Know your surroundings: Interactive crime map shows illegal activity near you
The largest concentrations of property crimes in the Kingman area are in business districts, but residential neighborhoods are targeted, too
KINGMAN – People often wonder what types of crimes occur near their homes and businesses, but locals in the Kingman area don’t have to speculate thanks to an interactive map courtesy of the Kingman Police Department.
The interactive crime map has been around for a number of years, and according to KPD Deputy Chief Rusty Cooper, it’s utilized by the community. As technology advances, so has the capabilities of the crime map. While the same information is gathered, the platform has been updated with new graphics and interactions.
Deputy Chief Evan Kunert explained the information on the map is on an approximate 24-hour lag.
“In other words, if somebody sees the red and blues next door and they want to find out what’s going on, this isn’t going to tell them,” he said. “As cases are updated and uploaded, then it’s translated into this program.”
Even without being updated in real time, the interactive crime map provides people with a resource that can set their minds at ease, or at the very least, lets them know what’s happening around them.
“I think it really provides awareness both for the residential and the business community,” said Chief Bob DeVries. “It gives them the chance to enter their own home or business address and find out what kind of activity is going on around them.”
The interactive crime map can be accessed through KPD’s website at https://www.cityofkingman.gov/government/departments/police-department. From there, click on the “Crime Reports” button on the right-hand side of the website or at the bottom of the page.
Kunert explained people can create filters through the program to target the information for which they are searching. Users can plug in date ranges for the past three days to the past six months, or narrow in on specific types of crimes and more.
Clicking on a crime, which can be done by hovering over an incident icon, yields additional information to the right of the page including general location, case number and designation. People can also submit a tip or share that information. By clicking on the “Trends” tab, Kingmanites can view how crime has played out in Kingman via a line graph.
Cooper said perhaps one of the more underutilized pieces of the program is the registered sex offender list. There are numerous sex offenders throughout the City, but the largest concentration lies north of Northern Avenue.
“I don’t know that people actually know it’s there,” Cooper said of the registered sex offender component of the program.
In terms of other incidents, the largest concentration of property crimes is within business districts. Often times those crimes involve vehicles being broken into in parking lots.
“Lock it or lose it,” Cooper said of how to keep property safe. “They’re opportunistic, especially vehicle burglaries. Most of them are unlocked vehicles, and the merchandise that’s stolen from large amounts of cash to guns are in these unlocked vehicles.”
DeVries also noted the benefits of parking near lighting or installing lighting at the home. “Crime prevention through environmental design,” Cooper added, entails trimming hedges and shrubs to increase visibility.
“And if you haven’t already, consider activating a neighborhood watch,” DeVries said. “It just comes down to residents watching over residents. They know best what’s out of place in their neighborhood more so than we do. We encourage people to report suspicious activity. I would much rather see us respond to 10 calls that result in nothing versus an individual hesitate and actually have a crime occur.”
That ties into something else KPD hopes to implement in the near future, a virtual block watch program. KPD plans to reach out to businesses and residents with camera systems and ask them to register. Officers wouldn’t have around-the-clock access to cameras, but if they had a list of which places had video capability, they could reach out to acquire footage that leads to the identification of perpetrators.
Although the interactive crime map provides a wealth of information about where crimes take place, users should not turn to vigilantism.
“The whole concoct of neighborhood watch is eyes and ears, it’s not actively intercepting or getting involved,” DeVries said. “It’s being alert and reporting so we can respond promptly. Once they engage in activity, they place themselves and others in danger.”
That complicates and escalates matters to an unnecessary level, Cooper noted. One recent incident saw two high schoolers held at gunpoint by a homeowner who thought the juveniles were burglarizing residences. In reality, they were selling fundraiser cards for the football team.