Toronto police launch new crime-mapping tool to encourage witnesses to come forward

Jeremy Cohn / File / Global News

TORONTO — Police have unveiled a new tool for monitoring crime throughout the city.

The Toronto Police Service Maps and Data Portal provides an interactive map of the city and shows a variety of major crime indicators for each week.

There are also specific maps showing all shootings and homicides in the city in a given time period.

The crime maps don’t show exact locations of occurrences, as incidents on the map have been randomly offset in order to protect victim privacy.

“The set of tools provides interactive mapping of crime information that will give the public up-to-date locations of what’s been happening in their communities,” Ian Williams, acting manager of business intelligence and analytics, said in a release.

“The purpose would be of course from our perspective to give community members more awareness of crime events in their areas and also from our perspective to emphasize the importance of reporting these crimes.”

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Williams said that every point location will have a link to either the local police division’s contact information or to Crime Stoppers.

Police are hoping members of the public will monitor the maps, click on different locations and make connections to crimes that have occurred throughout the city.

Police plan to expand the tool to include other location data, statistics, story maps of events and include links to news releases.

A new Twitter account has also been launched to provide updates on the tool.