Want to know how dangerous your street is? Too scared to look out the window and find out? Now you can look online. The Chicago Police Department has just posted 4.6 million crime incident reports from the last 10 years on the city’s website.
The search function is pretty simple. Type in the number of the block followed by the street name. For example, the 3200 block of West Lake Street is 032XX Lake. In the last five weeks, that block has seen three thefts, two criminal trespasses and a marijuana bust. The 3500 block of North Clark Street, the party strip just south of Wrigley Field, has been busier, with seven thefts, four batteries and a deceptive practice.
"By posting this data online, we are providing a resource that will significantly impact criminal research while allowing community organizations to more effectively collaborate with the Chicago Police Department and better understand where crime is happening in their neighborhoods, streets and corners,” Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement.
The mayor’s block, 4200 North Hermitage, has not a crime report since Aug. 4, when someone was arrested in an alley for possessing fewer than 30 grams of marijuana. The benefits of round-the-clock police protection. ...
Another block without a crime problem: 5000 South Greenwood, home of President Obama. In July 2010, there was a bomb threat against the synagogue across the street. In May, a theft from a vacant building.
Certain blocks have crime profiles particular to the local businesses. 900 North Michigan, at the top of the Magnificent Mile, is mostly retail theft and pocket picking. 200 North Kostner, in the K-Town drug marketplace, shows possession of heroin, possession of crack and unlawful use of a handgun.
According to the city’s press release, “Chicago joins a number of other cities, including New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, Houston and Philadelphia, which have begun posting crime data online. However, the release of a crime data set of this size, scope and format is unprecedented nationally.”
The information will be updated daily, so while it’s not quite as immediate as a police scanner, crime buffs won’t miss a thing.