While the United States Census Bureau indicates that crime rates involving robbery, burglary, and theft have actually decreased in the past 10 years, the number of such events is still staggering. These types of crimes are often associated with drug use or drug trade. If you are witnessing a crime in progress, whether it is a drug transaction or not, law enforcement professionals suggest that you do the following:
- Remain calm
- Get to a safe location from where you can notify the authorities
- Call 911 and provide the operator with the nature of the crime
- Provide the address where the crime is taking place, or if you are uncertain of the exact address, provide the names of the streets nearby or a landmark
If you feel comfortable, identify yourself to the operator and wait for the police to arrive. However if you are uncomfortable about giving your name, you can remain anonymous.
What to Do If Drug Crimes Put You at Personal Risk
If you are at personal risk because someone you know is taking drugs and is acting in a manner that makes you fearful, the most important thing for you to do is get to safety. Do not worry about what your neighbors may think, and do not be embarrassed about having to seek refuge from a loved one.
As soon as you are safe you can consider your options to report what you experienced or seek professional assistance from drug addiction counselors or other professionals who have experience in dealing with drug-related issues. There are many groups that can help you explore your options and determine what course of action you should take.
What to Do about Ongoing Drug Activity
If you have information about ongoing drug activity, the first thing that you need to know is that the police cannot arrest a person simply because you call them to inform them of things that you have observed. By having the right expectations you can determine when it is appropriate for you to contact your local law officials.
When you have information that you feel is valuable to report, call your local police department. When you explain the nature of your call, you will most likely be transferred to the narcotics division. Be sure to explain all the information you have about the incidences that led you to make the call. Providing details, dates, times and accurate descriptions will enable law officers to start an investigation.
Options for Online Drug Reporting
If you feel more comfortable not speaking directly to local law enforcement personnel, there are many online sites that allow you to complete a form providing details about the experiences you have witnessed. These forms guide you to identify the dates, times, location and activities that you believe to be suspicious.
They also ask you to provide a description of the people or vehicles you witnessed at the scene. While most of these forms do ask that you provide your name and a method of contact, you will only be contacted if law enforcement personnel need additional information from you.