Experts explain why people don’t report crimes they see

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TUSCALOOSA , Ala. (WBRC) -- Several cases have been recently reported where a witness saw something wrong but did not report it to police - immediately or at all.

Experts explain why this continues to happen and how you can help stop it.

What if that was your daughter, your niece, son or friend? That’s the question experts who deal with missing, trafficking and child abuse cases say you should be asking yourself if you see anything off, or a crime happening to someone.

Tuscaloosa Child Abuse Prevention Services and the West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force said although neglect is the top reported type of child abuse, there are still many people who don’t report it.

The most common reason they hear is people don’t want to get involved or maybe get someone in trouble, which applies to some other cases too.

Both groups said the longer you wait to notify police when a child, teen or anyone has been harmed in anyway, the greater the chances are the outcome could end tragically. So, don’t ever wait to call for help, do it right away.

“There shouldn’t be a young 2-, 3- and 4-year-old child left unattended walking around. If that child is constantly knocking on your door asking for food, don’t think what will happen with DHR, think about what is best for the child,” said Lisa Maddox with Tuscaloosa Child Abuse Prevention Services.

“We would much rather investigate thousands of tips where nothing came from it, then miss that one tip that potentially could’ve saved that child’s life,” said Ashley Blalock with West Alabama Human Trafficking Task Force investigator.

In the case of 5-year-old Taylor Rose Williams, court documents state a neighbor witnessed the young girl alone on several occasions but did not report it to police quickly.

In the case of college student Aniah Blanchard a witness told police he saw a man forcing her in a car against her own will, but he too did not call 911.

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