Anonymous Crime Tips

9/22/2010 - The Portland Police Department is pleased to introduce three new ways of providing anonymous crime fighting tips to the police. Beginning this week, community members in Portland may send anonymous text messages, submit information anonymously via the internet, and leave anonymous phone messages.

“Police and community members must work cooperatively in order to keep Portland safe," said Portland Police Chief James Craig. “Oftentimes community members have information about criminal activity, but for various reasons do not want to speak directly to the police. This program provides an opportunity for members of the community to do their part in keeping this City safe – while remaining anonymous.”

Chief Craig also acknowledged several local donors that stepped up to fund this important program: Creative Design and Marketing, Art Girard, Comedy Connection, DiMillos Floating Restaurant, John Fanning and Portland Glass. “I am extremely grateful for the support provided by all of these donors. They saw a need and stepped up to the plate without hesitation.”

The Text-a-Tip and Web Tip programs are products of TipSoft, a crime tip management company that supports law enforcement agencies across the country. Portland is the first municipality in Maine to launch the TipSoft programs.

To send an anonymous text message to the Portland Police Department, mobile phone users should text the keyword “GOTCHA” plus their message to 274637 (CRIMES). Text messages are encrypted, routed through several secure servers maintained by TipSoft, and stripped of all identifying information. The user can provide additional information to police via an anonymous two-way dialogue or stop all communication by texting STOP to the same number – 274637.

Community members may also submit tips to the Police Department by going to the PPD website: www.portland-police.com and clicking "Submit an Anonymous Crime Tip.” The user can fill out the web form and even attach photos. The form is transmitted to TipSoft, stripped of identifying information and forwarded to the Portland Police Department.

Finally, community members can leave anonymous phone tips on the Department’s Crime Tip line: 874-8584.

None of these programs are substitutes for dialing 911.

*Community members are advised to always call 911 to report a crime in progress or an emergency requiring immediate response. *
Non-emergency requests for police response may be directed to 874-8575.