Niagara residents have a new way to monitor crime in the region.
The new initiative, launch by the Niagara Regional Police Service, will allow community members to access information related to recent criminal activity in the Niagara Region via a mapping system called Crime Reports.
Users are now able to access and browse crimes on a map, sorted by type, time, general location and the name of the agency that published the report.
Police said the technology is meant to create awareness and encourage people to be more vigilant in making crime prevention efforts in their homes, workplaces and communities.
Incidents that will be mapped include: break and enters, robberies, thefts, assaults, property crimes, suspicious activity, weapons-related offences, fires, and persons in crisis. Information on sex offenders is not displayed.
An NRP news release said exact addresses will never be published, as to ensure the privacy of residents.
Police note the information is not provided in real time, and said there will be “natural” delay in processing information of about two or three days. A news release said the delay is due to the technical data management and to protect the integrity of ongoing police investigations and the identities of victims and witnesses.
Police also note the application does not represent all NRPS incidents.
“We as a Service are committed to engaging our community in new and innovative ways that will allow the public to become a part of the solution. It is our hope for that this new tool will act as a way for the public to be a part of crime prevention and reduction,” said NRPS Chief Bryan MacCulloch.
Information Technology Committee Chair Ken Gansel said the initiative is one of the “major achievements of the Niagara Regional Police Service.”
The Crime Reports tool can be accessed at, niagarapolice.ca/en/community/crime-reports.asp.