The NYPD has introduced an interactive map, which allows citizens to view crime statistics. The statistics are sorted by precinct and displayed on a New York City map. The tool also identifies the types of crime, crimes per capita, and population density.
The map, which debuted on Sunday, includes seven types of felony crime: assault, burglary, larceny, murder, rape, robbery, and vehicle theft. The current map includes data collected between January 1 and October 31.
As reported by the Wall Street Journal, the map was ordered by the New York City Council in April. Authorities said the information is not only helpful for citizens, it allows law enforcement to identifying problem areas.
New York Police Department Commissioner Raymond Kelly explains how data is useful for citizens and law enforcement officials:
“This administration has relied on data to drive its crime fighting, and this map helps enhance New Yorkers’ and researchers’ understanding of where felony and violent crime persists.”
Mayor Bloomberg’s administration noted a 32 percent decline in crime over the last 12 years. However, the map illustrates that while crime has declined in some precincts, it remains a serious issue in others.
Eugene O’Donnell, with the John Jay College of Criminal Justice, said the contrast between precincts highlights a flaw in Bloomberg’s claim:
“All crime is local. These generalized assertions that the city is safe basically are meaningless because people don’t live in the city they live in a street in the city, in a neighborhood.”
Bloomberg’s administration contends that overall crime has declined significantly due to programs like Operation Crew Cut and Stop and Frisk. Although both initiatives were developed to decrease crime, Stop and Frisk in particular has received stark criticism. Critics claim the initiative is a harassment tactic, which targets minorities. They further argue that the program is ineffective in decreasing crime.
Despite the criticism, Bloomberg’s administration and the NYPD contend the programs have been successful in reducing overall crime.
The NYPD’s new interactive crime map is available at http://maps.nyc.gov/crime.
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