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Filing a Police Report

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quincy

Senior Member
Anonymous tips have value in that they make police aware of a situation that might otherwise go unnoticed. Their greatest value, however, might be in reporting the sighting of an individual wanted by the police (for questioning or on a warrant) or in reporting an ongoing crime.
 


CdwJava

Senior Member
Anonymous tips have value in that they make police aware of a situation that might otherwise go unnoticed. Their greatest value, however, might be in reporting the sighting of an individual wanted by the police (for questioning or on a warrant) or in reporting an ongoing crime.
A great many people think that if they report it, it will be handled. This is simply not the case. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to deal with that very issue. Sure, secret reporting it gives law enforcement a head's up, but these ANONYMOUS reports rarely give us anything we can truly act upon. Though, there is a difference between remaining "confidential" (if possible) and "anonymous." The police can work to keep a reporting party confidential for as long as they can, but, there are ways to pierce that particular shroud. An "anonymous" party - i.e. one that never gives up any identifying info - has nothing to be given up ... and nothing that can legally be acted upon (generally), either.
 

quincy

Senior Member
A great many people think that if they report it, it will be handled. This is simply not the case. I can't tell you the number of times I have had to deal with that very issue. Sure, secret reporting it gives law enforcement a head's up, but these ANONYMOUS reports rarely give us anything we can truly act upon. Though, there is a difference between remaining "confidential" (if possible) and "anonymous." The police can work to keep a reporting party confidential for as long as they can, but, there are ways to pierce that particular shroud. An "anonymous" party - i.e. one that never gives up any identifying info - has nothing to be given up ... and nothing that can legally be acted upon (generally), either.
I don't think you speak for all police departments when you talk of anonymous tips not being acted on by the police.
 

CdwJava

Senior Member
You DO understand the limitations of an anonymous report, don't you? I never said they would not act, only that their actions are limited as a matter of practicality and the law. As the guy who dealt with these issues directly for 15 years, I can say from firsthand knowledge that many anonymous reporters have unrealistic expectations of what can be accomplished. If the OP thinks SWAT will hit the target of their report, they need to temper expectations. If they want to provide info knowing it may or may not be of use, great!
 

quincy

Senior Member
You DO understand the limitations of an anonymous report, don't you? I never said they would not act, only that their actions are limited as a matter of practicality and the law. As the guy who dealt with these issues directly for 15 years, I can say from firsthand knowledge that many anonymous reporters have unrealistic expectations of what can be accomplished. If the OP thinks SWAT will hit the target of their report, they need to temper expectations. If they want to provide info knowing it may or may not be of use, great!
I understand the limitations of anonymous reports. I also understand their value.
 

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