Crime pays in new ways in south-east England where police are rewarding informants with £10 in mobile phone credits for useful tip-offs via text messaging.
Sussex Police have set up a special number to take information on crimes from members of the public via SMS massaging, under a pilot scheme called "Textme" that is aimed at young people.
"We log the information from each text we receive and subject them to proper investigation," said inspector Mark Piper, who thought up the idea.
"If the information proves useful, we respond with a thank you and tell them we would like to give them £10 credit."
That is worth about 100 text messages on the typical pay-as-you-go mobile phone.
"The great thing about this scheme is that you could be walking down the street and text in about a crime without anyone knowing."
Nine text messages were received on the first day of Textme this week, including information on car crime and possible drug dealing.
Police will only try to trace informants in case of serious crime such as murder.