WEST VALLEY CITY -- Police have begun publishing crime reporting data online, in an effort to educate residents about what is happening in their neighborhoods.
"It just provides that information to the public so they can see what's happening," said Sgt. Jason Johnson, who showed FOX 13 the website RAIDS Online on Tuesday.
The information, gleaned from police reports, is uploaded to the website every 24 hours. It only includes the nature of the crime, something already publicly accessible. Exact addresses are scrubbed and pins on the map aren't specific in an effort to protect crime victims, but it does allow you to track crimes within 500 feet of an address.
"What we really want to do is provide a way for the public to access police records," said Johnson.
The site shows some areas that have reported numerous crimes within the past two weeks. One of them was Rockwood Drive, a cluster of apartment complexes that has seen a few vehicle thefts and burglaries.
Marlen Rubio said she was the victim of a vehicle burglary, her mother's sunglasses and her perfume pilfered. She said she welcomed the website, as did a neighbor, John Pulley.
"That's a very good idea," Pulley told FOX 13. "It makes us feel better so we can look at it and see what type of crime is going on. There's a lot of crime we don't know about that we can't see, but we can look on there."
West Valley City police said it was their hope the mapping tool would empower residents to see the data, then take steps to prevent more crimes from happening.
BAIR Analytics, the company that produces the website, offers an iPhone and iPad app that displays the crime mapping tool. An Android version is in the works, the company said.