Crime Stoppers launches new app to report tips anonymously

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2017 proved to be the deadliest year in Columbus history; 143 people were killed and police have solved less than 40 percent of those violent crimes.

Now, Central Ohio Crime Stoppers is hopeful a new crime-fighting app will make it easier for tipsters to come forward.

Kristen McKinley is the president of Central Ohio Crime Stoppers. She asks, what if it was your family member?

"Would you feel the same way? Would you want people to not get involved? Would you want nobody to tell you what happened to your loved one? I would think not."

Crime Stoppers is using a new smartphone app called "P3 Tips." The app allows you to share detailed suspect information, even upload video or photos for investigators to review. Crime Stoppers can even talk back.

"P3 Tips" pioneers say the app is opening crime fighting doors.

In Washington, Crime Stoppers of Puget Sound says since it introduced the app in November of 2016, crime tips have tripled and arrests have doubled.

Tri-Cities Crime Stoppers launched the app in 2015 and says since then tips have increased by more than 30 percent and arrests are up 35 percent.

McKinley says whether tipsters call on the phone or send a text, send a message via the web or the app, they are identified only by an assigned tip number.

"Anonymity is the cornerstone of our program. We have to fight for that tooth and nail because it is why we exist," she said.