New hotline aimed at those reluctant to call police

(Philippe Put/Flickr)

CHICAGO (AP) -- An anti-crime group in Chicago is starting a new crime hotline aimed at those wary of contacting police directly with anonymous tips.

The Chicago Crime Commission says it will focus its marketing of the hotline on residents in neighborhoods hard hit by gang violence and other crime.

The Anonymous Crime Reporting Hotline was scheduled to be officially unveiled Tuesday by the advocacy group and representatives from several federal agencies.

Crime Commission President J.R. Davis says "the intention ... is to enable Chicagoans who are reluctant to call the police with another option."

The hotline number is 888-393-6646. Callers leave a voicemail and the Chicago Crime Commission will forward the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. If a crime is in progress, callers are told hang up and call 911.