Police Text-Message tip lines to fight crime

Police Text-Message tip lines to fight crime. We're already aware of reporting crimes anonymously via pay phone to police in the 1970s. Now, in an increasing number of cities, tipsters are being invited to use their thumbs — to identify criminals using text messages. Police hope the idea helps recruit teens and 20-somethings who wouldn't normally dial a Crime Stoppers hot line to share information with authorities.
"It's obvious that the future of communication is texting," said officer Michael Charbonnier, commander of the Boston Police Department's Crime Stoppers unit. "You look at these kids today and that's all they're doing. You see five kids standing on the corner, and they're texting instead of having a conversation with each other."
The police departments in Boston and Cincinnati have started accepting anonymous text tips about a year ago. Since then, more than 100 communities have taken similar steps or plan to do so. The Internet-based systems route messages through a server that encrypts cell phone numbers before they get to police, making tips virtually impossible to track.

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