RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers is now using an app where people can easily submit anonymous tips and information to help detectives catch the bad guys.
The app - P3 Tips - is free to download, and users can also include pictures, videos and documents. The system further makes it easier for people to track the tip they submitted, add additional information or see if they received a reward, if their tip led to an arrest.
Richmond police Detective Benjamin Toderico said that the app makes it impossible to trace who submitted the tip, stripping identifying information like metadata, before the tip is received by Crime Stoppers.
"It removes anything like GPS information from photographs, metadata that might identify the device," he said. "... That is stripped or obscured so that when we receive the tip. … It's all anonymous," he said.
By Virginia law, the Crime Stoppers program must give anonymity to people who submit tips. That information cannot be used in court, either.
Other localities started using the P3 Tips app last year, and have reported an increase in tips.
Last year, Metro Richmond Crime Stoppers received 1,261 tips, resulting in 88 arrests, $13,000 in stolen property recovered, and $60,000 in illegal drugs taken off the streets. $4,300 in reward money was also given out to tipsters whose information led to an arrest.
NBC12's Richmond reporter Kelly Avellino will have a full report at 5 and 6 p.m.
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