New Wilmington crime mapping tool aims at improving transparency

This screen capture from the CrimeMapping website shows recent incidents of crime in Wilmington. (CrimeMapping.com)

This screen capture from the CrimeMapping website shows recent incidents of crime in Wilmington. (CrimeMapping.com)

The city of Wilmington has launched an online crime mapping program aimed at improving transparency, and the police department’s interaction with the public.

Residents will no longer have to request crime information. Instead, they can go to www.CrimeMapping.com to see what kind of crimes are occurring in their neighborhoods.

Those viewing the site can retrieve information on crime over the past six months, or up to 1,000 records broken down by date range, crime type or distance from a specific address.

Police Chief Robert Tracy said the site, which costs the police department about $1,200 per year to maintain, will complement the Compstat online reports, which became available to residents in February to measure crime in the city.

He said the tool will not replace community policing, but be an additional tool for residents and police to work together.

“This city has 47 civic associations—and that’s really good,” Tracy said. “For a city this size it means people care. They want to know what’s happening in the neighborhood and they want to know how they can help. If they start seeing patterns developing it will be more actively reported. No crime is so small you don’t call 911.”

“In that reporting process is how we take a look at where we’re going to deploy, how we’re going to do intelligence-led policing, we look at patterns that are happening that we can start getting in front of things happening in these neighborhoods. We can’t do this alone, so if we’re giving more information out I know the public gets more involved when they have information in their hands.

“If they can identify individuals, if they see the time it’s happening, they see where it’s happening, they’re more apt to keep their eyes open in the neighborhood.”

Last month, Tracy and Mayor Mike Purzycki touted statistics that showed crime in Wilmington was on the decline, particularly robberies, shootings and homicides. As of May 9, 27 people had been shot on Wilmington streets compared to 74 shooting victims in 2017. That’s a decrease of 64 percent, and the lowest number through May 9 in at least a decade, statistics show.

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