Has taken crime mapping software technology to another dimension. The popularity of this product has given law enforcement agencies and the general public, nationwide, more crime data available for analysis, often online. In its mission to innovate and spearhead crime analysis, BAIR played a pivotal role in this growth, reaching an exciting milestone on the way. More than 1000 law enforcement agencies now share crime data through RAIDS Online, a free to use, online public crime map powered by BAIR.
What exactly is behind crime mapping and how can agencies and the public best use it in 2015? Below, we outline the basics of RAIDS Online, including crime analysis, crime alerts, customization and how crime mapping can factor into policing and public safety in 2015.
Tools for Analysis and Customization
RAIDS Online is an interactive, digital crime map which displays crime data from participating agencies on a Google base map online or on Android or iOS devices. Law enforcement agencies in 46 states and in Canada currently use the software and hundreds of thousands of users visit the site annually.
Public safety entities choose to submit their data to RAIDS Online from any “records management system” or RMS. RAIDS then maps the data at no cost. Crime icons on the map include information about the type of crime, date, approximate time and location and incident report number from the responding agency.
Crimes are organized into 27 different “event types” or categories of crime ranging from vandalism and traffic incidents to robbery, theft, fraud and more violent crimes. Users can then filter by event type, location and date range to create customized, email crime alerts for specific addresses. At the request of the agency, any event location can be randomly offset or geo-coded to the hundredth block to protect victim privacy.
Once data appears on the map, selecting the analytics tab creates 4 additional analyses of the data, including pie charts, timelines and graphs which break down crime by day of the week, by hour and by class. RAIDS Online also produces density maps, or “hot spots” of areas with a higher concentration of criminal activity. Selecting the ‘Density Map’ option under the ‘Analytic Layers’ tab creates a hot spot for whatever data is currently displayed on the map. With these tools, both law enforcement and users can perform meaningful analysis on criminal activity in their own jurisdictions and neighborhoods.
The ‘Quick Date’ pulldown menu in the Date Range tab includes pre-defined date ranges which produces crime records occurring during those times. Historical data up to one year ago is available in the pulldown but many agencies upload records spanning multiple years. Users can create custom time frames to view this older data by selecting start and end dates in the calendar tool.
The map automatically adjusts to any customization of crime data, including any scrolling or movement on the base map. Results will also re-populate across all tabs, although the ‘Density Map’ layer requires recalculation after moving or zooming.
Crime mapping and public safety in 2015
In 2015 crime mapping will continue to serve as a bridge between the public and law enforcement. RAIDS Online and its embedded tools mean rich, meaningful analysis of criminal activity in jurisdictions and communities. The public can stay aware of the crime occurring around them and law enforcement can work to strengthen ties within the community, make crime data available and bolster policing driven by crime analysis.
Importantly, users can also create customized daily, weekly or monthly email crime alerts around a specific address or anchor point by applying buffers and specifying for certain crime types. Typically, users set up alerts for home, school or work addresses. The same alerts can also be created through the RAIDS Online mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Technological and software innovation are sure to play a continuing role in the development of policing and public safety. RAIDS Online and its crime mapping and analysis tools can help to empower users to make better decisions about threats in the community while connecting law enforcement directly to their jurisdictions.
Have you used RAIDS Online or other helpful public safety tools? Let us know about your experience in the comments below.
Former President of BAIR Analytics, a Colorado-based corporation dedicated to providing analytical services and innovative software solutions, including ATAC, ATACRAIDS, and RAIDS Online, to the law enforcement, intelligence, and defense communities. BAIR Analytics was acquired by LexisNexis in April, 2015.
Mr. Bair was the Assistant Director at the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center as well as a former Crime Analyst and Police Officer for the Tempe, Arizona Police Department. He holds an MBA from the University of Denver’s Daniels College of Business. Mr. Bair has made numerous appearances on television and radio, providing commentary or instruction on the analysis of crime, and other law enforcement related matters. He is the creator and developer of ATAC (Automated Tactical Analysis of Crime) analytical software which is currently used in hundreds of law enforcement, defense agencies and academic institutions worldwide. He has trained thousands of analysts, officers and investigators around the world in the analysis of crime.
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