Tips: How to be a great witness
Being a witness to a crime is not usually something one plans on doing. It’s almost always unexpected and usually happens quickly, making it difficult to fully comprehend what’s occurring if you happen to be nearby.
However, if you do witness or suspect a crime, your eye-witness account can make all the difference between losing or apprehending a criminal.
So, channelling Liam Neeson from ‘Taken’, here are four key things to take note of when observing a crime that authorities will find the most helpful:
Note the key details on how a perpetrator looks. Height, build, hair colour, facial hair, tattoos or piercings – things that make them stand out from a crowd. Can your details be used to recreate an image of the suspect?
For fleeing fugitives, it is a good idea to note their trousers and shoes. It doesn’t take much to put on a hat, balaclava, scarf or remove a jacket, but it is unlikely that a fleeing criminal will change their trousers and shoes.
For vehicles, the model and registration plates are incredibly helpful. Use a riddle or song to help remember a vehicle’s registration. Also note any damage to the car if you have seen it involved in an accident.
If it’s possible, a photograph and/or video of an incident or perpetrator is always a fantastic tool to help authorities. If you’re unable to use a camera, an audio recording can also be useful to report an incident.
Importantly, write down your observations immediately even if you are not entirely sure that a crime has been committed. No matter how good you think your memory is, details fade quickly and any detail you’ve witnessed could be the one that nails the culprit. Jot these notes down in a Safeland event and update the event whenever you think of another key point. Perhaps another user also witnessed the same event and collaboratively you can work together to ensure that justice is served.
~ Team Safeland