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Hotline to improve reporting on crimes on tribal land

Oklahoma City _ Federal authorities have set up a hotline to improve the reporting and investigation of crimes on tribal land in Oklahoma.  The action is in response to reports that crimes against Indians by non-Indians are not being investigated and prosecuted.

An Amnesty International report says the Federal Government is not doing enough to stop violence against Indian women.  The report says Indian women are raped at a rate 2 times greater than non-Indians.

The head of the Oklahoma FBI, Michael B. Ward, says there is a perception that crimes occurring on Indian land, including sexual offenses, are not being addressed.  Ward says reports indicate confusion over where to report crimes committed on Indian land by non-Indians. To alleviate the confusion, he says callers can call the new notline to report serious crimes, such as sexual assaults.

The number is 877-658-7423 (877-OK-TRIBE).  The hotline was announced at a news conference Wednesday and was attended by Bureau of Indian Affairs Special Agent Michael McCoy, U.S. Attorney John Richter and Jim Cox, Executive Director of the Oklahoma Association of Chiefs of Police.

(Copyright 2007 by the Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

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