What to do when you Spot Crime Happening
See some bad guys or something suspicious? Here's 10 things that you can do.
As a responsible vigilant citizen, it is the duty of each and every person to remain alert and watch the surroundings and neighborhood. It is the duty of every law abiding citizen to help the authorities in maintaining law and order of the locality. Now there are a plethora of ways were you can save yourself and also assist in reporting criminal activities to the police authorities. Here are some tips what to do when you spot crime happening in your city.
Without any motive, no crime happens. This is the fundamental principle of any offense. As a citizen, you don't have to think too much about the motive of the crime and it’s after effect. What you should do is report the matter to the police. There are cases, where you can personally interfere in the crime and stop it further escalating. But you need to very careful in dealing with would be crimes or ongoing and it should not hurt your or anybody. We recommend informing the police and trying to calm the situation.
Reporting to the authorities:
Though it is a good habit to report a crime, you must be careful to keep yourself safe. Suppose you are seeing a hostage crisis, you should not get involve unless you are professionally trained to deal with the situation. The combat actions could be fatal to you and other hostages. Give maximum priority for saving your life and the hostages. Pass out maximum information to the authorities.
Know your responsibilities:
You are not legally obliged to engage to stop any crime happens. But you are legally responsible and it is your duty to report the impending crime situation to the concerned authorities. You are always encouraged to support the law enforcing authorities and some you will be rewarded with honor and monitory rewards.
Crime reporting is a legal obligation:
Crime reporting is a legal requirement by Federal laws and regulations. The Federal laws are very clear in this aspect and offers legal protection for you and your family. In most of the cases, they won't reveal your identity and these security measures help more and more people come forward and report impending crimes. Individuals who witness any impending crimes or happenings of crime can report the incident to their immediate superior. If nothing works out, you can directly approach the local Sheriff.
Special care for underprivileged, senior citizen and children:
The Federal laws provide maximum attention to protect the interest of senior citizens, children, and underprivileged citizen. In fact, the law envisages a clear, unbiased interpretation in its daily dealing. Some states have promulgated and legally made it mandatory for everybody concerned to report any criminal activities or impending criminal activities against the senior citizens, children and underprivileged. So it became your social responsibility to report and cooperate with the law enforcing agencies protecting the rights of people to whom it is denied. The states have opened Toll free telephone lines and emergency phone lines which are open 24 hours throughout the year. In case, any spot crimes are observed you can contact on 911 helpline for further action. Similarly, cases related to environmental violations, you can contact with the helpline of Ministry of Environment helpline.
Also, there are various child helpline numbers available in the US, hence, when you spot crimes such as mentioned above, make sure to take a physical recording of the same and forward it to any of the child helpline numbers. Such child helpline number also keeps anonymity of your identity. Hence, you can easily hand over such video or audio proofs while witnessing such crime without being let your identity disclosed.
When you see something suspicious related to general public and also in the case of domestic abuse, you may contact at the following helpline numbers.
The national domestic violence hotline number is 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) and 1-800-787-3224 (TTY)
national sexual assault helping number is 1-800-656-HOPE (4673)
The national teen dating abuse helpline number is 1-866-331-9474 and 1-866-331-8453 (TTY)
Cases like stalking also come under the purview of teen dating abuse and the above helpline number should be used to contact and report the teen abuse.
Child abuse and pornography:
This is a disgusting tragedy to happen and should be reported ASAP. Any suspicious such as child pornography or child abuse, video footage or any physical footage about the event should be produced in the court. Only such evidence matter in the court. Hence, if witnessing any such crime, make sure to take a video or audio recording of the crime. While collecting the evidence, you should not jeopardize your safety.
If you see criminal behavior involving children exploitation such as child pornography and child trafficking the first step is to inform the matter to a representative or organisation that deals with the subject. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children should be contacted in such cases on 800-THE-LOST (800-843-5678)
For more information related to prevention of child abuse you can also visit the following site https://www.justice.gov/psc.
When you spot crimes like human trafficking, it must be reported on 888-373-7888 (voice and TTY). Also, if you are associated with any organization that helps people come out of trafficking or helps prevent trafficking, and help people to have proper medical help and counseling. Especially people saved from human trafficking and flesh trade need professional counseling services. You can make some tie up arrangements with medical organizations that can help you in this regard.
For finding sexual predators in your area you can also use a free service called Family Watchdog.
Terrorism and anti-national activities:
Crimes related to terrorism and anti-national activities need to be handled very carefully. You can pass any such clandestine information to your local FBI office. It will help FBI to knock down the terrorist operation and prevent any impending disaster than can harm life and properties. Since you are not professionally trained to meet and engage with such anti-national elements, you are advised to keep away from them and pass all the relevant information to the authorities.
When you spot crimes of such nature, please pass the information to the following numbers.
- Arson Hotline
- Bomb Hotline
- Illegal firearms activity
- Firearms theft hotline
- Explosives theft or loss
- Other crimes involving alcohol, tobacco, firearms or explosives
Crimes related drug abuses and drug menace problems have to be reported to the local DEA office or on the DEA website. Also, if you suspect of any pharmacy or shop indulging in an illegal prescription of banned drugs, report the same to the following helpline number 877-RxAbuse (877-792-2873). Further, if you see someone or a website selling banned drugs on the internet, use the following link and provide the required information. https://www.deadiversion.usdoj.gov/webforms/jsp/umpire/umpireForm.jsp
Computer and internet crimes:
If you or someone you know is involved with fraud, computer and internet crime and white collar crime follow the tips as below:
For Fraud related cases
You can report financial fraud on StopFraud.gov for a quick action. You can also to report the same with the FBI Corporate Fraud Hotline 888-622-0117. For Disaster related fraud, use the following helpline number 866-720-5721. If you want to notify any Public Corruption and other crimes related to corruption or fraud in Justice, use the following helpline number 800-CALL-FBI (800-225-5324)
For Computer and Internet related crimes
If you spot a crime related to computer and the internet you can inform the cyber cell crime department. You can upload the information on http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx by providing your full information.
White collar crimes
On spotting crimes related to Anti trust issues contact the following helpline number 888-647-3258 or 202-307-2040
The police have introduced the mobile app Crime Spot by which people can easily report the crimes or impending crimes. The mobile apps let you report the crime immediately. The person need not have to spend time visiting a cyber café or looking for an internet access.
In every city, you will find exclusive access points to reach the law enforcing authorities either through a helpline or by physical contact locations. Being a responsible and socially committed citizen is the duty of every citizen. When you see something that seems out of place do your best to not waste any extra time. Pass the information to the police to help keep you and your family safe. A timely intervention by passing valuable information to authorities can sometimes thwart off an impending crime.
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