative unit and they are on campus. We have instituted a level of precaution of safety by having police present throughout the day, Johnson said.
She said students will stay in the building during lunch and dismissal/after-school activities will continue as normal.
Johnson said families were told earlier that telephones were down, but they are now working. The school will keep families informed if there is additional information.
Per a letter from Blair High School Principal: This morning Blair received an anonymous tip about a safety concern to the school. Police are on campus and will be present throughout the day. Students will stay in the building during lunch.
What Happens When I Provide An Anonymous Tip
Typically, the Anonymous Tip will be forwarded to the Supervisor of the Community Services Bureau, who will then forward that information along through the proper channels. However, because the Anonymous Tip is delivered in the form of an email, there may be some delay in disseminating that information. For this reason, the Anonymous Tip Line should not be used for crimes in progress or where a person needs the immediate response by Police.
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Submit A Tip To The Police
If youd like to submit an anonymous tip to the police, you can do it via phone, email, or using an online form. Please include as much information as possible, such as the physical address and names of people involved. Include your contact information if you would like someone to follow up with you directly.
Supreme Court Rules On Anonymous Tips And Probable Cause
Recently, in a 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court held that law enforcement officers can stop you based entirely on an anonymous 911 call. In the case of Navarette v. California, someone called 911 saying she had been run off the road by a pickup truck. The anonymous caller gave the 911 operator the make, model and license plate number of the pickup truck as well as the location of where she was allegedly ran off the road. Police stopped the driver of the truck, smelled marijuana and discovered 30 pounds of . Navarette was arrested but argued the police had no probable cause for the initial stop as they had no way of establishing the identity or reliably of the anonymous caller. 2
The majority of the Supreme Court did not agree, holding that police can stop someone if the information obtained from an anonymous informant provides enough detail to create reasonable suspicion of a crime. In Justice Thomas majority opinion, he concluded that the caller was an eyewitness who was forced off the road leading police to believe the pickup truck driver was drunk. Thomas also felt it was reasonable to rely on the information given by anonymous 911 callers because the calls are recorded and the service can track and identify callers. 3
In the dissent, Justice Scalia called the majority opinion a freedom-destroying cocktail that puts everyone on the road at risk of false reports called in by malevolent tipsters.
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Submit A Tip Online Here
Once a tip has been received it will be sent to the law enforcement agency that has jurisdiction over the reported crime. The agency will investigate the tip and report back the outcome of the investigation to our administrative office in Southfield, Michigan.
You can follow up on your tip by calling our administrative office on specified days. The phone number to call when following up on a tip is 313-922-5000. The hours to call our main office for follow-ups are: Tuesday and Thursday 10 a.m. 3 p.m. and Wednesday from 1 p.m. 5 p.m.
If your tip leads to an arrest, you will be eligible for a reward of up to $2,500. Rewards are processed once a month. If you are eligible for a reward, we have partnered with local banks that will disburse the reward in cash. No identification is needed, and you will only need your tip reference number and the amount of the reward to get paid.
Can Police Stop A Car Based On An Anonymous Tip
Police must have probable cause or reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to stop a motor vehicle. Sometimes an anonymous tip can be sufficient.
The justification for the stop or detention by police must include:
- specific and articulable facts which support the intrusion,
- based upon the totality of the circumstances.
Courts will look at the of the information that police are relying on:
- is it confirmed or verified by the police?
- is it reliable?
An anonymous 911 caller told police that a truck had run her off the road. The caller provided the vehicle description and license plate number. Officers quickly located and stopped the truck. The officers smelled marijuana, searched the vehicle and found 30 pounds of the drug. The court ruled that based upon the totality of the circumstances, the officers had reasonable suspicion to think the driver might be intoxicated and could stop the vehicle to confirm. See Navarette v. California 572 U.S. 393.
An investigative detention is illegal if it is based on only one insufficient factor, such as:
- curiosity, rumor, or a hunch
- race or sex of the suspect
- suspects presence in a high-crime area or
- a persons nervous behavior.
