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Old 09-27-2011, 8:01 AM
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Default Removing LE broadcasts due to criminal activity

I am aware that in my area there has been a recent rise in home break-in's. Am I being too paranoid to think that some of these criminals may be using their smart phones to monitor the police in my area to avoid being caught? I recently changed my feed from LE and Fire to Fire and EMS because of this concern. Any opinions on this would be appreciated.
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Old 09-27-2011, 8:23 AM
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Originally Posted by summitrt View Post
I am aware that in my area there has been a recent rise in home break-in's. Am I being too paranoid to think that some of these criminals may be using their smart phones to monitor the police in my area to avoid being caught? I recently changed my feed from LE and Fire to Fire and EMS because of this concern. Any opinions on this would be appreciated.
Well, it depends. I know for a fact the local popo have caught some guys listening to my feed on their phone. I hear similar stories other places. But--if they're getting caught, obviously it's not working that well. Here's a few things to remember
  • there is a feed delay of over a minute for some feeds. That's a very long time if your average police response time is 2-3 minutes.
  • most agencies use 10 codes, signals, etc and without knowing that, your ability to understand what's happening is limited
  • depending on how much stuff you're scanning, even a few talkgroups or channels worth of activity means you cannot simultaneously hear all activity on every channel. in other words, it's luck of the draw that you would hear the crime you're committing be dispatched
  • once it's dispatched it would be really hard to continue following if you're on the run. I don't picture local knuckle-dragging criminals having their headphones in as they run through an urban area or forest or what not so they can keep listening while they run. Most of these criminals are pretty stupid.

For these reasons I think the practicality of using a phone scanner app to evade police is pretty low. I'm sure SOMEONE, SOMEWHERE has done it, but I'm sure that is the exception and not the rule. I think even if you invested the time of buying a real scanner, programming it and taking the time to learn all of the local lingo used, even that could be tricky to use to evade police with.
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Old 09-27-2011, 9:07 AM
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If someone does use your scanner feed to help commit a crime you are not protected from civil liability. If you have house insurance check and see if you are covered against claims. While they may not win in the long run they could drive you into bankruptcy court very easily if they or an insurance company makes a claim against you.
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Old 09-27-2011, 9:49 AM
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If someone does use your scanner feed to help commit a crime you are not protected from civil liability. If you have house insurance check and see if you are covered against claims. While they may not win in the long run they could drive you into bankruptcy court very easily if they or an insurance company makes a claim against you.
While that is possible, it's pretty unlikely. They would be violating the RR TOS, which they agree to by using the site, and in most states using a scanner in a crime is also illegal. I think that would give you decent standing. There is a very long thread on the legalities of this topic in the live audio admin forum.

To my knowledge the only handful of civil lawsuits were because the agency didn't feel the person running the feed should be allowed to do so, not as a liability issue.

Last edited by mk262; 09-27-2011 at 9:53 AM..
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Old 09-27-2011, 10:03 AM
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summitrt - Keep a eye on the police logs - if burglarys go down, maybe you did the right thing - if burglarys go up, maybe you will have to put 2 or 3 police feeds online

Keith - If a guy buys a Twinkie at the supermarket, and then gets the energy to go out and do a burglary, do you think the Twinkie manufacturer will be found liable?

Gotta go write a check - FEMA is running out of money!
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