Is it best to relay my information to crime stoppers anonymously and hope the police act on it. ? Or should i take a more proactive approach and act
as a kind of spy for the MET in my spare time. ?
Reaper: Why not contact crime stoppers to obtain a contact name and postal address? Then you could send the information to them in typed format,
I feel the anonymous, written approach provides you the most safety.
Unfortunately, not all police are as honest, moral or idealistic as you.
In tv and gangland terminology, you would be regarded as a 'grass'. Criminals claim to hate 'grassers' as a matter of principle, but the reality
is, a 'grass' is a threat to the criminal's livlihood and liberty.
You have the capacity to put people in jail. People don't like jail. So they'll fear you and that fear will emerge as hatred. You could be
killed. Members of your family could be killed.
You're considering volunteering to act as 'spy' for the police
The police may pretend to regard you as a hero. Some may actually admire you. Most would be indifferent. But what could easily happen is that you
could find yourself being manipulated by ambitious or dishonest members of the police.
For several weeks, say, you could relay information via phone to one or two officers. They thank you. You assume they're acting on the information.
Maybe they will, maybe not. You're feeling good about yourself.
Then one day they come to you and demand information about something you know nothing about. You explain that you can tell them nothing. See how
easily this could occur? One moment you have an amicable relationship with the police .. and the next, you're for some reason placed on the
defensive. You protest: " Hey. Don't lean on me. I've told you -- I don't know anything about the jewellery robbery/bashing. If I did, I'd
tell you. I came to you of my own free will, remember. I'm not a criminal. I'm one of the good guys ! "
And they stare hard at you without an ounce of respect or warmth. They say: " Listen -- all it will take is for us to put out the word that you've
been informing, and you'll be dead before tea-time. You got that? Now so far, we've kept your name out of it. But if you don't give us the
information we need by tomorrow lunch-time, we might just accidently mention your name in the right quarters. Do you know what happens to informers?
Have you made a Will? Does your girlfriend/mother/wife have strong locks on her doors? Do yourself a favour and tell us what we need."
The balance of power can shift so swiftly. Instead of being regarded as a socially-responsible citizen with the best of intentions, you could find
yourself being treated like a common informer, working for the police without thanks or pay.
You'd be in a no-man's land, frightened of both the police and the criminals.
Police officers talk; to their colleagues, to their families, AND to criminals.
For example, your identity could be 'traded'. A real grass might offer to provide information to the police in exchange for the identity of the
informer (you) responsible for inconveniencing a criminal network or gang. If the police want the other information badly enough, they need only
write down your name and address on a piece of paper and pretend to drop it.
There are some sterling police officers and there are also crooks in uniform. Crooked police are involved in drugs, prostitution, protection rackets,
running interference, providing information, etc. They would have absolutely no loyalty or respect for you, nor would they care what happened to
There are also crooks in uniform who're involved in agendas that would boggle the mind.
Send the information anonymously. First type it. Then make a copy on a library or other public printer. Ensure there is NOTHING that could possibly
identify you. Send the copy. Burn the original. TELL NO ONE .... EVER !
If you provide the information by phone, even anonymously, there's the possibility you could be recorded doing so on a security camera. These are
strange and dangerous times. Most people simply do not believe that someone would place themselves at risk for society's benefit. Your good deed
could land you in a nightmare.
If as you say, you want to be proactive in reducing crime, then why not join the police force? At least then you'll be paid for the risk and will be
trained and granted respect and legitimacy for your efforts.