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How Do I Leave An Anonymous Tip
The Fullerton Police Department has also partnered with Orange County Crime Stoppers, which allows users to their website to leave tips anonymously. They then forward those tips to the Fullerton Police Department. Please be aware that if you choose to use Orange County Crime Stoppers, there will be a delay in that information being given to us, so it should not be used for situations where you need immediate Police assistance.
You can reach Orange County Crime Stoppers by calling 1-855-TIP-OCCS. You can submit a tip online by visiting: www.p3tips.com/913
You can also reach wetip.com at wetip.com
How To Call The Police Anonymously
RUTH DE JAUREGUI
Remaining anonymous in our digital world isn’t easy, especially when you have to call the police. Whether you’re reporting a crime in progress, a meth house down the block, or a case of suspected child abuse, you might not want anyone to know that you were the one who did the right thing.
Explore this article
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Report Gang And Drug Activity Online
If you wish, you can complete an online form and press submit to send the form to the police department. You can send this form anonymously however, if you choose, you may include your contact information. Tips that lead to significant felony arrests or the prevention of a serious crime may result in a cash award up to $1,000.
Can Police Act On An Anonymous Tip
Yes. Police can act on anonymous tips if they follow the rules, laws, and procedures that have developed in accordance with the U.S. Constitution.
Police contact with people usually occurs:
- on public streets,
The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons and houses against unreasonable searches and seizures, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
A police officer may, in appropriate circumstances, approach a person for purposes of investigating possibly criminal behavior.
An investigative detention without a warrant must be based on a reasonable suspicion that:
The justification for the stop or detention by police must include:
- Specific and articulable facts which support the police intrusion,
- Based upon the totality of the circumstances.
If police are acting on an anonymous tip, courts will consider whether:
- Police have confirmed or verified the information,
- If the information is specific and/or reliable,
For example: Did the tip include the make, model, and license plate of a suspects vehicle?
If police exceed their authority in stopping, detaining or arresting:
- Evidence can be suppressed or thrown out, and
- a criminal case could be dismissed.
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Blocking Your Phone Number
If you call from your home or cell phone, you can use 67 to block your line. Your number will appear as a private or restricted number on the receiver’s caller ID. Simply type in 67 and then the entire phone number, including “1” plus the area code if the number is long distance. However, your number will not be blocked when calling 911 or toll-free numbers.
Can Police Search A House Based On An Anonymous Tip
Police must obtain a warrant to search a house. An anonymous tip, standing alone, does not provide the necessary probable cause for the issuance of a warrant.
The affidavit for a search warrant must include:
- sufficient information to conclude that the informant is honest, and/or
- facts indicating that the information is reliable along with the basis of the informers knowledge.
The anonymous informant must actually witness the alleged criminal activity.
A tip by an anonymous informant that there was heavy foot traffic at a persons residence, by itself, is not sufficient to establish probable cause. See Bailey v. Superior Court 11 Cal. App. 4th 1107.
Please note there are exceptions to the search warrant requirement for a house or vehicle:
- exigent circumstances,
- search incident to a lawful arrest,
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Why Should I Leave An Anonymous Tip
The Fullerton Police Department established an Anonymous Tip line for people who wish to report crimes or suspicious behavior, but who do not wish to provide their personal identifying information. Although the Fullerton Police Department strives to provide the highest level of service to our community, we can not do it alone. We rely on the eyes and ears of the community to partner with us to reduce crime. The Anonymous Tip line is one more way that we can further that partnership.
Can Police Detain A Person Based On An Anonymous Tip
A tip from an anonymous source may provide reasonable cause to detain a person if it includes some facts that are verified by police. See Alabama v. White 496 U.S. 325.
A detention must be based on a reasonable suspicion that:
- some activity out of the ordinary has taken place
- the activity was related to crime and
- the person detained was involved in the activity.
