Police Tweet: Beat: L2, THEFT – CAR PROWL at 110XX BLOCK OF 8TH AVE NE reported on 10/2/2012 8:09 PM
Police Tweet: Beat : U1, BURGLARY – RESIDENTIAL, UNOCCUPIED at 80XX BLOCK OF 15TH AVE NE reported on 10/2/2012 10:09 PM
Police Tweet: Beat: L2, SUSPICIOUS PERSON at 12XX BLOCK OF NE 104TH ST reported on 9/29/2012 10:18 P
In what the New York Times this week called “the most ambitious effort of its kind in the nation,” Seattle Police have begun to push hourly crime updates onto local Twitter feeds.
Anybody can read their local reports by following their neighborhood police beat on Twitter.
This is good, if you want to know what kind of problems are being reported in your neighborhood.
But the Times story quotes an expert saying constant crime news can cause unintended consequences.
“Increased awareness of local crime, he said, could lead people to a greater feeling of vulnerability or to the conclusion that the police are not resolving the local crime problem — even if it is a problem they might not have been aware of had the beat-tweet not informed them.”
That is certainly an area where we’ve been criticized since Maple Leaf Life began reporting in early 2010 – although we’ve repeated pointed out that, so far as we can tell, there is no more crime here than elsewhere in the city.
But in February of 2011 John wrote (in part): ” I don’t understand this website’s obsession with crime reporting. Can’t you find anything else to discuss that is going on in Maple Leaf? I think you need to lay off the crime reports and quit getting people so worried and portraying a negative image of our neighborhood.”
Others defended the reporting: “I personally would rather see these reports so we can have the discussion, raise awareness and take steps to continually make Maple Leaf A Better Place. I think that’s preferable than failing to acknowledge it and pretending the problem doesn’t exist.”
We laid out our philosophy here. But if you want even more local crime reports landing in your Twitter feed, here’s how to do it.
To subscribe to the police Twitter feed, go here.
Maple Leaf generally includes part, but not all, of three police patrol beats:
In the examples from the top of this post, the car prowl took place in Lincoln (L) 2. The burglary took place in Union 1.
To subscribe to the feeds, pick one or all three: PDU1, PDN3 and PDL2.
The Tweets have a one-hour time delay, to prevent obstructing police officers, and exclude sex and domestic violence reports.Tweet