Plymouth State College has established a TIPS line and Silent Witness Web-based form to encourage the confidential reporting of criminal activity on and around the College campus. This initiative comes in the wake of last spring’s couch fires set during the final two weeks of the semester.
“The sheer number and frequency of fire calls that came in as a result of burning couches put a significant strain on the town’s fire personnel, as well as campus and local police,” says Dick Hage, vice president for student affairs. “It got to the point where none of the area volunteer firefighters were able to respond because they were exhausted.”
Hage says the seriousness of the issue was further complicated by the fact that the persons setting the fires are not known. He says, “Several of the fires were set in broad daylight, but no one saw who did it? That’s hard to believe.”
To encourage students and others to report their knowledge of any unlawful acts in College buildings, on campus property or the property in the Towns of Plymouth and Holderness adjacent to the campus, 535-TIPS (8477) has been activated as a confidential crime reporting line. Leads will be monitored and followed up by Campus Police. When reports lead to an arrest or recovery of contraband or stolen property, the caller may be eligible for a cash reward.
The PSC Campus Police will also be monitoring leads that come in from the Silent Witness form on their Web site at www.plymouth.edu/psc/security. Once the form is filled out and submitted, the person sending it will not be identifiable. “The exception,” says Campus Police Chief John Clark, “is in situations involving life safety where further investigation into the source of information may be required.”