It’s free, it’s powerful and there’s a world of information at your fingertips.
For years, the Fullerton PD has been using sophisticated online crime mapping to figure out where to deploy resources to go after bad guys.
Anyone with an Internet connection can see what crimes are happening in their neighborhood or elsewhere and when — and take steps to stay safe. The service, raidsonline.com, provides a detailed snapshot of crimes that can be filtered by type, date range and a whole lot more.
And the online service doesn’t even require registration.
Fullerton PD wants to arm residents with as much knowledge as possible about criminal activity occurring in and around the city.
The data on RAIDS Online, a product of Bair Analytics (now owned by the LexisNexis Group), is updated every 24 hours and can be sliced and diced into a dizzying area of detail.
Want to know where cars are being broken into in Fullerton?
How about what times and days of the week they are being broken into?
Piece of cake.
“This is an amazing tool, but I don’t think most residents of Fullerton even know it exists,” says Tamara Otley, crime analyst for the Fullerton PD. “With this free service, they can stay on top of crime trends in their neighborhood without having to call us. They can even sign up to have crime reports emailed to them automatically on the date and time they choose.”
And you don’t have to be a computer genius to navigate raidsonline.com, Otley points out.
Users can type in an address or city and determine a radius within which they want to see what crimes have occurred.
Color-coded icons on the website represent crime by type.
Green means theft.
Red represents assaults.
Black is homicide.
And so on.
When you check the box next to the crime icon on the menu, those crime types populate the map. You can then click on any of the crime icons on the map and basic information about that particular crime pops up on the map. From this pop-up you can even submit an anonymous tip to the PD about that or any other crime.
You can also turn on a color-coded “density map” to show crime hot spots based on the crime you have populated on the map.
And the website offers a whole lot more.
For example, the map includes information regarding local sex offenders provided by Bair Analytics.
Several police agencies in Orange County are on RAIDS Online, but not all of them. RAIDS Online is a free service for law enforcement agencies and free to the public. Law enforcement agencies can also pay a monthly fee for ATACRAIDS, a comprehensive, law enforcement-only version of RAIDS Online, which can be used for analysis and much more.
“I think every resident of Fullerton should be looking at this web site,” Otley said. “Bottom line, it helps reduce the chance of someone being victimized. We would much rather prevent crime than have to solve it.”
FPD officials are urging all residents of Fullerton to check out raidsonline.com. Basic instructions can be seen in the image below: