Crime report at the tip of your fingers

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A big part of staying safe in your community is being knowledgeable about what crimes are being committed and where they are happening.

A new partnership between the Columbus Division of Police and CrimeReports.com is making this task easier for citizens of Columbus.

The program, which is free to residents, began in February. It provides easy to read maps of Columbus neighborhoods and notes reported crime incidents in that area, which are categorized into types of crime by color.

According to CPD spokesperson Amanda Ford, the department strives to update the site every 24-hours, although it sometimes takes longer for data to be entered.

Crime incident data on the site includes the incident type, date, location, distance from citizen’s location, case number and a brief description of the incident.

Victim identities are removed from the reports, and actual addresses are converted to block levels.

Residents simply enter any address within the Columbus Division of Police’s boundaries to view reported crime activity for that area, making it easy to see what is happening near your home, office, school, park, etc.

"People call us and they want to know what’s affecting their neighborhoods," said Ford. "This is a tool for people to know what’s going on."

Ford noted that incident reports on the site are only current as of February of this year.

Incidents that occurred before the partnership began will not be entered into the system, meaning that an absence of a report on the site does not mean that a crime was not committed in that area.

Also provided by CrimeReports.com is a free alert service. Residents can receive automatic daily, weekly or monthly e-mail alerts if and when crimes occur near their location. The only information users need to create an account are a valid address and an e-mail address.

According to CrimeReports.com, the system helps make neighborhoods safer by helping community members better understand their surroundings and make informed decisions to protect themselves.

This service can be found online at www.crimereports.com, or from a link on the Columbus Division of Police Web site, www.columbuspolice.org.

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