Importance of Reporting Crime

There are many reasons why we should all report crime to police. The most obvious is that if we don’t, the offender will get away with whatever they have done, and they will then be encouraged to do it again. Often I hear some people say that they didn’t report it because they thought that the police were too busy and that they also didn’t think that there was much chance of the offender being caught.

If crime is not reported the offender is even less likely to be caught. It is true police are busy but never too busy to deal with crime, no matter how trivial you may think it is. Often police will find that incidences of petty crime committed in a particular area can present a pattern, and police can plan to deal with it.

On many occasions police have caught up with the offenders a few streets away for some other crime, but unless the first crime has been reported the offender cannot be charged with that offence. It is also important to report the crime as it is happening or immediately you discover that a crime has been committed. Police may not actually attend every crime reported. If nothing can be achieved by police attending, you may be asked to report the crime to a police station. For instance if your car was broken into, some items stolen but there is no evidence of the offender then it would be better if you went to the police station to report this crime. It leaves the police patrol to attend crimes where they could look for evidence, such as a house break or assault. The crime of the car being broken into would still be recorded and investigated because it may paint a crime pattern when put together with other reports and that pattern may fit the Modus Operandi (MO) of a known criminal thought to be working in that area. It is the job of the Divisional Intelligence Officers (DIO) working with the local patrols and CIB to put the patterns together and arrange to have the suspects interviewed, or if there is enough evidence, arrested. It could be your (small amount to you) information that will tip the scales for police, with that little bit of extra information police could finish the whole jigsaw puzzle.

When reporting a crime please do it straight away, please give police at least a fighting chance to apprehend the offender (s). Ring the police at Batemans Bay or a police station near you, if you can’t find the phone number ring 000 and give very clear and precise details. What is the crime? Is it a house break, is it a larceny, is it a robbery or is it a hold-up? A larceny is when something is stolen no matter how small or how valuable, a robbery is when something is stolen from the person and a hold-up is when there is a threat of violence and usually a weapon.

This is when you need to be calm and think what to do, not always easy. To help police you need to take notice of what the offenders look like so that you can describe them. First look at the clothing, then age, sex, size. These are the items that police will be looking for as they make their way to the scene or search the area. If you have a good memory or a good eye for detail you could note the hair colour and style, eye colour and any physical details such as tattoos or scars. Vehicle registration numbers are very important and should be written down and given to police when you are reporting the crime, after may be too late.

You should ring police immediately and report what you have seen, and give an accurate location or address of the scene of the crime. You should also write down the details of the crime as soon as you can while the details are still fresh in your memory. Write down the time, place, registrations numbers, descriptions of offenders and which direction they left the scene.

It is always possible that you may be called upon to give this information to a Court later on, and giving evidence in Court is nothing to be afraid of. When you have given your information to the police take your notes and keep them in a safe place. You could even have police date and sign them for you as further evidence that you made the notes on that day. Your street, your suburb, your town or your shopping centre could very quickly attract a reputation for reporting crime to police as and when it happens. Once you have this reputation you could also find that the criminals may stay way from you.

Please remember to report all crime. We have heard of shop keepers letting shop stealers go because they felt sorry for the offender who gave a sob story. Professional criminals know all the tricks, and your shop could attract the unwanted reputation of being soft, among criminals. Yes, it is time consuming and sometimes a bother to make a report, especially when you are in a hurry, but by making that report you could be saving either yourself or someone else the grief of being involved in a crime later on.

The non-reporting of crime can also give a false sense of security in your area as well. After you have reported the crime to police, let your neighbours know what has happened. They can then guard against the same happening to them.

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