Thanks to the digital age in which we live, the city of Winder has taken the concept of a neighborhood watch and expanded it city-wide.
According to the Bureau of Justice Statistic’s National Crime Victimization Survey, which collects self-reported information from victims on their experiences of criminal victimization, it is estimated that about 50 percent of all violent victimizations and nearly 40 percent of property victimizations were reported to the police in 2010. Those numbers have held steady for the past decade — meaning that it is believed that 50 to 60 percent of victimization crimes are never even reported.
Some reasons that crimes are not reported may include: the victim finds the matter embarrassing or too trivial; individual may be unaware that they are a victim; lack of confidence or trust in the police; a fear of reprisals or victimization; the victim may wish to take the law into his/her own hands; or the victim may not want to harm the offender.
A simple way to combat at least two of these issues head-on — lack of confidence in police and fear of reprisals — is to create an anonymous forum for crime reporting. With the simple click of a mouse, a witness to a crime or even a potential crime can secretly report the criminal activity through the city of Winder website’s Anonymous Tip Submission Form.
A well-intentioned tip could alert the police to a crime that is about to take place or help put them on the track of a viable suspect for a crime that has already been committed. If anonymity is not an issue, anyone who has witnessed a crime or fears that one is impending is encouraged to call 9-1-1 for immediate assistance.
If you were to witness a crime, would you be more comfortable reporting it anonymously? Why or why not? Tell us in comments.
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