Crime is happening daily in Provo, but often when people see the police, they don’t think of anything besides speeding tickets.
On Jan. 17 Provo Police announced the department would be taking a new proactive approach to local crime by using CrimeReports.com and TipSoft.
CrimeReports.com is the largest online crime map in the world which will enable residents to see the crimes reported in Provo in a timely manner, and TipSoft is a service which allows people to anonymously send tips about crimes to law enforcement through text messaging. More information can be obtained at TipSoft.com.
Sgt. Mathew Siufanua explained more about CrimeReports.com.
“All the crimes that are on the CrimeReport site have to go through their filter system, but everything that is allowed on the website we list,” said Sgt. Mathew Siufanua. “Some laws may not be covered because they are only in specific areas.”
Siufanua said crimes go automatically onto the site, but the system updates daily. This may cause some delay when crimes are listed.
Since CrimeReports.com is the world’s largest online crime map, people can, ideally, look up any city.
“If the city is listed on the site already, you can look it up,” Siufanua said. “Not every city is on CrimeReports yet, but eventually they will be.”
Siufanua said TipSoft is doing well also.
“It is very helpful,” Siufanua said. “It was implemented recently and we are receiving texts with tips now.”
Aaron Anderson, a student from Eagle, Idaho studying recreation management youth leadership, said he felt safer knowing CrimeReports was availiable.
“I feel safer because I can look up a crime report for my wife and my future family,” Anderson said. “If my inlaws were coming to town I could also see what area they will be staying at.”
Anderson also said TipSoft was a great idea.
“TipSoft will help the police find crime that otherwise they would not have been aware of,” Anderson said.
Becca Rowe, a nurse at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center, said she would use CrimeReports when moving to a new area.
“CrimeReports would be most helpful for me if I was moving,” Rowe said. “I would be able to see if the area is safe for my kids and safe for me. It would be better for me to actually see it instead of hearing it from people in the area.”
Sgt. Siufanua said he is excited for the new programs.
“CrimeReports is a great opportunity to empower and educate the community by letting them get on a computer and see what is happening,” Siufanua said. “In a city with 130,000 people, TipSoft is going to be a tool in helping us be the most efficient we can be, and we can continue to build lasting partnerships with our community.”