West Van police unveil new crime map app
The West Vancouver Police Department unveiled their latest crime fighting tool this week: a free crime-mapping app for mobile devices.
While the app can’t actually fight crime while it’s happening — that’s what your phone is for — it can warn app users of things like break-ins or thefts in the area of their home or business and let users compare crime trends between different neighbourhoods.
Called RAIDS, the new app also allows users to sign up for daily, weekly or monthly neighbourhood watch reports if their local block watch subscribes to the free service.
The app was developed by Behavioral Analysis & Intelligence Resoruces, an American company supplying mobile app crime maps to several police agencies south of the border. West Vancouver is the first department to use their service in Canada.
“Public safety is a collective responsibility,” said West Vancouver Police Chief Peter Lepine in a press release Tuesday. “Police officers will be the first to tell you we can’t do it alone. RAIDS online mobile is a great way for the citizens of West Vancouver to get a better understanding of local crime trends so they get a stronger sense of how to protect their loved ones and their neighbourhoods.”
While the crime map tracks all types of reported crimes, the default setting for the West Van version, like most, highlights only homicides, assaults, robberies, burglaries, thefts and arsons.
“The West Vancouver Police are focusing on incidents that have the most impact on our communities,” WVPD spokesperson Const. Lisa Schmidtke said in a press release Tuesday.
The free app is available for download on Apple mobile devices only from the App Store.