Red Deer’s crime map is here to stay.
On Monday, Red Deer city council approved the continuation of what had started as a one-year pilot program.
In a report to council, Protective Services director Paul Goranson said he’s heard nothing but good feedback from the public, police and from community safety groups since the crime map was installed on the city’s website.
The crime map shows markers in areas of the city where certain crime were committed, including break and enters, mischief, bike thefts, vehicle thefts, and thefts of items from cars or trucks.
While there was initially some “trepidation” about certain neighbourhoods being spotlighted and property values dropping, Goranson said these concerns have not been realized. Instead, he believes people have come to see the map’s advantages.
While it doesn’t show exact street locations but, rather, general areas where crime occur, neighbours are watching out for each other’s property more, while community crime prevention groups know which locations to target for educational campaigns, said Goranson.
“We know the data is valid,” he added, so even police are finding the map useful in identifying hot-spots for crime.
Since the one-year pilot project has not cost the city any extra money to run — Goranson said it only takes a staffer about 20 minutes to enter the latest crime locations on the map — city council voted to continue crime mapping on an on-going basis.
“It’s reassuring and it’s a good thing because it creates community awareness,” summarized Coun. Michael Dawe.