The Regina Police Service (RPS) unveiled an interactive map on October 25, 2022, that shows the locations of specific crimes in different areas of the city. The map is intended to inform the community about the challenges faced in various parts of the city. This initiative is in line with the Regina Police’s commitment to being transparent with the city’s citizens.
The new interactive crime map has replaced a previous heatmap that was accessible to the public. The updated version provides more detailed information about crimes in specific areas, such as breaking and entering, mischief, assault, robbery, and impaired driving. However, sensitive crimes like sexual assault and homicide will not be included in the map to ensure the privacy of those affected.
Releasing the crime map raises concerns that it could perpetuate stereotypes and further stigmatize certain areas of the city. Furthermore, since crime mapping is publicly available, there is a risk that it could be accessed by adversaries who might use the information to select their next target.
Bray added the exact location of crimes also won’t be revealed in order to keep those victims protected.
“Even though it doesn’t put the dot on the actual house or location it happened, in some areas it could be very identifying if there’s been one sexual assault on a remote bay in the city. People (might) know what day a police car was at a house,” he said.
“We want to be very careful about that. It’s about finding that balance between protecting people’s privacy and information and providing information to the city so they can digest that and give themselves some tools to keep themselves from victimization.”Clausing, Shane “Regina Police Service releases new crime map” October 25, 2022, 980 CJME
Benefits of Crime Mapping
By conducting geographic analysis, crime patterns can be uncovered. This involves analyzing where past crimes took place, and where both victims and offenders reside. Such analysis allows the police to identify neighborhoods that attract offenders and where unknown offenders may be located.
The public is often the harshest critic of local police forces. By providing crime mapping information, police can demonstrate that they are actively policing local communities and taking measures to reduce risks. The Community Crime Map can be found on the Regina Police Service website, and it will be updated every 24 hours. Users can access the map from their phone and get deeper context to the crime stats that are reported on.