Toronto: Crime Stoppers' text tips tested
Crime Stoppers' text tips tested
Jan 08, 2008 01:04 PM
Toronto Crime Stoppers is in the final stages of testing software so police can soon start accepting text tips from cell phones, said organizers at today's launch of Crime Stoppers month.
The non-profit organization wants to ensure that people can pass on information about crimes feeling confident about not giving their identity away, said Const. Scott Mills.
"What we have to be very careful about is the anonymity factor because there's always a trail on a text from the phone number it's come from," Mills said at police headquarters. "That's why really have to take our time with it and ensure we've got all our bases covered."
In other jurisdictions, Crime Stoppers, which provides reward money for tips that lead to arrests, are using a program that scrambles the phone number so it's not traceable.
Tipsters then receive a text-message reply that contains a six-digit code. The code can be used to check the status of the tip and to claim reward money if the tip leads to an arrest or indictment. The text tips have already led to murder arrests in Boston and breaks in drug cases in Cincinnati, according to news reports.
Last year, the Toronto police anonymous tip service received 7,555 tips, an increase from 6,876 tips in 2006. Last year, those tips resulted in 518 arrests, 797 cases cleared and 1,959 charges laid.
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