Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mapping crime in Canberra

Just a couple of weeks ago I reviewed a very impressive UK Crimes Map. Now it is time to put a local equivalent under the microscope. In late February Simon Corbell, ACT Minister for Police and Emergency Services, launched a new interactive online crime mapping tool: Crime Statistics. It has been developed to help provide the public with valuable and accurate information about criminal activity in their neighbourhood. The map provides the local community with crime statistics by suburb, allows drawing comparisons between suburbs and view crime trends over the past five years.

The information presented on the map is quite comprehensive. In particular, the new crime map has data on the number of homicides, traffic and Criminal Infringement Notices, other offences against the person, road fatalities and road collisions with injuries. The information can be viewed as absolute numbers of offences per suburb but also as offences per 1000 of the population, which allows to accurately compare statistics of the larger suburbs with the smaller ones.

Users can select incident type of interest (one or many) and nominate either a year, or quarter of a particular year, to see the total number of those incidents for each suburb in Canberra. The numbers are aggregated to regions on zoom out. The application gives user an option to compare statistics (absolute numbers and rate per 1,000 of population) for up to 3 suburbs. However, trends over time cannot be identified using this application. Overall, the map is simple to use, once you understand the logic how it works, and can give a quick snapshot of criminal activity in the ACT suburbia at a selected point in time.

I would also like to mentioning on this occasion another interactive application with crime statistics for the region which was developed by The Canberra Times. It consists of a series of maps presenting 2011 crime data as thematic overlays. Information is available for patrol areas for the following crime categories: assaults, property damage, theft, car theft, burglary, robbery and sexual offences. Very simple but informative although could be much more useful if data was also presented in a tabular format.

Related Posts:
UK crime statistics revisited

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