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Raleigh Police Use Web to Map Crime for Public

Posted August 22, 2007
Updated August 23, 2007

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— Tracking crime in Raleigh neighborhoods is only a mouse click away, thanks to a new Web site launched by the Raleigh Police Department.

The Web site uses an online mapping system to track crime trends and potential trouble spots throughout Raleigh. It marks where crimes occurred, down to the street address.

Raleigh police have used the tool for years and recently set up the public Web site using technology that's similar to what's used to track sex offenders online.

"It's a very valuable tool for law enforcement," Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue said Wednesday. Sughrue said he expects the Web site will also be a valuable tool for residents and people moving to the city.

The Web site tracks what the police department calls Part I crimes, which are homicide, robbery, aggravated assault, burglary, larceny motor vehicle theft and arson. Rapes are not included to protect the victims' identities, Sughrue said.

Newcomer Denise Huntley said she had to find out such information by experience and word of mouth before she moved into a home in one of Raleigh's historic districts.

"I definitely talked to a few neighbors, and I just felt really secure about it, having been here before," Huntley said.

She said the on line crime-tracking site will still be helpful to her as a Raleigh resident.

"If you have any questions before or after you move, you know what you're getting into," Huntley said.

Sughrue said he expects the site will get lots of hits from people looking for crimes of opportunity, such as burglary, which the sites breaks down by commercial and residential properties.

"It's (burglary is) rather a random act that could happen to anyone, does happen to anyone," Sughrue said. "So, that's one of the things I'm sure neighborhoods will be keeping a close eye on, where burglaries are occurring, if any, around where they live."

Durham and other North Carolina cities maintain similar crime-tracking Web sites.

22 Comments

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  • spazman Aug 23, 2007

    More money on crime,Wheres the money being spent on and in schools

  • ncwebguy Aug 23, 2007

    So is crime more related to income status or is it part of minority culture where gangs and such are overwhelming the work and lives of a lot of good, but poor, people? And if it is a funciton of both, which is more important, or is it a feedback loop that grows on itself?

    It is mostly a feedback loop caused by gang activity tied to the drug trade. If the (minority or otherwise) culture created a positive feedback loop, the problem would have solved itself by now. But in a culture where bettering oneself in anything is frowned upon, only a negative feedback loop can exist. The closer you are to a black hole (as in astrophysics, *not* race related), the harder it is to escape.

    The "bad parts of town" are bad because the escape velocity becomes so high. Good people are either sucked into the madness or pushed out to live elsewhere in peace. Anyone who moves in to improve from within gets crushed by the weight of the community's inertia.

  • DougWare.NET Aug 23, 2007

    Durham has been doing this for a long time, I used it just the other day!

  • ezLikeSundayMorning Aug 23, 2007

    In the bottom of the box with the picture in it at the top of this story.

  • linnway Aug 23, 2007

    OK, call me crazy, but I cannot get to the map. What is the website? I searched RPD's website and did not get to it. Am I missing the obvious?

  • Harrison Bergeron Aug 23, 2007

    Now that I think about it, I suppose the correlation coefficient would be a more interesting number. (r (correlation squared) being the strength of the relationship between the two variables).

    Minority pop vs. crime rate has an r of .65 while poverty vs. crime rate has an r of .12. That would mean the percentage of minority population predicts the violent crime rate over 5 times better than the level of poverty!

  • Harrison Bergeron Aug 23, 2007

    Steve, I remember reading a fascinating study (I'm still looking for the link - it involved an analysis of the largest 50 cities in the US I believe.), it showed that according to statistical data provided by the DOJ, Census Bureau, and Dept of Labor, the percentage of the population that is black and Hispanic is the BEST indicator of violent crime rate?

    In fact, the correlation between minority population and violent crime rate is .81. Higher than unemployment rate (.35), poverty (.36) or education levels (.37).

  • The Buccanneer. Aug 23, 2007

    Look at Durham's map you will notice that most if not all the crime comes from or at "ONE" section.

  • PikeMom Aug 23, 2007

    A pitiful web site if you ask me.

  • Mo Aug 23, 2007

    Great site...Durham has had one for years. One quick look will remind you why you need to be careful out there...and lock those doors!

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