Crime Stoppers – Anonymous Tip Line
You can help fight crime in Boston by carrying a concealed weapon — your cell phone.
Thanks to an innovative program supported and funded in part by the Boston Police Foundation, concerned citizens of Boston are able to provide anonymous crime information to the Boston Police Department by calling the Crime Stoppers Hotline or text-messaging the Text a Tip number. Text messaging an anonymous “tip” from your mobile phone is incredibly easy. Just text the word “TIP” to “CRIME*” or “27463*”. For your safety, all messages in your in and out box to CRIME should be deleted in the event your phone is lost or stolen.
Tipsters can also call the Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-494-TIPS to speak anonymously with trained police personnel who will, in turn, forward the information to the correct investigator. For more detailed information, you can visit the Crime Stoppers Program on line at: http://www.cityofboston.gov/police/cristop.asp.
Both the Hotline and the Text a Tip serve as anonymous ways to provide information to the police. If you call the hotline, your call is not recorded, and you are not asked to disclose your name. If you Text a Tip, your mobile phone number is not disclosed, and, only the information you voluntarily provide will be given to police.
Although the technology is state of the art, the strategy of encouraging citizen participation to fight crime is well-established. Concerned citizens are truly the first line of defense against criminal activity and the key to solving most neighborhood crimes. However, even when good citizens want to come forward, they recognize their own vulnerability in this process. Therefore, anonymous methods of communicating to the police are necessary in order to collect crucial information without endangering the tipsters.
The Crime Stoppers Hotline has achieved notable successes over the past 15 years. Tips have resulted in numerous arrests for serious crimes, to include homicides, aggravated assaults, car jackings, and home invasions.
The Text a Tip program began operations on June 15, 2007, and was the first program of its kind in the United States. It has almost immediately proven its worth. Younger people in particular are adept at text messaging, and are responding with valuable tips. The concept has since been widely copied by police departments around the country.
To help support the Crime Stoppers Program, the Boston Police Foundation offers cash rewards for tips that result in a successful arrest and indictment in a criminal case. The process is relatively simple:
- Those providing crime tips are given a specific contact number, and encouraged to remain in periodic contact with the Crime Stoppers Unit.
- If the information leads to an arrest and indictment, the matter is automatically reviewed by the Boston Police Foundation Awards Committee, and awards are granted in meritorious cases.
- The tipster is instructed where and when to pick up the award, which is handled through a discrete process so that the tipster or his designee is never at risk of being identified.
- The rewards, which can be as high as $1,000 for information leading to the arrest and indictment of a murderer, are paid in cash, and no effort is made to trace the money or the tipster.
The Boston Police Foundation is a charitable organization that funds the Text-a-Tip program and funds all cash rewards paid by the Crime Stoppers Program. The Foundation funds a variety of other programs that fight crime and improve the quality of life in Boston. If you would like to support the Boston Police Foundation, and if you would like to earmark your tax-exempt donation specifically to support the Crime Stoppers Program, please make your check payable to “The Boston Police Foundation, Inc., Crime Stoppers Program” and send it to the following address:
Boston Police Foundation, 71 Commercial Street, #248, Boston, MA 02109
Your generosity and support are greatly appreciated.
Joseph B. Darby III and Robert Guttentag are members of the Boston Police Foundation Board of Trustees. Mr. Darby is currently the President of the Foundation and Mr. Guttentag is Chairman of the Crime Stoppers Awards Committee .