Vancouver police release online database that puts crime data in your hand

Vancouver police unveiled a crime mapping tool that gives the public a snapshot of reported crimes in their neighbourhood.

GeoDASH provides up-to-date crime data for neighbourhoods around the city. The technology is already used by officers on the beat, but this is the first time a public version has been released.

“We realized that the information we were providing to the public was a little bit behind the times,” VPD Chief Adam Palmer said Tuesday. “It was old-fashioned—statistical spreadsheets in Excel, crime mapping that was done with heat maps, stuff like that. We realized that we could actually improve what we were providing in a more modern platform.

“We often get lots of questions from the general public, but also from the media, about crime in our city. This will give people a better awareness about what’s happening, not only within in the City of Vancouver, but within their specific neighbourhoods.”

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Palmer added the VPD created the tool to create greater transparency, but it also doesn’t want to compromise people’s privacy. The tool will not include specific addresses where crimes occur. Instead, it will only reveal the block where an incident took place.

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