What Information Does the Police Department Need?
No police department can function effectively without the concerned assistance of its citizens. They are depending on you to call and tell them whenever you observe suspicious persons or actions. When you call the police, tell them where the crime is occurring, what the crime is, who is committing it, what they look like, and how are they getting away.
Some people fail to call the police simply because they are not aware that seemingly innocent activities might be suspicious. Others may notice suspicious activity and be hesitant to call for fear of seeming to be a "nosey neighbor" or a crank. Still others take it for granted that someone else has already called.
Call the police immediately about all suspicious activity and do it yourself. Don't worry about "bothering" them because this is what the police are for. Don't worry about being embarrassed if your suspicions prove unfounded. Think instead of what could happen if you don't act.
Detailed information helps the police:
• What happened? When? Where? Anyone injured?
• Vehicle license number and vehicle description.
• Direction of travel.
• Description of persons (including clothing). When describing suspects notice age, race, sex,
height and weight. Compare your own weight and height with the suspects'. Pick out some unique
characteristics (scars, noses, jewelry, etc.) that will help you identify the suspect in the future if need be.
What Is Suspicious?
Anything that seems even slightly "out of place" or that is occurring at an unusual time of day could be criminal activity.
Some of the most obvious things to watch for and report are:
• A stranger entering your neighbor's house when it is unoccupied may be a burglar.
• A scream heard anywhere could mean robbery or assault.
• Anyone removing accessories, license plates or gasoline from a car should be reported.
• Anyone looking into a parked car may be looking for a car to steal or for valuables left in the car. The
sound of breaking glass or loud explosive noises could mean an accident, housebreaking or vandalism.