A search made during investigative detention is illegal if:
- there was no basis for an officer to believe the person was armed and dangerous
- the scope of the search was beyond a pat-down for weapons or
- the search extended to the persons possessions or vehicle, except that an officer may order a detainee to produce identification.
A real-life example is:
Two separate people approach police on a crowded New Years Eve street and tell them a man in a white cap has a gun. The police can see only one man in the crowd with a white cap. They approach the man, pat him down, and find a gun. The court ruled the encounter was justified. People v. Coulombe 86 Cal. App. 4th 52.
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What To Include In Your Tip
Any information you can provide to the authorities that will prevent further drug activity is absolutely helpful. The following are a few details that will ensure your anonymous tip is as effective as possible. If you have the information, try to include:
- The address where you suspect drug activity.
- Full names of the people you suspect.
- Related vehiclesmake, model, license plate.
- When people come and go, how long they stay, how often they appear.
- Information about any packages being exchanged.
- If the location is a house, provide the name of people living there.
- Are there children? Dogs?
You Protect Your Communitywe Protect Your Identity
WeTip is committed to providing the most effective anonymous reporting solution in the nation. We promise and ensure absolute confidence and anonymity when you submit a report. All information is provided to your organization or local, state, federal, or international law enforcement agencies to relay your information about criminal activity occurring in your area.
Thieves Smash Through Brick Wall To Access Business
Guelph police are investigating after suspects smashed through a brick wall to access a local business this week.
Approximately 7:40 a.m. Wednesday police were called to a business on Edinburgh Road South near Municipal Street. The owner had arrived to discover a hole in an exterior brick wall. Once inside the suspects broke through other walls to access various areas of the business.
A quantity of cash was stolen. No damage estimate has yet been provided.
The investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information is asked to call Constable Brett Nymeyer at 519-824-1212, ext. 7227, email him at , leave an anonymous message for Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave an anonymous tip online at www.csgw.tips.
But They Can Still Find You
If the police need you as a witness, you made a false police report, or you used the police to harass an ex, no method is 100-percent anonymous. Phone records can be subpoenaed and cell phone signals triangulated, and pay phones are often within camera range of nearby businesses.
About the Author
With degrees in fine and commercial art and Spanish, Ruth de Jauregui is an old-school graphic artist, book designer and published author. De Jauregui authored 50 Fabulous Tomatoes for Your Garden, available as an ebook. She enthusiastically pursues creative and community interests, including gardening, home improvement and social issues.
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The Anonymous Reporting Line
The anonymous reporting line, 794-5824, is provided as a resource for those wishing to report crimes anonymously.
If you choose to report anonymously, you must leave specific details in order for UCPD to investigate the crime. Provide details to the best of your ability to the following questions:
- What happened? What did you see? What appears suspicious to you?
- Where exactly did the incident occur? Include streets, building and room/area.
- Did the suspect have any weapons?
- What did the suspect say?
- Where and when was the suspect last seen?
- Which direction was the suspect headed?
- Was the suspect on foot or in a vehicle?
- What did the suspect look like? Describe each suspect one at a time.
- Was the suspect carrying anything?
- Vehicle Description, Color, Make, Model, License Plate
After a message is retrieved from the anonymous reporting line, the information is forwarded to the appropriate person.
How To Review Or Update Your Tip
You can review or update your tip in the following ways:
- If you called, you can call 502-574-LMPD back and give them your crime tip # or simply give the additional information that you have.
- If you entered it online or through your P3 Tips app, you can visit www.p3tips.com and enter your provided code information.
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Additional Reporting Information To Consider
When reporting drug activity, it will also help to keep the following in mind:
- To further ensure anonymity, callers can dial *67 before calling any agency or organization. This blocks the number of the caller.
- Reporting activity to the local police is also an option, but anonymity may be harder to keep.
- It is important to remember, when making a report, you may be asked to provide personal information, but this is completely voluntary. You have the right to remain anonymous if that is what you want.