All too often neighbors are confused about what they should report and why. Suspicious activity can refer to any incident, event, individual or activity that seems unusual or out of place. Some common examples of suspicious activities include:
- A stranger loitering in your neighborhood or a vehicle cruising the streets repeatedly.
- Someone peering into cars or windows.
- A high volume of traffic going to and coming from a home on a daily basis.
- Someone loitering around schools, parks, or secluded areas.
- Open or broken doors and windows at a unoccupied residence.
- Someone tampering with electrical, gas, or sewer systems without an identifiable company vehicle or uniform.
- Persons arriving or leaving from homes at unusual hours.
- Multiple persons who appear to be working in unison and exhibiting suspicious behaviors.
- Signs of forced entry or tampering with security or safety systems.
The effectiveness of police efforts is enhanced by active participation on the part of neighbors. By calling to report suspicious persons or activity, you not only aid the police, you make your community a safer place to live. Some people fail to call because they are not aware of activities that might be suspicious. Others may notice suspicious activity and hesitate to call for fear of being labeled a “nosy neighbor.” Still others take it for granted that someone else has already called. Always report suspicious activity and all crimes because police don’t know there’s a problem unless they are told.
By reporting these types of activities and situations, citizens can make their communities safer and more secure, reduce violence, minimize victimization, reduce crime, and improve the overall quality of life.REMEMBER:
Community members only serve as the extra “eyes and ears” of law enforcement. They should report their observations of suspicious activities to law enforcement; however, citizens should never try to take action on those observations. Trained law enforcement should be the only ones ever to take action based on observations of suspicious activities.
*Source is Bureau of Justice Assistance
U.S. Department of Justice