Report Suspicious Activity | Anti-Terrorism For Civilians

Tips From The NSA/DHS/FBI

All too often citizens don’t report suspicious activities.  Some don’t report because they think they’ll be ignored or ridiculed by the Officer taking the report.  Others don’t report out of fear of retaliation.  As a society, we have to resist these common fears and REPORT.  Even if you run into an Officer who is rude… or if you’re worried about being wrong… or if you’re worried about retaliation… PLEASE report suspicious activity.

In today’s day and age we can’t be lax in this responsibility.  The info below is provided by several agencies in  the United States.  If you’re in a different Country, please reference your National Security websites for similar information.

What You Need To Know

Prompt and detailed reporting of suspicious activities can help prevent violent crimes or terrorist attacks.  If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your local police department. Local law enforcement officers can respond quickly. Once they assess the situation, they can obtain additional support.

Start Here

Citizens should always call local law enforcement.  If you see something suspicious, please call local law enforcement.

If there is a life threatening emergency, please call 911.

When reporting suspicious activity, it is helpful to give the most accurate description possible, including:

  • Brief description of the activity
  • Date, time and location of the activity
  • Physical identifiers of anyone you observed
  • Descriptions of vehicles
  • Information about where people involved in suspicious activities may have gone
  • Your name and contact information (optional)

Behind the scenes there is an active national strategy for information sharing. The Nationwide Suspicious Activity Reporting (SAR) Initiative (NSI) is a collaborative effort led by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Bureau of Justice Assistance, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and state, local, tribal, and territorial law enforcement partners.

This initiative provides law enforcement with another tool to help prevent terrorism and other terrorism-related crime by establishing a national capacity for gathering, documenting, processing, analyzing, and sharing SAR information.

The NSI is a standardized process—including stakeholder outreach, privacy protections, training, and facilitation of technology—for identifying and reporting suspicious activity in jurisdictions across the country and also serves as the unified focal point for sharing SAR information.



Remember you can report on suspicious activities anonymously.  If you see suspicious activity, please report it to your local police department. If you are experiencing an emergency, please call 911.

DHS also has other reporting avenues for reporting incidents such as chemical security concerns, cyber-security matters, immigration or customs violations, oil or chemical spills or suspected criminal or terrorist activity.

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Until next time, stay safe!

– Brian


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