New ‘tip-off’ site for anonymous crime reporting

A new ‘crime tip’ submission site allows the public to anonymously send information on criminal incidents from their mobile devices, together with photographs and videos.

May 17, 2017
By Paul Jacques

A new ‘crime tip’ submission site allows the public to anonymously send information on criminal incidents from their mobile devices, together with photographs and videos.

Chicago is the first police department (PD) in the US to go live with the technology, which is an integral part of its efforts to “reduce violence and rebuild trust”.

The mobile-enabled website, based on the latest version of Motorola Solutions’ new TipSubmit platform, does not need to be downloaded and is compatible with any device that connects to the internet.

It allows users to easily send high-definition video and images, as well as other specific information such as location, time and incident descriptions, directly from their device to the Chicago PD. Additionally, ‘tipsters’ can remain anonymous and still communicate directly with the department through the app.

“By giving Chicagoans the most capable tools to report crime, it greatly increases our chances to apprehend those who are responsible for driving the violence in some of our neighbourhoods,” said Chicago PD Superintendent Eddie Johnson. “As we have seen in countless cases, when the community steps up and works with us, we can bring these criminals to justice. I believe this will go a long way in helping us build community partnerships and trust.”

When ‘tips’ are anonymously submitted, the information is sent directly to Chicago PD’s Crime Prevention and Information Centre, where they are analysed and forwarded to the appropriate police unit for action. Additionally, in districts equipped with ‘strategic decision support centres’, these tips are reviewed by crime analysts and sent to officers on their department-issued smartphones.

With this technology, tips can also be shared with partner law enforcement agencies to increase the likelihood of solving a case or apprehending an offender. Chicago PD says ‘tips’ that successfully lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

Chicago PD has also created a new unit – the Bureau of Technical Services – to oversee the implementation and management of its “ever increasing adoption of technology” to be more predictive and proactive.

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