Last week, Attorney General Ashley Moody joined the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers to announce a new statewide number for the anonymous citizen reporting process.
Anyone, anyone can report tips about a crime from anywhere in the state anonymously by dialing **TIPS (8477). Currently, each of Florida’s 27 regional Crime Stoppers uses separate, local phone numbers. Now, with this change, dialing **TIPS from any cellphone will automatically route the caller to the Crime Stoppers office in the region where the call is generated. This is the first statewide cellular Crime Stoppers tip number of its kind in the nation.
“As Florida’s attorney general, I am always looking for ways to improve how the public can work with law enforcement to fight crime and protect our communities. Crime Stoppers is a shining example of how we can work together toward this vital goal. Crime Stoppers is a proven program with a decades-long track record of helping law enforcement catch dangerous criminals and protect vulnerable communities,” Moody said.
“The statewide program, **TIPS, allows citizens to anonymously report crime and collect rewards for tips that lead to an arrest. With these advances to these already successful programs, we hope even more citizens will help solve cases, stop crime and build a Stronger, Safer Florida,” she added.
President of the Florida Association of Crime Stoppers and Executive Director of Manatee County Crime Stoppers Frank Brunner said, “The network of 27 Crime Stoppers chapters serving Florida is excited about implementing this new technology. This system is one more tool in our toolbox which will make it easier for the public to anonymously share their critical information and assist law enforcement with making our state a safer place.”
When a user calls **TIPS, in addition to routing the caller to the local Crime Stoppers line, a smartphone application link will be sent to the phone which enables an individual to download the Crime Stopper app, P3 Tips. This free app is another avenue for individuals to report tips subject to rewards. Similar to any phone call made to Crime Stoppers, any tip sent through the app is reported anonymously.
Moody and representatives of FACS announced the new statewide cellular crime tip number during a news conference at the Florida Attorney General’s Office in Tampa. The Florida Attorney General provides funding to FACS to help facilitate the administration of the nonprofit program and reward tipsters for reports that lead to arrests.
FACS was established in 1977 as an anonymous citizens crime reporting system. Over the past four decades, the program has proved to be a vital asset in assisting law enforcement with catching dangerous criminals and protecting communities. In the past 12 months alone, FACS has recorded the following stats:
- More than 59,000 citizen tips reported to members of FACS;
- Tips led to more than 2,700 arrests; and
- FACS paid more than $987,000 for anonymous tips leading to arrests.
To report tips anonymously about unsolved crimes, citizens can now simply dial **TIPS.