Reporting Hate Crimes
If you are a victim of, or witness to a hate crime, please report the incident to the police, either DURING, or IMMEDIATELY AFTER it occurs BY CALLING 911. This will allow the Police Department to respond to, investigate and statistically track bias related incidents. The Tampa Police Department can then deploy police officers and other resources to the area where these crimes are occurring.
The 911 operator needs quick and concise information, such as;
• Your injuries: 911 Operator will call for medical assistance while talking with you.
• The specifics of the crime: What happened?
• What was said: Tell the 911 operator and the responding officer if the suspect(s) used words to indicate a hate crime.
• If there was a weapon involved: Describe it as a gun, knife, etc.
• Description of suspects: Age, race, height, weight and clothing description of the suspect(s).
• Any unusual characteristics: Scars, marks, tattoos, piercings, speech, etc.
• Suspect vehicle description: Color, make, model, vehicle license.
• Direction of travel: Which way did they flee?
Even if you think the crime is insignificant, reporting crimes quickly allows the Tampa Police Department to:
• Respond immediately to the scene to prevent further harm to you or others.
• Collect evidence that could be destroyed if not discovered and collected quickly.
• Interview witnesses who may otherwise be gone if you delay your call to 911.
• Apprehend the suspect(s) quickly so they do not continue to victimize others.
• Determine if the suspect(s) are engaged in a pattern of previous and/or ongoing behavior that threatens the community.
• Increase community awareness of criminal activity in the area through media notification & alerts.
• Develop solutions and/or deterrents to reduce the crime by adding patrols to the area.
Your quick actions and reporting will help reduce crime in the City of Tampa!
Did you know? According to the National Coalition of Anti Violence Programs over 45% of hate crimes against the LGBT community are never reported to police.