Review of four crime check tools
The idea behind the crime map tool is to allow people access to a visual representation of the number and type of crimes that have been committed in a particular area.
Using the information returned by the Crime map you can perform a crime check in your own suburb or street. Or check crime levels in a suburb in which you are looking to purchase real estate or rent a home. You may also like to use the information available with these tools to confirm the necessity to beef up the security on your own home.
There are a number of crime maps for QLD available but how useful are they?
Two of the tools reviewed had not been well maintained by their creators and the information returned was not current. One provided a snap shot only of the density of the crimes in pre-selected areas that could not be customised. Two tools however stood out for their ease of use and the value of the information returned. These products are reviewed for your information only. Crimsafe does not endorse any of the products and is not affiliated with any of the products.
4 Queensland Crime map tools reviewed.
- Townsville Bulletin crime check
- Gold Coast Bulletin crime map
- QLD: Crime Map.info
- QLD: Queenland Police Service crime map
Townsville - Townsville Bulletin crime check: 1 out of 5 .
The bad: Not up to date. Only contains data from May 2013 to July 2013. No ability to enter an address of your choosing.
The good: The information includes how entry was gained. Whether entry was gained via a door or a window and whether or not tools were used.
Gold Coast - Gold Coast Bulletin crime map: 1 out of 5
The bad: it is not interactive and only allows you to view the marked hotspots. No indication of the timeline on which the crimes occurred.
The good: allowed for a quick overview of the density of crime in selected suburbs.
QLD - Crime Map.info: 3 out of 5
This site was in the news during the month of Feb 2014 where the issue of privacy was highlighted due to the inclusion of street numbers in the display. The data used to build the crime map is drawn from the data set publicly available on the QLD government website.
The bad: Missing a legend to explain what the different coloured markets indicate. (The red markers appear to indicate unsolved crimes.) Although the map indicates all of Australia, data is only available for QLD.
The good: This site allows you to manually type in an address. Information includes the date, time and type of crime that was committed and whether or not the crime was solved.
QLD - QPS crime map: 4 out of 5
The bad: Does not allow manual entry of a street address. Although this may be a good thing in respect of privacy issues. I will let you decide.
The good: A very comprehensive tool with lots of options to filter the type of crimes returned. You can select from 18 different crime types.
Ability to export the results to a spread sheet. This tool also allows you to compare the crime statistics of two or more areas at once. You may choose to view the data in a couple of different ways: by the times the crimes were committed or by a graph or by crime density. A clear legend is present on the screen and a handy pop-up gives a brief overview of the crimes returned for the area selected.
It should be remembered that the data from any crime map may be limited in its accuracy and it would be wise to treat the information as an indication of levels of crime only and to use the information in conjunction with other resources available.
It is also important to note that while the data is pulled from the Queensland Police Service API, the QPS does not endorse applications, websites or companies using the data.
Further reading: The risk of a repeat burglary if you have been burgled once is very high. Burglars may try to burgle a home again within 4-6 weeks of the first burglary because they suppose that the goods previously stolen will have been replaced through insurance. Or because there is a possibility that further security measures have not yet been implemented.