The city has unveiled a new interactive crime map that allows you to search and learn about basic data on felony crime incidents by location for the prior calendar year, current year, and by month within the current year. While providing more detail than the NYPD’s CompStat reports, which are also available online, there’s still some info lacking to provide a complete look at what’s going on in the neighborhood.
Combined with recent reports from The Nabe and DNAinfo that have said NYPD Precincts have been instructed to stop providing access to information about local crimes to journalists for police blotters, local communities throughout the city may be left without much transparency about specific crimes occurring in their areas.
Built by the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications (DoITT) using crime complainant data as reported to the NYPD, you can search the map by address and see what felonies have been reported in a certain area, allowing you to understand a bit about where crime is persistent, but not much more than that.
For example, you can see what crime occurred at an approximate location during a particular month, but you don’t know what day of the week or time of day, or what the crime actually was. Like in October on 7th Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets, there was one robbery and one grand larceny. But was someone mugged at knifepoint for an iPhone, or was their purse stolen while they were sitting in a coffee shop, or what? That level of detail is not included.
“DoITT employs innovative technology to improve the accessibility of critical public information,” said Chief Information and Innovation Officer Rahul N. Merchant. ”The interactive crime map builds on report data and presents it visually in neighborhoods across the five boroughs, keeping the public informed about what is going on in their community.”
If the blotter information is indeed made unavailable, then this map may be all that communities are going to get, at least during the last month of this mayor’s term.
We want to be able to help in letting neighbors know about what’s going on in the area, both good and bad — if you’ve been the victim of a crime in Park Slope, after you’ve contacted the police, please consider emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and we can share the details here.