The Stop Snitching phenomenon is causing a significant problem in US cities. Criminal gangs are leading campaigns intended to instill fear in the communities in which they operate and prevent witnesses to their criminal behavior from going to the police. Such intimidation has a negative effect on law enforcement, reducing the reporting of serious crimes and cooperation with law enforcement officers investigating such crimes.
The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF) and U.S. Department of Justice published a report entitled “The Stop Snitching Phenomenon: Breaking the Code of Silence” in February 2009 which looks at the background to the phenomenon and potential methods for tackling it.
The report notes a FBI statistic which shows that national clearance rates for violent crime, especially homicide, have been declining since 2000 and reached 44.5 percent in 2007. This is attributed, at least in part, to growing witness intimidation.