Los Angeles residents can play track crime patterns throughout the city, thanks to a new, high-tech initiative from the Los Angeles Police Department, says the Los Angeles Times. The LAPD’s interactive crime mapping, which went up on the department’s website Wednesday, allows users to pinpoint by date and location specific crimes, including robbery, assault, rape, and homicide, up to five miles from their own addresses – or anybody else’s. The LAPD has long posted weekly and annual crime trends for each of its 19 divisions.
With mapping, a neighborhood watchdog can see whether a rumored burglary spree is real, parents can survey the block where their teenagers want to party, and house buyers can see for themselves if that street is safe. “Now you can not only see how many crimes are occurring in the city, you can help find those crimes on a map and hopefully help us solve some of them,” said Police Chief William Bratton. San Diego pioneered crime mapping a decade ago, followed more recently by San Francisco and Atlanta. The LAPD’s effort, which covers more than 470 square miles, may be the most extensive yet. The site, http://www.lapdonline.org , also offers an “e-policing” option for residents who want the latest crime news delivered straight to their e-mail inbox.