The Worcester Police Department has provided the following answers to frequently asked questions related to submitting Anonymous Crime Tips.
To text a tip to the Worcester Police Department, you must have text messaging enabled on your phone and subscribe to a participating cell phone carrier. To begin your tip session, text the word "TIPWPD" to the number 27463, this spells the word "CRIMES" on your phone's keypad.
While handset menus differ by carrier or model, here are some basic steps on how to compose a text message.
Text messaging is also known as SMS or "short message service." Text messaging is a way to communicate on your mobile phone by sending or receiving plain text messages. To determine if you can send text messages, it is best to contact your wireless provider or refer to your mobile device's manual.
You will not be asked to reveal your identity to the Police in order to provide information about a violent crime and the Police will not be able to trace the text message in any way.
A special computer server will encrypt your message and mask your identity before sending your tip to the Police. This service is truly anonymous.
Users can go to the Anonymous Crime Tips web page. The user then fills in a form and submits it via the Internet. The tip goes through a secure server where, again, the identity of the sender is masked from the detectives receiving the Web tip.
The WPD wants information on every type of crime, not just those covered in the media. The text tip line is not traced, and we are not interested in the user's identity. We believe these new anonymous forms of providing tips to the Police offer a way for callers to rid their neighborhoods of crime SAFELY.
You may submit a tip anytime, anywhere, 24/7.
Although the WPD service is free and requires no purchase or fee for participation, standard messaging rates and other fees may apply. Check your mobile plan for more details.
No mobile phone information is collected by the Worcester Police Department as part of this program. Your text-a-tip is completely anonymous to the Worcester Police Department and is only identifiable via a four-digit tip code that will be provided to you. Any information you submit is directed to the WPD Detective Bureau, who will disseminate the information to the appropriate WPD investigative officers.
For your safety, you should always delete all text messages to and from "CRIMES" (27463) from your in box and your out box.
Note: The program is available on most, but not all major wireless carriers; therefore we cannot guarantee this program will work for all participants. Although the program is complimentary to participants, standard text messaging rates may apply. Check with your carrier and wireless plan for details.
To stop the program at any time, which will prevent WPD from being able to securely respond back to you, you can opt out via text message. Send a text message with the word "STOP" to CRIMES (274637). You'll receive a one-time opt-out confirmation text message. If you choose to, you can submit a text tip again at a later time by texting the word TIPWPD along with your tip to CRIMES (274637).
At any time, from your mobile phone, send a text message with the word "HELP" to CRIMES (274637) for program information. This is for operational information, not to solicit help from the WPD.