Local News

Raleigh Police Use Web to Map Crime for Public

Posted August 22, 2007 11:46 p.m. EDT
Updated August 23, 2007 8:26 a.m. EDT

— 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.