System of giving police crime data to public attacked

Growing concerns about neighborhood crime trends have led to frustrations with the Police Department’s “CrimeMaps” system, a six-year-old technology that pinpoints where crimes have occurred in The City.

The system came under fire Tuesday at a Board of Supervisors meeting. Supervisor Tom Ammiano called for an inquiry as to why the expensive geographic information system is “limited.” For instance, homicides don’t appear on the map.

Ammiano isn’t the first to criticize the technology. In 2007, the Police Commission called on the Department to start collecting neighborhood crime statistics that could be compared on a year-to-year basis.

Although the latest efforts will be revealed at a Police Commission meeting tonight, an early look at the statistics revealed that there is still much work to be done. While some district captains have provided recent data, others have collected data only up to July.

But once the process of collecting local data is finalized, anybody can log on to a police Web site and compare crime trends on a neighborhood-by-neighborhood and year-by-year basis, Police Commission President Theresa Sparks said at last week’s meeting.

“To give overall crime statistics for the whole district is misleading for everyone,” Sparks said, about a request for yearly reports on neighborhood crime data.

The police data-collection process is in the process of a major upgrade, according to spokesman Sgt. Wilfred Williams. There are three components to The City’s police crime analysis. One set of data goes to a crime analyst, another goes to police officers. What the public sees is a redacted version, and the department is working to remedy the flaws.

“The public version itself is under repair for both hardware and software upgrades and should be completed in the near future,” Williams said.

Upgrades will also provide the public with information beyond the 90-day threshold, Williams said.

bbegin@examiner.com 

Bay Area NewsCrimeCrime & CourtsLocal

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

City officials closed San Francisco County Jail No. 4 on the top floor of the Hall of Justice at 850 Bryant St. in September, reducing the number of beds in the jail system by about 400. 
Kevin N. Hume/
S.F. Examiner
SF jail closure prompts doctor to call for release of more inmates

Reduced space increases risk of COVID-19 spreading among those in custody

Cyclists have flocked to Market Street since private vehicles were largely banned from a long stretch of it in January. (Amanda Peterson/Special to the S.F. Examiner)
Plans for sidewalk-level bikeway on Market Street dropped due to costs, increased cyclist volume

Advocates say revisions to Better Market Street fail to meet safety goals of project

Prop. 21 would allow San Francisco city officials to expand rent control to cover thousands more units. (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)
Tenant advocates take another try at expanding rent control with Prop. 21

Measure would allow city to impose new protections on properties 15 years or older

Tenderloin residents are finding benefits to having roads closed in the neighborhood. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Should there be fewer cars in the Tenderloin’s future?

The pandemic has opened San Franciscans’ eyes to new uses of urban streets

Singer-songwriter Cam is finding musicmaking to be healing during 2020’s world health crisis. 
Courtesy 
Dennis Leupold
Cam challenges country music tropes

Bay Area-bred songwriter releases ‘The Otherside’

Most Read