A public website where you can find out what types of crimes are happening in a neighborhood? You can now find this online in Bellevue and Kirkland and some other Washington cities. The City of Kirkland used a grant from Washington State to buy a crime mapping program that is available to anyone with a computer. The goal of the program is to raise the level of awareness regarding crime in the neighborhoods. The hope is people will see suspicious activity and report it to the police. Citizens will be empowered to assist the authorities and will be more knowledgeable about what is happening in their neighborhoods.
Aware citizens are a good thing. Just recently 3 burglars in Kirkland were caught because neighbors were being vigilant and reported suspicious activity to the police.
The program is not an attempt to scare people, but to raise the level of awareness of people within the community. With a raised level of citizen awareness, people will be even safer. No city is immune from crime, but here on the eastside, things are generally safe.
Who could benefit from this program?
- Anyone who wants to know about the safety of their neighborhood.
- Anyone who wants to increase their level of awareness about what is going on in a city.
- Anyone who is thinking of buying a home and wants to check the safety of a neighborhood.
It's simple to access the program. You can log on by going directly to the site or through a link on the City of Kirkland website. When you input an address you can check for a variety of different crimes within a certain radius. No actual addresses are given as crimes are reported by blocks instead of a specific address.
The city has also added links to crime prevention tips for each type of crime and to the King County Sex Offender registry.
Other important things to know:
- You can sign up for email alerts.
- You can search for more than one place, ie.a school or job location.
- You can create reports by category of crime or during a specific block of time.
- There is a free iPhone app.
The information is updated by the police on a regular basis and is an attempt to keep the public well informed. In Kirkland data will be updated on Tuesdays-Thursdays. However, if there is an active crime investigation going on, reports may be withheld.
You can access a huge number of other cities across the United States. Sometimes it is good to do that to see how safe living in Kirkland and Bellevue is when compared to other cities in the nation.