FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers is launching a new cell phone app Monday that will allow tipsters to submit their tips faster.
The app, just like the Crime Stoppers program, guarantees anonymity. It is called P3 Tips, and can be downloaded for free through the App Store for iPhone users or Google Play for Android users.
The App will allow tipsters to submit videos, photos, screen shots and even audio files with a user-friendly system.
Some people who live in the Dunbar area in Fort Myers, which has seen rising crime in recent years, believe the app could be appealing to people who normally don't share tips. "That can put you in jeopardy because whoever the criminal is knows you're the one who turned them in," said Harriet Myers. "If you don't have to submit your name, people don't see you face-to-face, you might get more information from them.
The City of Fort Myers recently installed a surveillance camera system in the Dunbar community and surrounding areas, making P3 Tips just the latest tool to fight crime. However, Myers believes the best way to get people to start reporting crime is for police to get to know the people who make up the community. Something she said use to happen more often. "They would come by, get something to eat and stop and talk with you for a few minutes. Those kind of things help you build trust with your community," she said.
Tipsters will still have the traditional option of calling the hotline at 1 (800) 780-TIPS or submitting a tip online at www.southwestfloridacrimestoppers.com. Regardless of what source a tipster chooses, their identity will always remain anonymous.