Location

Portland State University

Start Date

2-5-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

2-5-2018 1:00 PM

Subjects

Police--United States, Law enforcement, Criminal behavior -- Social aspects

Abstract

Advances in desktop computing, research and theory addressing the geography of crime, and evidence for the efficacy of hotspot policing have resulted in rapid adoption of GIS mapping technology by police agencies. Some of these agencies have gone a step further and now offer access to crime maps for public viewing through their website or linked services. This includes maps depicting all or some criminal offenses, calls for service, and the location of specific offenders. These maps have the potential to influence community perceptions, and yet we know very little about the prevalence of public crime mapping, the characteristics of agencies providing access to online maps, or the type of maps currently available. The present study uses the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey and a follow-up analysis of police websites to explore these issues. Roughly one quarter (26.5%) of local police departments completing the 2013 LEMAS survey provided public access to street-level crime maps. One in five agencies (20.3%) provided maps detailing the residential location of sex offenders. Additional analyses will explore the characteristics of agencies providing online maps (e.g., size, crime analysis capacity, commitment to community policing) and the results of a content analysis of police websites.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/25067

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May 2nd, 11:00 AM May 2nd, 1:00 PM

Public Access to Crime Maps from Police Agencies: Frequency, Agency Characteristics, and Maps Used

Portland State University

Advances in desktop computing, research and theory addressing the geography of crime, and evidence for the efficacy of hotspot policing have resulted in rapid adoption of GIS mapping technology by police agencies. Some of these agencies have gone a step further and now offer access to crime maps for public viewing through their website or linked services. This includes maps depicting all or some criminal offenses, calls for service, and the location of specific offenders. These maps have the potential to influence community perceptions, and yet we know very little about the prevalence of public crime mapping, the characteristics of agencies providing access to online maps, or the type of maps currently available. The present study uses the 2013 Law Enforcement Management and Administrative Statistics (LEMAS) survey and a follow-up analysis of police websites to explore these issues. Roughly one quarter (26.5%) of local police departments completing the 2013 LEMAS survey provided public access to street-level crime maps. One in five agencies (20.3%) provided maps detailing the residential location of sex offenders. Additional analyses will explore the characteristics of agencies providing online maps (e.g., size, crime analysis capacity, commitment to community policing) and the results of a content analysis of police websites.