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Crime Mapping Tools Catch on in Massachusetts Communities

Websites dedicated to tracking crime are getting new consideration as a way of protecting citizens and their property.

by Kate Walsh, Wicked Local South/Mariner / August 27, 2018

(TNS) — Police are open to looking into new crime mapping technology for its residents, according to Norwell, Mass., Police Chief Ted Ross.

Whitman Police have implemented the new mapping website for residents to be up-to-date on what is going on in their neighborhoods.

"As technology and social medial changes we are always looking for ways to inform our communities," Ross said.

The website allows for residents to explore an interactive map of their town and to select approximate locations where crimes have occurred.

Each crime has its own symbol. Vandalism, for example, is labeled as a spray can while a vehicle break-in/theft is recorded as a car.

By clicking on each icon, a date, time, incident number and block that the crime occurred appears along with a brief description of the incident. Exact locations are not given.

Sex crimes are not recorded on the website, as revealing the locations could be harmful to the victims.

Crimes are searchable by date range, with the site being updated daily with information being pulled from the Whitman Police Department's records management system.

"We believe this map is a great way for residents to stay informed of what is going on in their neighborhood," Whitman Police Chief Scott Benton said. "If there is an uptick in crime in their area, residents can take extra precautions to protect themselves and their belongings."

On Whitman's site, there is a link to the town's anonymous online email tip service that Chief Benton encourages residents to use.

Time will tell if Norwell or other surrounding towns will follow Whitman's lead and use the crime mapping technology.

©2018 Wicked Local South/Mariner, Marshfield, Mass. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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