The city of Asheville has unveiled a new Web site that combines local crime statistics with the city’s mapping information to allow users to map and track all sorts of crime trends in the city. The application is dubbed Crime Mapper.
“The idea is to help citizens be more aware of what’s happening in their neighborhoods in a quantifiable sense, rather than an anecdotal sense,” said Jason Mann, the city’s geographical-information system and application-services manager. Another goal of Web site is to provide residents quick access to information that in the past may have taken the Asheville Police Department days to provide.
Crime Mapper presents general statistics about crimes such as homicides, assaults, burglaries and vehicle thefts in geographic areas such as neighborhoods, streets and specific parcels of property. Specific addresses are not attached to the general statistics, Mann said, because local residents that tested the site expressed concerns about privacy. But the site will pinpoint the exact location of crimes deemed “critical incidents” by the Police Department, he added.
The general crime stats are updated daily, according to Mann, and the critical incidents will be updated weekly. The crime numbers apply only to the city of Asheville, but the site may be expanded in the future to include crime statistics from the county.
— Jason Sandford, multimedia editor