How to Report a Crime

When reporting an incident to a Public Safety agency, think of these 5 “W”s to help provide key details to the Call-Taker:

Remember: Never place yourself in harm’s way to gather this information!

What:  Synopsis of what is happening or the type of service needed.
Examples:

  • There’s a woman causing a disturbance.
  • There’s a suspicious man in front of the building.
  • We need an ambulance for someone who passed out!

Where:  Location of Service – Be as specific as possible; it can be an exact address, intersection, block, as well as identifiable areas at the location.
Examples:

  • 1801 W. Taylor St.
  • Taylor / Wolcott,
  • 1800 block W. Taylor
  • On the 2nd floor in apt/office/room 201
  • Add’l descriptors: tower or wing, loading dock, alley, etc.

Who:  Descriptions of “Offender(s)”/Direction of flight – Give as many details as possible that will help police identify the right person(s)
Example:

  • Caucasian man, about 5’9 and 180 pounds, with black hair, sunglasses, and a full beard. He has on a blue baseball cap, tan jacket, white button-up shirt, khaki pants, and brown shoes.

When:  Advise if the incident is currently happening or has already passed
Examples:

  • There’s a car on fire right now!
  • Someone just stole my car!
  • My office was burglarized overnight!

Weapons:  Weapons involved – any object that can do bodily harm or damage property
Examples:

  • gun
  • knife
  • baseball bat
  • golf club
  • crowbar
  • brick
  • etc.

Additional Details: Known physical or psychological issues involved – This information will assist in getting the appropriate resources to the scene.

 

There are a variety of ways to report a crime:

  • in-person at the UIC Police Department, 943 W Maxwell St, Chicago, IL 60608, Second (2nd) Floor
  • Emergency Call: (312) 355-5555 (24hrs)
  • Non-Emergency Call: (312) 996-2830 (24hrs)
  • Call 911