September 24, 2016
New app puts crime solving at the tip of a finger
Starting Monday, anonymous tipsters will have a new tool to submit information on unsolved crimes through a free app that can be downloaded on any smart phone or tablet.
Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers will be upgrading their software this weekend to a new program which will be more user friendly for people who have information on unsolved crimes or wanted fugitives. The new app is called P3 – which stands for Public, Police and Private Sector – the three key elements that make the Crime Stoppers program work. The free app can be downloaded through the App Store for iPhone products or Google Play for Android users using the search title of “P3 Tips.” Through this app, tipsters will have the option of either providing a new tip, updating a tip or simply calling the hotline with the touch of a screen. The P3 app will allow for more dialogue between Crime Stoppers staff and tipsters and will afford the ability for users to upload video, photos, screen shots and even audio files.
Another benefit to the new P3 app is that if tipsters are in an area outside of Southwest Florida, they can still easily find the closest Crime Stoppers program to where they are located and provide any information on suspicious or criminal activity.
One change tipsters will notice with the new software and associated app is that text tipping will no longer be an option. Historically, less than 2 percent of tips came in through a text format, whereas mobile and web related tips account for nearly 70% of all tips. Tipsters will still have the traditional option of calling the hotline at 1-800-780-TIPS (8477) or submitting a tip online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com. Regardless of what source tipsters choose to use, they will always remain anonymous. Tipsters using the P3 app will choose their own personal passcode which will only be known by the tipster. When a new tip is submitted, a tip ID number will be generated for the tipster to utilize in following up or adding to their tip.
“As technology evolves, so do we,” said Trish Routte, Crime Stoppers Coordinator. “We want to make the tip submission process as easy and user friendly as possible. Through this new app, people who have critical information that they want to share anonymously will be able to do so with ease and without having to use a search engine to reach out to us.”
Although the P3 tip submission process is a new feature for Crime Stoppers, some things will remain the same – like the reward money. Tips that lead to an arrest will still be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000.
Note: A screen shot of the home page of the P3 app for Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is attached to this release.