Many victims and witnesses of crimes often have second thoughts about reporting the incident. Some complainants fear that the offender will take revenge, and others are wary of police contact because of negative past experiences. Also, some complainants from other countries fear deportation.
Reporting a Crime in Person
If you are a victim and want to pursue criminal charges, you have to identify yourself and meet with police to discuss the allegations. A victim’s testimony is likely needed to perform an arrest. A police officer can come to your location, or you could go to the nearest police station and make a desk report. Be aware that some police may need to follow up at your location for evidence collection and photos.
See Something, Say Something
See something, say something is the reporting of suspicious activity to local authorities. If you are a witness or want to report a crime, there are numerous ways to proactively report information anonymously. Crime Stoppers has both phone and online reporting at the national and local level with guaranteed anonymity.
Most local and county police agencies have websites and phone links to report problems, concerns, or illegal behavior without disclosing your identity. As we know, some states, such as Kansas, have developed specific websites to report suspicious behavior anonymously.
How to Interface With Police Anonymously
Some situations may be better handled if a marked police vehicle and uniformed officer do not come to your location. First, you can try calling the local police on a non-emergency number. You can also try connecting with a specialized plain clothes unit; a Detective, Juvenile Officer, or School Resource Officer will help to create a plan to protect your identity from the offending party.
Other ways to anonymously connect with law enforcement:
Through your local Police Department’s website
Call your local Police Department's hotline
Anonymously text your local Police Department
Submit an anonymous tip on Facebook
Make your anonymous call from a public phone
Many childcare facilities are torn about anonymously reporting a crime. When young children are involved, it can sometimes be risky, especially if the offender sees a police car outside of the childcare facility. If a crime is serious and requires more detail than an anonymous tip, childcare providers should contact the police by:
Visiting the police station after school hours
Have a family member act on your behalf to report a crime. But, be prepared that police will need to follow up with you/victim
While there may be concern about revealing your identity, be aware that police investigations are much more difficult when working only with anonymous victims and witnesses. Police rely heavily on your eyes and ears. Working hand-in-hand with law enforcement is always the most effective way to resolve unwanted activity.
The Institute for Childhood Preparedness’ staff has decades of experience in law enforcement and security, and emergency preparedness, response, and recovery. We can help secure your building, and create a plan that will help to protect children and staff. Schedule a training with us today: https://www.childhoodpreparedness.org/training.