Examining the Benefits of a Community Crime Map

On October 25, 2022, the Regina Police Service (RPS) launched an interactive map that highlights the locations of specific crimes in different parts of the city. This map aims to inform the public about the challenges faced in various areas, and is part of the RPS's commitment to transparency.

The new interactive crime map has replaced a previous heatmap that was available to the public. It provides more comprehensive information about various crimes, such as breaking and entering, mischief, assault, robbery, and impaired driving. However, sensitive crimes like sexual assault and homicide are excluded from the map to safeguard the privacy of those affected.

Despite the benefits of releasing the crime map, some concerns have been raised about its potential to reinforce stereotypes and stigmatize certain neighborhoods. Additionally, since the information is publicly accessible, there is a risk that it could be misused by adversaries to identify potential targets.

Bray added the exact location of crimes also won’t be revealed in order to keep those victims protected.

“Even though it doesn’t put the dot on the actual house or location it happened, in some areas it could be very identifying if there’s been one sexual assault on a remote bay in the city. People (might) know what day a police car was at a house,” he said.

“We want to be very careful about that. It’s about finding that balance between protecting people’s privacy and information and providing information to the city so they can digest that and give themselves some tools to keep themselves from victimization.”

Clausing, Shane “Regina Police Service releases new crime map” October 25, 2022, 980 CJME

Benefits of Community Crime Mapping

Geographic analysis can reveal crime patterns by examining past crime locations and the residences of both victims and offenders. This enables the police to identify areas that attract offenders and where unknown offenders may be located.

Since the public often criticizes local police forces, providing crime mapping information allows the police to show that they are actively policing local communities and taking steps to reduce risks.
The Community Crime Map is accessible on the Regina Police Service website and is updated every 24 hours. Users can access the map on their phones and obtain additional context about the reported crime statistics.

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