Updated: Jul 1
Tools for Finding Crime in your Area
There’s no zip code in America that doesn’t ever have crime. Something is always going on. No matter where you live. Obviously it’s higher in some places than others.
If we know where to look for these crimes, we can be better prepared for them.
So, how do we find the crime around us?
Crime Reporting Tools
Your local news sources are still a good place to look for crime that’s been reported. Maybe your local newspaper reports the crime blotter which is a rundown of the last few days of documented incidents.
Facebook has a new feature called “Today in”. This feature shows you news from your area. Here you can find all sorts of stuff that your local media is posting to Facebook. In the Facebook app you can go to settings, shortcut bar and turn on “Today in”.
Next, a great tool to use around your home and when you're traveling is crime mapping dot com. I’ve used this site a lot. What’s great about it is that it generates a map of recent crime in a given area. You can center this area over your home and see what crimes are happening around your house, your kids school and your church. And it’s free, but there is a downside. Crime mapping dot com does not report in all areas.
A great app to use is Citizen. Citizen is an app that will alert you to crimes close to you in real time. It’s pretty cool. Plus, normal citizens can post live video and photos as situations develop. But as you can imagine, like crime mapping dot com, Citizen is not available in all areas.
For an idea of what gets reported, go follow Beverly of Metro Finishing School on Instagram, she'll share a lot of the really weird crime that happens near her home in Hollywood.
Neighbors by Ring
I’ve shared with you two resources that may not be available in your area, but chances are this next app will be active near your home. The Neighbors app from Ring is a citizen driven crime reporting app based on the Ring doorbell.
Users can share videos of crimes, strange behaviors, lost pets and even neighbors being kind. You don’t have to have a Ring doorbell product to use the app, so you can use it for free. The app will generate a map of user created alerts that you can view.
I check mine almost every day. I’ve learned there are some weird things happening around my home.
Alright, so we have these resources, so what do we do with them? Next requires some investigating on our part.
For example if you see lots of video on the Neighbors app of someone breaking into a car one street over. This might make you want to clear out the garage and park inside it.
A real example in my area is that someone caught two guys with a black truck eyeing the contents of their garage, because the homeowner had left the door up. So that means I’m keeping an eye out for two guys in a black truck and of course I’m keeping my garage door down.
Use the information you find to your advantage to prepare for any trouble that may come your way.
Also check out: Secure Tools: Sex Offender Maps