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Violent Crime In My Neighborhood Has Increased Over 100% in the Last Year
|| 9/22/2009 || 1:43 pm || 1 Comment Rendered || ||

Last week my City Councilmember, Jim Graham, sent an e-mail about the drop in crime over the last 30 days to my neighborhood association listserv and included various local government officials like the DC Police Chief, Cathy Lanier. The e-mail featured two graphs of data from DC’s Crime Map that covered the police service area of my neighborhood and showed the crime statistics of August to September of 2008 compared to August to September of 2009. What the graph lacked, however, was the hyperlocal angle of the crime taking place in the immediate vicinity of the block that we live on and the larger picture showing the other 11 months of crime data.

As a two-time victim of violent crime last year in my neighborhood, on my front doorstep & at the end of the block, I was fully aware that the data in the graphs included me, so I felt compelled to use the very same tool my councilmember used to analyze the extent of the crimes that have recently taken place. The result genuinely stunned me and I proceeded to respond to his e-mail (text below) with the two maps (above & below) that show the various crimes that have taken place in my neighborhood.


Dear Councilmember Graham & Westminster Neighborhood Association members,

As a two-time victim of violent crime last year, I would like everyone to see the two attached images that I have prepared below. They are derived from screenshots from the Metropolitan Police Department Crimemap that Councilmember Graham hyperlinked to in the previous e-mail (below). While some crime is down within the last 30 days, as shown in Councilmember Graham’s unlabeled attachments, the larger trend shown in my attachments is that crime is dramatically increasing throughout the neighborhood.

The two attached files show a 750 foot buffer of crime activity comparing 9/13/2007 – 9/13/2008 to 9/13/2008 – 9/13/2009 as observed from 902 & 952 Westminster Street. These two addresses represent the East and West ends of the neighborhood, respectively, and feature two full years of spatially adjusted crime data. While we might not fully agree on the exact boundary of the Westminster Neighborhood shown in these DC Atlas generated maps, this estimation represents much of the area where many of us go about our daily lives— lives that are more frequently being interrupted by crime.

Over the last two years, on both ends of the neighborhood:
___ Robbery with a gun is up +200%
___ Violent crime is up over +100%
___ Theft from cars +50%

Respectfully speaking, I do not take pleasure in being a statistic on these maps, and I don’t think my neighbors do either. I request there to be more police patrols–on bicycles & on foot– in the afternoon after school gets out and more during the weekends– Thursday evening through Sunday morning– to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents. I know it’s nearly impossible to get rid of all crime, as much as we may try, but unless we have some identifiable goals, what measure of public safety can we establish as a neighborhood dealing with a striking increase in crime? Can we reduce these figures by at least 50% over the next year? -25%?? What can we expect these crime stats to look like one year from today?

Sincerely,
Nikolas Schiller

===
Steps to produce my two attachments below:
1) http://crimemap.dc.gov/presentation/query.asp
2) Select “Address”
3) Enter your home address (902 Westminster Street NW& 952 Westminster Street NW)
4) Select distance 500″, 1000″, 1500″ or custom (750″)
5) Select the option: One Year (9/13/2009 to 09/13/2009)
6) Click [view map] on Total Crime listing


Ironically, one of my first maps that I published on this blog called U Street Safety dealt with this exact same subject matter, only it was made before the digital infrastructure was developed to show the spatial aspect of crime.


Related GIS Entries:


Related Crime Entries:



Post Title: Violent Crime In My Neighborhood Has Increased Over 100% in the Last Year
Post Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,
Posted in: Analysis, Cartography, Crime, GIS
Last edited by Nikolas Schiller on 9/24/2009 at 2:40 pm



  1. […] couple weeks ago when I was writing the entry about crime in my neighborhood, I discovered that the DC Government’s Citizen Atlas was using aerial orthophotography taken […]

    Pingback by The 2008 Washington, DC Orthophotography « The Daily Render by Nikolas R. Schiller — 10/23/2009 @ 8:00 pm

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