Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Technology & Crime

Seattle has developed a superb tool to allow residents to determine the crime rates in their neighborhoods.

Another excellent example of technology working to help people burdened by crime, as reported by the Seattle Times, though not including sex or domestic violence crimes is a mistake as the general vicinity could be included without violating anyone’s privacy.

The more information people have, the better they can protect themselves.

An excerpt.

“The Seattle Police Department launched a new online crime map Monday to give residents a quick, easy way to see the kinds of crimes committed in their neighborhoods.

“The map features a collection of icons — a fist represents an assault, while a can of spray paint indicates a graffiti call, for example — which, when clicked on, provide a general description of the offense, when and where it occurred and a "general offense" number that can be used to request a redacted copy of the original police report.

“Sex crimes and domestic-violence incidents are not included out of a desire to protect victims, according to police spokesman Mark Jamieson.

“The map provides a look at crime "in a snapshot of time" and is aimed at increasing the department's transparency, Jamieson said. Incidents are posted approximately 12 hours after they occur.”