What is Suspicious
"Am I witnessing a crime?" Most of us have found ourselves wondering this at some time or other. However, because we are not really sure, we tend to ignore what we have just seen and, hoping it wasn't so, we continue about our business.
Nobody knows YOUR neighborhood better than you. What might be normal someplace else might NOT be normal where you live.
Many people don't want to bother the police because they are afraid that it may not be a real emergency or that they may be embarrassed if their suspicious turn out to be unfounded. The police would much rather be called out to investigate than to be called after a crime has been committed.
What is Suspicious Activity?
Residents may observe a variety of actions, statements, associations, timing or patterns of activity that create suspicions of illegal conduct. No one has a better perspective about what defines "normal" in New Jersey communities, than the people who live there. Law Enforcement has long relied upon the common sense perceptions of New Jersey citizens who notice something or someone that appears suspicious or out of place.
Should I Give Police My Name and Contact Number?
Yes! If you want your report to be taken seriously, you should be willing to give your name and contact information to investigators. Someone from Public Safety will want to talk to you personally in order to understand the full details of your information and take appropriate action in a timely manner.
Will My Identity Be Protected?
Yes! Reports to Public Safety are considered an important part of America's ongoing investigation into the War on Terrorism. Investigators will need to know your name and contact numbers in order to do their job, but the Public Safety Department will make every effort to keep your identity confidential.
Do I Have To Talk To The News Media?
No! No one who makes a report to Public Safety is required to speak with the news media. Public Safety will not release your name to reporters. The decision to remain anonymous to the public or to speak with the news media is left completely up to you.
How Should I Focus My Attention?
Everyone should be especially mindful of suspicious activity around what Homeland Security calls "Critical Infrastructure." These "Key Assets" are places or facilities where damage or destruction could cause an interruption of service, or result in serious injury or death.
What Should I Watch For?
New Jerseyians should immediately report people who photograph, videotape, sketch or seek blueprints for: Dams, drinking water supplies and water treatment facilities; Major highway intersections, bridges and tunnels; Ports, transportation hubs, airports and shipping facilities; Electric plants and substations, nuclear facilities and transmission towers; Pipelines and tank farms; Military installments, law enforcement agencies, and defense contract sites; Hospitals and health research facilities; Internet, phone, cable, and communications facilities and towers; And capitol, court, and government buildings. Suspicious activity around historic structures and national landmarks should also be reported.
"People Aren't Suspicious, Behavior Is!"
Here are some signs or behaviors that may be suspicious:
A person running would be suspicious if he or she were looking about furtively, as if he or she were being watched or chased.
A stranger carrying property at an unusual hour or location, especially if the items are stereo equipment, office machinery or a locked bicycle.
A person going door-to-door in an office building or a residential area may be looking for an opportunity to steal. One of the leading crimes at USP is theft of unattended property from unsecured offices and rooms.
Any person forcibly entering a locked vehicle, especially at night and in one of our parking areas, is highly suspicious.
Property in vehicles. This may not be suspicious unless the property is of an unusual nature: television sets, stereo equipment, CD or DVD players or auto parts. Possible significance: could be stolen property. If a person is seen detaching mechanical parts of accessories, call the police immediately. One of the leading crimes involves burglary from a motor vehicle. While the person's behavior may be appropriate, you are more likely to be witnessing a burglary, theft, or malicious mischief crime in progress.
Transactions being conducted from vehicles, especially near schools or parks. You may be witnessing an illegal drug sale or sale of stolen property.
One or more persons sitting in a parked car closely scanning the area around them may be lookouts for a burglary or robbery in progress, or for a crime being planned.
Certain moving vehicles, such as vehicles moving slowly and running without lights or one that keeps passing the same area. It could be casing a building or house to burglarize, someone pushing drugs or someone planning a crime such as a robbery, kidnapping or sex offense.
A person (especially a juvenile or female) being forced into a vehicle may be a kidnapping.
A person exhibiting unusual mental or physical symptoms may have been injured in an accident, be under the influence of alcohol, drugs or medications, or otherwise need medical or psychiatric assistance.
Unusual noises, including gunshots, screaming, sounds of fighting, barking dogs, or anything suggesting foul play, danger, or illegal activity.
Remember, there are many activities that could be considered suspicious. A suspicious activity is an occurrence that is out of place and should not be happening in our community. There could be reasonable explanations for some suspicious activities. By thinking things through, being observant and using common sense, you will be able to make a good judgment about whether an activity is suspicious. If you call the police and you were wrong, it's okay, you will not be in trouble. Your role as a concerned citizen is to report whatever you think is wrong or suspicious.
Reporting Suspicious Activity
Be prepared. Keep the phone number of the New Jersey City University Public Safety Department (201) 200-3127, by your telephone. Call 55 if it is a life threatening situation and you need Police, Fire, or Ambulance immediately. Remain calm. Avoid taking any risks. Your safety is most important. Keep away from the crime scene to preserve evidence.
When you call to report a suspicious activity, you will be asked for your name, department, and telephone number. This information is requested to verify our records or in case additional contact with you becomes necessary.
If you are away from campus, call 9-1-1.
Try to Remember the Following Information:
DO NOT PLACE YOURSELF IN DANGER TO GET INFORMATION!
Remain on the telephone until you are certain the police department has all the necessary information.
If it is suspicious to you, it's suspicious to us. It is better to be safe than sorry.
In your area, we do not always know what is suspicious and what is not. It is up to you, the Community members, to let us know when you see suspicious activity! Report it immediately!
For more information, please email: email@example.com or call 201-200-3127 / 3128.