US: Using daily reports from the LAPD and L.A. County Sheriff’s Department, the Los Angeles Times has built a new crime-mapping programme. The programme is based on Google Maps and provides a comprehensive data on serious crimes, tracking trends and offering alerts. It also allows users to analyse crime statistics, search historic crime patterns and receive alerts when several crimes occur in an area over a short period of time. The LA Times ha has taken numerous steps to accurately map the two agencies’ crime reports. Its staff manually placed more than 10,000 crimes that could not be mapped by a computer. Currently, less than 2 per cent of LAPD reports and less than 5 per cent of Sheriff’s reports are not mapped.
The Sheriff’s Department posts crime data on the website, where anyone can access it. The LAPD, on the other hand, puts its crime data on the website that requires a password to gain entry. Senior LAPD officials have yet to decide whether they will follow the Sheriff’s lead or grant access on a case-by-case basis.
The LA Times‘ crime mapping system also may help neighbourhood leaders “better understand what’s going on in our communities — not only to hold police accountable, but also to applaud them when they are doing a good job,” said Scott Campbell, President of the Central Hollywood Neighbourhood Council.
Source: Los Angeles Times