Ever wonder what crime is happening in your neighborhood? Maybe you’re curious about crime rates near your gym or work.
We recently explored how you can view crime rates within your city and covered some of the resources available to residents in a previous blog post, but we want to provide additional resources to view crimes happening in real-time in your area.
The process is called crime mapping. Tools show a grid with icons that label crimes. These tools aren’t exclusive to burglaries. They show everything from assaults to property crime.
Though crime mapping is most popular with law enforcement agencies hoping to make sense of trends and patterns, similar and free to use programs are available to the public to help them know what’s going on in their neighborhoods. You can also sign up for alert notification in case of an event.
The Resources Available
Raids has a very sleek, simple, and fun to use tool. It’s our favorite for crime mapping. It includes a map with icons that label each incident, a data grid that compiles all relevant information, analytics that break down the frequency of each incident, and metadata that gives you an overall view of crime.
Raids is the most comprehensive free tool for crime mapping.
Crimes are neatly labeled with icons to denote type, and you can choose to view a comprehensive list before you open the map itself.
When you open the crime map, information appears clearly and the tool is easy to navigate.
The Spot Crime tool works very similarly to My Local Crime, but the list of offenses and map sit on the page together. The map sits atop the page, and you’ll have to scroll down the page to view the list of offenses near you.
Neat icons explain the types of crime, their location and times. The site’s layout isn’t as clean as My Local Crime, and the ad placements on the page are a little disorientating, but it is another useful tool.
This tool looks great, but for some reason alerts won’t show up on the page. They have a newer version of the tool that can be previewed, but it is still in the testing phase.
They’ve been featured by The Wall Street Journal, Fox News, CNN, The Guardian, and other news sites, so those endorsements are encouraging.
This tool also didn’t show us any actual information. The website says that it’s possible crime hasn’t been submitted by law enforcement agencies in the areas we typed in, but since crime did appear for those areas on other tools, it’s fair to assume this an issue with the site rather than agencies or the addresses we’ve listed.
Don’t Forget the Basics
Crime mapping is a beneficial tool for those worried about crime in their neighborhood, or people who are scoping out new places to live. It’s a fabulous resource to check addresses you frequent, or if you’re a little bored and curious about crime rates in other cities.
Though these tools are valuable to understand rates and frequency of crimes, don’t assume that areas that are low on crime are immune to occurrences. Crime can happen anywhere there are people or property, and some cities may not be listed on mapping tools.
Use these tools to further your understanding and awareness of issues, but continue to implement crime prevention strategies, including home security equipment.