“To Report, or Not to Report?”
Research done by the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) and published also by the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) in 2011 looked statistically at reporting of crimes by the public. The report included several focus group studies and data from a telephone survey of over 800 members of the public on the triggers for reporting of crime to the police and potential reasons for not reporting crime. Overall, the results were quite encouraging.
Be a Part of the Crime-Stopping Majority!
The majority of the people surveyed reported that they would be likely to report suspicious activity if they observed it.
Don’t be a Part of the Bottom Third – Take the Initiative and Call Us!
In the telephone survey , the results indicated that a group of about a third of participants named the following as barriers to reporting crime:
- Assuming someone else will report the suspicious activity
- Belief that the police will not take the report seriously
- Concern for wasting police resources
SMPD challenges you – “Don’t be a Spectator – Be a Team Player!”
- Take charge and call us – don’t assume someone else will. The more witnesses that call, the more information SMPD has to build a case.
- Call us – we will take you seriously, and we want you to call – you are our “eyes and ears”!
- You are not wasting our time by calling – someone may need your help! SMPD would rather be on scene to find that there is no serious crime than to never have gone and find that there was a victim who could have used our immediate assistance.
WHAT IS SUSPICIOUS?
SUSPICIOUS SOUNDS and THINGS THAT ARE OUT-OF-PLACE
- Unusual noises such as gunshots, screaming, or dogs barking continuously.
- Screeching Tires or the sound of a collision.
- Sounds of breaking glass.
- Screaming or yelling – an argument or pending fight.
- Persons loitering around schools, parks, or secluded areas.
- A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms.
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY — PERSONS
“Casing”, and Possible Burglary Activity:
- People going door to door in a residential area, especially if one or more persons go to the rear of the residence.
- Strangers loitering or driving through a neighborhood several times.
- Subjects forcing entrance, or entering your neighbor’s house, when it is unoccupied.
- “Delivery Man” with a wrong address or one who asks if someone else lives there.
- Personal vehicle being loaded with valuables if parked by a closed business or unoccupied residence.
- Open or broken doors and windows at a closed business or unoccupied residence.
- People waiting or loitering in front of a house or business, if business is closed or house is unoccupied.
- Person loitering around cars or going car to car peering into them, especially in parking lots or on streets.
- Person attempting to forcibly enter a locked vehicle, especially in a parking lot.
- Persons removing mechanical parts or accessories from a vehicle.
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY — VEHICLES
- Slow moving vehicle, without lights, or driving appears aimless; in any location including residential streets, schools, and playgrounds.
- Parked or occupied vehicle with one or more persons, especially if observed at an unusual hour.
- Vehicle where an out-of-place business transaction is being conducted, around school or parks.
- Someone being forced into a vehicle, especially females or juveniles.
- Objects thrown from a vehicle.
- Vehicle containing weapons.
- Abandoned vehicle parked on block.
SUSPICIOUS ACTIVITY — PROPERTY
- Property in homes, garages, or storage areas if collection is large, or items are in good but unused condition.
- Property offered for sale at very low price.
- Property in vehicles not normally found, especially if observed at an unusual hour, such as TV sets, stereos, guns, or auto parts.
- Property being removed from or loaded into a vehicle or building at unusual hours.
- Excessive foot traffic to and from a certain residence occurring on a daily or regular basis.
- Continuous repair operations at a non-business location.