The Top 4 Reasons Why Reporting a Crime is So Important
Have you ever witnessed a crime? Had your car broken into? A window busted? A garden gnome stolen off your front lawn? You may wonder if it's even worth your time reporting such crimes. In fact, many crimes just like this go completely unreported. But, why? Well, there are many myths that lead people to believe reporting certain crimes just isn't worth their time. In this blog we'll debunk those myths and help you understand why it is so important to report crime in your neighbourhood.
Here are the top 4 myths about reporting crimes and why you should ABSOLUTELY report them:
- “If there isn’t a suspect, and the police aren’t attending why waste my time?” Your time is valuable and we respect your concerns, but you are completely wrong. By reporting the crime, we capture valuable crime information that would otherwise be lost and the criminals are banking on your apathy. When you complete an on-line report, or telephone report, the information is collected and a report is captured, like all other reported crimes in our database. Our Crime Analysts (smart computer members) review the data every day and look for patterns that are actionable. With a team approach, and yes, you are on the squad, we then allocate the appropriate resources such as: plain clothes officers, K-9, uniform personnel, Auxiliary, CORE unit members, mobile cameras and a host of other really cool things that make CSI look fake…We also upload all our collected data onto our crime map which is a tool that is available for you as a citizen to view. Just go to our London Police Service website at londonpolice.ca and click on the services icon, you will be the “big brain” at the next neighborhood gathering espousing local crime stats that will make your partner blush with pride.
- “The police will give my personal information to the insurance company and my rates will go up!” Who started this rumor is probably a really nice person…but the truth is: if you are involved in a Motor Vehicle Collision, yes, your insurance company can make a request for relevant data and they may also make an application for information if a claim has been made by you to your insurance company in relation to items stolen or damaged. Otherwise, the London Police Service does not provide your relevant information to insurance companies as previously suggested.
- Interesting factoid, a north end parking location had an unreported 27 car break-ins in one year. Not a single one was reported to police during the related year, and as a result, the resources that could have been activated were utilized in other areas. The reality about opportunistic crime is criminals know that if they are having success in an area, they will continue to commit their crime(s) until they are stopped by citizens who report the crimes and the responding police who investigate the incidents.
- “It happened months ago, no sense in reporting now…” Sorry Eeyore, but with the optimism of Piglet, you ABSOLUTELY can make a report at a later date. Ideally, it is best to make a report as soon as possible, but sometimes victims require more time or didn’t realize they were victimized until weeks or even months later. Please include any/all serial numbers of your items that have a serialized portion and we recommend you maintain imagery of all your valuables, just please keep them in a safe location.
Thanks to everyone for taking the 72 seconds it took to read this article. We can all make a difference with a little bit of effort! Thank you to our friends in Neighborhood Watch for allowing us to share our thoughts on why we ask Londoners to report any crimes they may have suffered or witnessed.
By: John McDonald, London Police Service, Crime Prevention Officer